8 best chat SDK and APIs to build great messaging experiences

Sara Ana Cemazar
February 29, 2024
min read

Nowadays, where instant satisfaction and real-time communication are necessary, companies and individuals are always looking for new and creative methods to interact with their audience. 

This is where Chat SDKs (software development kits) come into play. With these tools and resources, developers may easily design dynamic, connection-focused chat functionality in their applications.

These SDKs have everything you need to develop an engaging chat experience that engages users and propels business success, whether you're looking for configurable UI elements or powerful code libraries.

If you're ready to take your messaging platform to the next level, let us explore the top Chat SDKs to elevate real-time communication for your applications. 

What is Chat SDK?

A Chat SDK is a comprehensive toolbox for developers who wish to integrate chat functionality smoothly into their platforms. By using this SDK, developers can save themselves the trouble of starting from scratch when implementing messaging features.

With pre-built chat capabilities, these kits also eliminate the need for complex message synchronization logic and the deployment and administration of custom chat infrastructure. 

Chat SDKs support a variety of chat experiences by giving users the flexibility to connect instantaneously and include features like emoticons, message attachments, Giphy integrations, and potent slash commands. 

This promotes community building and increases user engagement.

What essential features to look for in a chat SDK

Numerous critical elements should be considered when evaluating chat SDKs. These factors determine the chat platform's capabilities and how easily it can be integrated into your app or website.

Messaging Features

  • Read receipts: Shows if the receiver has received the message.
  • One-to-one chat: Allows for direct text chat between individual users.
  • Message history: Allows users to look back on previous chats by storing and retrieving chat message history.
  • Message threads: To facilitate better conversation management, messages are arranged into threads.
  • Group chat: Enables the creation, joining, and exiting of chat groups while facilitating group discussions with several users.
  • Message search: Provides a chat history with search capabilities for easy message retrieval.
  • Push notifications: Even when the app is not being used, users can receive notifications for updates or new communications.
  • File sharing: Enables users to exchange documents, films, and other multimedia files.
  • Message timestamps: Shows the time stamps for transmitted and received messages.
  • Chatbots: Uses AI algorithms or predefined rules to integrate chatbots for automated interactions and responses.
  • Typing indicators: These visual signals help to improve real-time engagement by showing when a user is typing a message.
  • Unread message count: It displays the number of unread messages to notify users.

Security features

  • Data security: Enables end-to-end encryption for chat messages and encrypts data stored on servers to protect it from unauthorized access.
  • Compliance with industry standards: Ensures conformity to data security and privacy requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, SOC2, and ISO27001.
  • ISO27001 compliance: Establishes and maintains effective security measures for protecting sensitive data, mitigating risks, and safeguarding information assets against threats and vulnerabilities.
  • HIPAA compliance: Meets the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for healthcare applications handling sensitive patient data.
  • SOC2 compliance: Demonstrates robust controls for protecting sensitive data, promoting trust and transparency in data handling practices.
  • Moderation: Uses content filtering and moderation methods to detect and block unsuitable or dangerous information, with administrators or moderators having the opportunity to manually moderate.
  • GDPR compliance: Adheres to the General Data Protection Regulation for applications processing the personal data of EU citizens.

Best chat SDK providers

Finding a one-of-a-kind real-time chat solution might be difficult when there are so many options on the market. So, we've handpicked eight of the finest chat SDK providers so you can better understand their offerings. 

1. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is a dynamic, open-source team chat platform that provides robust communication solutions for websites and mobile devices. It functions as a centralized communication center, effortlessly integrating voice, video, screen sharing, file sharing, emoticons, live chat, and SMS/CRM connection. 

Rocket.Chat’s omnichannel capabilities unite diverse communication channels, fostering secure collaboration and enhancing team performance while reducing costs. 

What sets Rocket.Chat apart

  • Rocket.Chat distinguishes itself with industry-grade security trusted by sectors such as the military, healthcare, and government. 
  •  The platform is highly flexible to your organizational needs. It can also be scaled up and down as you require. 
  • Developers appreciate its open-source nature and self-hosting option, providing complete control over data and privacy.
  • It offers seamless integration with third-party devices.
  • Rocket.Chat boasts of deployment options, including on-premise or secure cloud solutions.
  • Supports various conversation channels like social media platforms, email, live chat, and more.
  • The platform also supports comprehensive compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, LGPD, and CCPA.

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

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2. Contus

Established in 2008 by the CONTUS group, Contus started its journey as ContusFly, evolving into the renowned MirrorFly in 2019. Specializing in real-time chat API and SDK development, it connects businesses and customers seamlessly through chat, voice, and video functionalities. 

