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Choosing a Chat API: Things to Consider

08 May 2021 Developer News
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Chat applications and features can be a highly effective way to connect to your user base. While these features were difficult to implement in the past, it's easy to take advantage of these features using a chat API. With that stated, there are several things you'll want to keep in mind when deciding on the best API to use.

What Kind Of Moderation Options Are Available?

You'll want to make sure you have some control over how people interact with and utilize your chat features. That's why you should choose an API that provides the sort of moderation features you need. These features could include language features, ban and block users, and several other useful features.

A lack of moderation options can create significant issues for you, and it could have a negative impact on the overall user experience. Poor moderation can make chat features less pleasant to use. You'll want to make these features your priority when you're looking for the right API.

What Kinds Of Chat Features Do You Want To Add?

Not all chat features are alike. From private one-on-one chats to chat rooms to chat supports, you'll want to think about how you plan on using these features. If you have a clearer picture of what you're looking for, it will be easier for you to find features that are well-suited to your needs.

When you're exploring your options for using a chat API, you may want to look at how some of your competitors have been using these features. This can help you find the best ways to use these features, and it can also give you a better idea of what your users might be expecting. It's a good idea to compare a few different options to get a better sense of the available features.

What Platforms Will You Be Utilizing?

You'll also want to think about the platforms you're going to be using these features on. For example, are you adding these features to a website that people will be accessing through many different devices? Will you be adding these features to an app? What platforms will the app be released on?

When you're answering these kinds of questions, you won't just want to focus on the present. It would help if you also thought about what you might want in the future. This will make it easier for you to introduce these features on additional platforms in the future.

Is The Chat API You're Considering Available In All Of The Regions You're Targeting?

In addition to thinking about the platforms you'll be releasing these features on; you'll want to take a look at the regions you wish to target. For example, some chat APIs are can only be used in specific areas. These kinds of limitations could cause significant problems for you, which is why you'll want to keep an eye out for them ahead of time.

Like with platforms, you'll want to think about your plans before making any decisions. Look for an API available in the regions you'll be releasing these features on now and the regions you might want to target at some point in the future.

Does The API Make Security A Priority?

Cybersecurity is a significant concern, which is why you'll want to make sure that there aren't any security flaws in the API that you choose to use. In addition, you'll want to do everything in your power to avoid data leakages and similar problems.

You should take a closer look at the encryption that the API uses. If the API does not fully encrypt chats, or if the API hasn't been updated in a long time, you may want to look at some of the other options available to you instead.

Will You Be Able To Expand Your App Or Add More Features In The Future?

As mentioned above, it's essential to consider future plans when you're deciding on which API you should use. You'll want to think about plans for future growth as well. You'll want to make sure that you'll be able to introduce more features or make changes to your app if you choose to do so.

No successful app will remain the same forever. You'll likely want to add more features from time to time to keep up with trends and keep your users engaged. If an API makes it difficult for you to introduce these features, you may want to look into other options that won't cause these problems for you.

What Kinds Of Customization Options Are Available To You?

A major advantage of a chat API is that you won't have to put much effort into adding chat features to a site or an app. Unfortunately, in some cases, APIs don't offer a lot of customization options. So, if you want to make sure you get the results you want from your app, you'll want to make sure that you look at the available customization options. 

Not only will you want to look at how you'll be able to customize your chat features, but you'll want to pay attention to how easy -- or difficult -- the customization problem is. If customization is likely to be a big hassle, that particular app might not be the right fit for you.

Will the API Give You An Advantage Over Your Top Competitors?

Not only can chat features help you to keep up with the competition, but in some cases, they can allow you to get ahead of some of your major competitors. As an example, if your competitors don't offer video calls, you may want to use an API that will allow you to implement this functionality.

You'll want to look for an API that offers essential features, but you may also want to look for options that will allow you to go the extra mile. Today's consumers have many different options available to them. So, it would be best if you gave your customers every possible incentive to stick with you.

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