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Alex Sam
Alex Sam

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How to Build Chat Apps Like WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack?

Let’s be honest: which is the first app that pops into your mind if I say, “Text me now?” Will it be:

Hey, what’s up on WhatsApp or

Here are my bulk messages for you on Telegram or
@me on Slack.

Do you think it’s absolutely based on the app's convenient features and requirements? Welcome to our guide, where you can learn how to create an app like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Slack, but tailored to your specific needs!

Since the above-mentioned messaging apps are playing a huge role (almost 3 billion people using) in communication, the quest to look for one feature in another is still undeniable.

Of course, we all love the ease of WhatsApp, the file-sharing of Telegram, and the work-friendly features of Slack. But how about the one that combines all and creates based on your IDEA?
Let’s get started with the guide to learn how to build the best chat app, like WhatsApp and the other two.

What are the Key Features to Build Chat Apps to Make that Sky High?

In many ways, the success of the apps mentioned above is simple. Those are to support users' needs once and for all.

We all know that chat apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have been around for a long time. Actually, we might not have noticed this in our Play Store in the early days. Some people actually barely noticed the Play Store!

But the thing that you should know before you start to build a messaging app is consistent Updates. To keep the users hooked on the features.

Even if it is for your business communication, you have to list the features of how you want to send and receive the messages.
Here, we list down some of the essential features that are considered competitive and necessary before starting to build a chat app like Slack.

Key Features to Build Chat App

1.Low Latency Messaging

Low-latency messaging is the key for any chat app to build real-time conversations. Apps like WhatsApp provide low latency as one of their primary features to ensure stability and connection between their users.

If your user faces any lag in their communication, they will quickly switch to the other. Considering the quality of chat app development, the platform and architecture can make all the difference.

2.Authentication and Registration

Registration and authentication is the first step of your app, where your user can register their account.

Authentication using a mobile number, email address, or other social media account can help them register easily to experience the full potential of your app.

Messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp use two-factor authentication to ensure their accounts are safe. These are the further steps of the process in registration and authentication; we covered that, too.

3. Type Indicators

Well, apart from some anxiety and pressure while seeing the typing indicators in messaging apps like Slack and Telegram, it’s actually so influential.

Since people are looking for quick turnaround replies, adding type indicators features makes them rich in expectations. At last, they should be there until they receive it (ultimately they won’t leave your chat app).

The same applies to the business environment; the type indicators play a vital role in business communication.
You know, mixing psychology with technology is the best way to pull users.

4.Read Receipts

We felt so bad for knowing how much you love this guide on how to build a chat app like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Slack!

But don’t leave room for this on your chat app. Let your users know the exact status of the messages to understand whether to follow up or wait for the response.

Chat apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Slack have these three standard features: sent, received, and read, for users to know their exact stand.

5.File Sharing

The chat is not only about words, emotions, and information. People nowadays use chat apps to share images, videos, documents, and more.

Even if you’re looking to build a chat app for your organization, you must consider multimedia file-sharing features enabled.

But the main challenge is storage. Multimedia file sharing requires more storage than text-based counterparts. Think wisely to ensure the latency, too.

5. Channels and Direct Messages

“Someone added you into the chat,” “2 new messages from the boss”, “When can we plan for the trip, guys?!” So, which one will you open first? It might be the first because you want to know who added you to the chat. If that’s the case, your users will expect the same.

Your goal should put your users in control and charge by giving them the tools to choose from the various channels easily.

6. Live Voice & Video Calls

Another of the most demandable features of chat apps is voice and video calling. WhatsApp-like apps have a major user acquisition for their calls.

According to Cooby, WhatsApp users spend almost 2 billion minutes each day on other forms of communication than chats.

Here’s a motivation: If you think of building chat apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Slack in 2024, you’re more likely to join the club.

Because the number of people using chat apps is huge, they’re waiting to experience whole new features like yours!

Other Features of the Chat apps can Include

  • Emojis and reactions
  • Contact management
  • Push notifications
  • Offline functionality.

Technology stacks to build a chat app

Next, let’s move on to the building blocks of codes and departed areas of platforms. Since we spoke a lot about the features of creating messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, technology stacks are the coordinates that make a way.

There are numerous technological stacks available to build a chat app.

As a developer or business owner, of course, you know that the options make the decision worse. That’s why we have come up with the best technology stacks to make your chat app even more functional than WhatsApp, Telegram, and Slack.