With over 150 customizable features, Contus facilitates effortless integration into any web or mobile app. Its self-hosting infrastructure offers flexibility between on-premises and on-cloud deployment, ensuring scalability and security with industry-standard protocols.

What sets Contus apart

  • With unmatched scalability accommodating over 1 million concurrent global users, the platform offers versatility across 40+ use cases worldwide.
  • Its best-in-class cross-platform compatibility ensures seamless integration across various devices and operating systems.
  • Comprehensive security measures, including compliance with HIPAA and GDPR standards, safeguard user data and privacy.
  • Additionally, extensive documentation and developer support streamline the integration process.

3. Amity

chat SDK

Amity is the epitome of social connectivity, empowering developers to infuse their apps with vibrant social experiences. Seamlessly integrating with the Amity Social Cloud, this SDK fosters community engagement through a comprehensive suite of features. 

From dynamic chat channels to interactive broadcasts, Amity offers a versatile platform for cultivating robust user interactions. Its arsenal includes moderation tools, GDPR compliance, and global server coverage for enhanced security and accessibility.

What sets Amity apart

  • Amity stands out for its commitment to democratizing social experiences.
  • Developers may easily add extensive communication capabilities using intuitive SDKs and APIs, increasing brand engagement and creating long-lasting connections.
  • What truly separates Amity is its constant commitment to user privacy and security.

4. Sinch

chat SDK

Sinch offers robust chat API support, enabling seamless integration of messaging, voice, and video calls into applications. 

Designed for businesses, individual owners, and app developers, it ensures a reliable communication experience for customers and clients. Advanced features include push notifications, SMS messaging, and call recording.

What sets Sinch apart

  • Comprehensive support is provided with integrated messaging, voice, and video calls.
  • The platform offers scalability, reliability, and AI capabilities for voice recognition and natural language processing.
  • Users can customize the interface and branding, and SMS messaging is also available for verification.

5. TalkJS

chat SDK

TalkJS is a chat API software designed to empower developers with robust messaging functionalities. It facilitates seamless integration of features like file sharing, voice and video calls, and rich media messages into web and mobile applications. 

With TalkJS, developers can customize the chat experience extensively, from branding to user roles and permissions. Its ease of integration and cross-platform compatibility make it an ideal choice for businesses seeking to enhance their applications with chat functionality.

What sets TalkJS apart

  • TalkJS offers a comprehensive chat API and SDK solution that simplifies chat integration across Android, iOS, and web applications.
  • Its fully featured, reliable, and scalable messaging platforms seamlessly integrate with various languages and frameworks.
  • Notable features include full conversation history, responsive cross-browser UX, multi-language support, and channels/groups functionality.

6. Quickblox

chat SDK

Quickblox is a communication platform offering easy-to-use chat SDKs for enterprises. With powerful APIs and hassle-free integration across web and mobile apps, 

Quickblox ensures secure communication with customizations. Their chat and video SDKs enhance user engagement and retention, supporting third-party integrations like calendars, CRM, and CMS. Features include one-on-one and group chat, push notifications, livestream chat, and secure file sharing.

What sets Quickblox apart

  • Quickblox APIs are preferred for their RESTful APIs, enabling real-time interactions via WebRTC.
  • It's a leading white-label chat solution for sectors like banking and finance, known for quality WebRTC-enabled voice and video calling.
  • Simple UI/UX designs and flexible data storage enhance user experience.

7. EnableX

chat SDK

One of the top suppliers of communication APIs is EnableX; their offerings include Voice, Video, and Chat APIs. EnableX provides customizable functionalities, UI/UX upgrades, and device compatibility with its messaging SDKs and Chat APIs. It is designed to facilitate meaningful discussions across various devices and platforms, including iOS and Android. 

What Sets EnableX apart

  • EnableX stands out for its comprehensive suite of communication APIs, robust security standards, and customizable features.
  • Its commitment to end-to-end encryption ensures the privacy and security of every interaction.
  • Moreover, EnableX's SDK offers seamless integration for developers, focusing on rapid deployment, real-time collaboration, and scalability.

8. Vonage

Vonage is a leading cloud communications platform empowering businesses with powerful chatbox API tools for creating real-time messaging and chat applications. Vonage enables businesses to provide comprehensive chat experiences to their users by supporting video calling, phone calls, file sharing, and messaging. 

Vonage also provides SMS and message APIs for multi-channel communication, video APIs for real-time video collaboration, voice APIs for cloud-based voice communication, AI-powered virtual assistants for automated customer care, and multilingual support for worldwide reach.

What sets Vonage apart

  • Vonage stands out with its comprehensive suite of advanced communication features, including video calling, voice calling, and file sharing, all accessible through customizable SDKs.
  • Vonage's AI-powered virtual assistant improves customer service and assistance.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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