The list of possible technology stacks to build a chat app with dynamic chat experience are:

technology stacks to build a chat

  1. Front-end technologies
  2. Back-end technologies
  3. Database technologies
  4. Cloud storage technologies
  5. Chat app protocols
  6. Messaging APIs
  7. Authentication and Authorization APIs

1.Front End Technologies: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Reactive Native (cross platform development), Flutter, Swift, Kotlin.
2.Back End Technologies: Node.js, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, Python
3.Database Technologies: MongoDB for storing applications’ data, scalable storage. MySQL, PostgreSQL.
4.Cloud Storage Servers: Google Cloud Storage, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure for storing user generate data (images and videos)
5.Messaging APIs: MirrorFly, Firebase Cloud Messaging, Pusher
6.Chat App Protocols: XMPP, WebSocket, WebRTC, MQTT.
7.Payment Gateways: Paypal, Stripe, or Braintree.

Challenges that will shape or Break Your Chat app development

You know what? Messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, and Slack are so complex and simultaneously so simple.

_Seems confused?! _

It’s up to you. Chat app development includes numerous challenges that could change one’s perspective on the limits of software engineering.

Here, we listed the challenges in chat app development like WhatsApp, which you can fix and eliminate before you start building to avoid unexpected roadblocks and extra spending.

Moreover, the challenges might change based on your app’s current status, the number of users downloading and chatting, and the purpose your app is going to provide.

1.Reliable Connection

When you’re planning to build a large-scale chat app, whether it’s for business or communication, the first thing you have to consider is a reliable connection. As we mentioned above, users won’t wait long to receive chats.

Messaging chats like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Slack handle thousands of millions of connections per node.

Furthermore, this isn’t easy to achieve because of the system limitations, latency, and network issues between server and client.

When it comes to mobile devices, temporary connections happen. Network fluctuations will happen, and it’ll lead TCP to fall half open and end with the connection failure.

How to Fix or Handle: Establishing a geolocations to connect with the nearest data center to avoid or minimize the latencies.

2. Message Fanout

Next, it’ll start from the backend, which is the foremost thing to consider in chat app development, such as WhatsApp and others. The primary responsibility of the chat app backend is sending, presences, and notifications between sender and receiver.

This could be one-on-one messages, group chats, or broadcasts. This also contains message status too.

For instance, we can take one of the chat app giants; an app like WhatsApp, which handles 20 billion inbound messages and 40 billion outbound messages in a single day.

How to Fix or Handle: Choose cluster topology based on your needs! Full mesh doesn't scale well; use meta-clustering or brokers for large deployments.

3. The Right Database

Data storage. The major constraints and challenges in building chat apps like Slack. Large chat apps like WhatsApp handle billions of messages daily, and each of them is stored and replicated globally to offer the chat history if the user wants.

How to Fix or Handle: When selecting a database, consider requirements like linear scalability, automatic failover, low maintenance and easy distribution around the cluster.

Steps to build messaging app like WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack

All the blockhead features are to be determined, and the steps to eliminate the iterations are created as a draft in the chat. What next…Hit send to build a messaging app similar to WhatsApp.

1.Determine the scope of your chat app

Begin your development process by determining your chat app’s scope in the first place. So, how do you find your scope? List the following things first:

  1. Who are you building this app for?
  2. What problem will your app solve?
  3. If it’s for organization or business, determine the features
  4. What is the future growth of your app that you anticipate?

Try answering these questions to determine the scope of your chat app and build a similar app like Slack, Telegram, and WhatsApp.

“No Audience, No Results”

2.Decide the platform to use

Here we go again. Decide the platform based on your features to develop. Choose the platform that suits your actual needs. Consider the following questions to determine the platform to

  • build your chat app:
  • Complexity of feature
  • Development cost and time
  • Time to hit the market

If you’re not clear choosing the platform, you can consult any white label in-app chat solution to make it clear before creating a messaging app.

“Don’t build blind, dive in to solution”

3.Build User Interface

The next step will be the visual appearance of your messaging app. Apps similar to WhatsApp strategically spend their time and investment to make their app’s visual interface look clean, clear, and easy to navigate.

An easy user interface of the app can determine the user’s understanding of the chat application. So, what to consider first to build an intuitive user interface:

  • Determine your chat app’s font, color
  • Determine your message app’s visual design (Prototype or Wireframe)
  • List the features to be fitted on the screen along with the navigation.

“UI design shapes how users interact with your app.”

4.Build Your Chat Application’s Backend

The powerhouse of your messaging app, the backend. This step determines the features, functionality, and technical capabilities of your messaging apps.

This covers sever side logics using programming languages and frameworks and creating database schema. The steps that need to be followed at this stage are:

  • User research
  • Information Architecture
  • User flows
  • User testing

“The invisible engine powering your chat app's features and functionality.”

5.Integrate Third Party APIs

Considering APIs for your chat app is another good option to make it more powerful and efficient.

Integrating third-party APIs and SDKs can let you have control over in-app messaging with handy features that will benefit you and your user. Steps to consider in this stage include:

  • Research and evaluate APIs
  • Security and privacy
  • API integration and development
  • Cost and service of third party APIs

“Super charge your chat app with features and efficiency.”

** 6.Test Your Chat App**
For what exactly? Is the testing mandatory for the MVP version of your chat app?! You know what? If you plan to create a chat application in Android, you should consider the testing as it is.

Before launching your app, thoroughly check your chat app’s functionality, as in the wireframe or your plan. Let’s look at the steps to ensure the perfect testing model for your chat app.

  • Functionality testing
  • Performance testing
  • Usability testing
  • Security testing
  • Compatibility testing

“Test, test, Launch!”

7.Launch Your Chat App

The most anticipated step of this whole chat app development process is to LAUNCH. Launching the chatting app is just an easy process, and that’s it from your side; you’re done. Seriously?! Definitely not.

Chat apps similar to WhatsApp and Slack have followed the strategy of regularly updating their features and functionality to stand out from the competition. The same followed for your messaging apps, which include:

  • Publish it on relevant app stores
  • Promote with relevant marketing
  • Monitor performance
  • Monitor user feedback and review to improve.

“Launch is the start, not the finish. Enhance, promote, and iterate for chat app success.”

Chat Architecture

1. What is database architecture?

database architecture
To put it simply, database architecture manages all your chat app’s sending and receiving messages. The responsibility added with the manages and stores messages with the user authorization and authentication. This architecture is also responsible for distributing messages to the respective receivers.

2.Challenges in messaging app’s architecture backend

Let’s consider a simple instance with simple context in a chat app like Telegram. Think that your customer base is using your messaging app as a starting point. So, here we go, the list of challenges that will shape your initial architecture at this stage.

  • The evolution of app (Future growth)
  • Should able to handle 10k concurrent users
  • Real-time communication with features
  • Get it completely built in 3-6 months
  • Chat room should built with enough size and capacity
  • Scalable when load is suddenly increased
  • Faster retrieval of message history
  • Multimedia support

Database Architecture for chat app scalability and performance

The common thing that databases often do is store, find, and retrieve messages for the user. When it comes to messaging apps like WhatsApp and Slack, the algorithms are super fast at retrieval. At the same time, the messaging app database has become huge in size and complexity. Create a scenario where finding, sorting, and updating information becomes difficult.

Engineering considerations to fix the quick blue ticks

  1. If a user is able to locate the previous 50 messages on his app, they will have a good user experience.
  2. The user would like to send data to the server as quickly as possible. Nowadays, real-time conversation is standard!
  3. As putting this data on the same database would be disastrous for your app's performance and scalability, chat rooms would need their datastore.
  4. If your app had more than 100,000 users, you would post more than 100,000–200,000k messages every day.

Template-based chat architecture for chat app

Chat apps built on custom SDKs are great examples of such architecture. Chat SDKs are a set of preconfigured rules for building your apps.

You can consider Firebase to be a temple-based chat architecture where you have to work only on the front end.

Some chat SDKs like MirrorFly come with custom predefined backend logic along with UI kits where you can just integrate the user interface.

Decentralized chat architecture for messaging app

Let’s move on from centralized chat architecture to decentralized architecture. These architectures are mainly based on top blockchain ledger to support decentralized, secure chat services.

Efficient Way to Build a Chat App like WhatsApp

Hope our guide on building a chat app like WhatsApp helps you to gain knowledge about each step and essential features.

The process of developing the chat app, as you expected, will take around 6 months to 1 year to ultimately land into the market.

Here, we listed the tailor-made chat application-building methods to build your product efficiently. The chat SDK and API will revolutionize your messaging app development process by saving you time and money.

Let's find the best Chat API companies that will save you your efforts.


MirrorFly offers a custom Chat SDK and API to build your OWN chat app. Our SDKs and database server convert all your challenges. With the plug-and-play UI kit, you can earn 100+ UI elements and 1000+ chat features.


Apphitect is another live safe that provides a multifaceted chat API and messaging SDK to support and build your messaging application. It comes with 500+ chat features, from personalization to functionality.


Enablex is an AI-based platform offering chat API and SDK to help you build your chat app. With, you can enable omnichannel conversations using communication APIs.

Benefit from the above-mentioned bespoke solutions to build your chat app effortlessly and efficiently.

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