7 essential messaging SDK components

Sara Ana Cemazar
March 5, 2024
min read

Real-time communication has taken the centerstage for business growth and user retention. In-app messaging applications empower businesses to engage with customers instantly. Without this, businesses become vulnerable to competition losing out on customer base and revenue potential. 

As per Business of Apps estimates,

Users who get in-app messages are 131% more likely to interact with your app. Also, these messages have a 39.88% interaction rate, making them a powerful tool for boosting engagement.

However, building a new chat app from scratch is complicated. It consumes considerable time, effort, and resources. 

To streamline this, messaging SDKs (Software Development Kits)  come with real-time components and resources that allow seamless integration of chat abilities to your existing or new applications. 

Let us understand the components that you must look for in a messaging SDK. 

What is a messaging SDK?

A messaging SDK or a in-app communication SDK incorporates chat functionality into your desktop, web, or mobile applications. They offer pre-built components that accelerate the development and integration of messaging abilities into your business.

With ready-made components from these SDKs, you can create customized user experiences

Messaging SDKs are many developers’ preference when it comes to integrating modern chat abilities into your business messaging. It is simple and quick as you don’t have to code from scratch. A robust SDK also helps you enhance real-time communication capabilities and gain a competitive edge.

Is SDK the same as API?

Though both SDKs and APIs accelerate the software development cycle, they have technical differences. 

Scope of functionality:

  • SDKs: Offer a comprehensive toolkit with pre-built components, libraries, and UI elements for building entire chat applications.
  • APIs: Provide a set of protocols and rules for integrating in-app chat functionality into an existing application.

Level of complexity:

  • SDKs: More extensive as they include the tools and resources needed to build a new application from scratch.
  • APIs: Focused on integration, they define how applications communicate but may not contain all the building blocks for a new app.

Flexibility and customization:

  • SDKs: Allow for greater customization in terms of features and design.
  • APIs: Typically offer more limited options for customization.

Typical use cases:

  • SDKs: Often used to build a new application from the ground up.
  • APIs: Primarily leveraged to add specific features or functionality to an existing application.

What is an example of a messaging SDK?

Some of the best SDKs include: 

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

Talk to sales

How to choose the right messaging SDK?

You must evaluate the following before choosing the right SDK for your business:


Before choosing a messaging SDK, you must evaluate the pricing structure. Check their pricing plans and assess if they match your affordability and feature needs. Evaluate if the SDK offers pay-per-use pricing plans.  

Apart from the subscription plans, you must also check for implementation costs, setup and installation fees, licensing costs, etc. 

Also,  evaluate the degree of customization and flexibility in the pricing. Check if the SDK offers a free trial. 

Ease of build

A major reason for using messaging SDK is to save time, effort, and resources in building a chat application. 

Evaluate the easiness of integration with the current tech stack. Check for the documentation, resources, and tutorials that come with the SDKs as they would help drive the core purpose. 

Messaging features

While choosing the SDKs, you must check for the following messaging features:

  • Instant messaging 
  • Group conversations
  • Threaded chats
  • Advanced search functionality
  • Message editing/ deleting
  • File sharing
  • Push notifications
  • Read receipts
  • Typing indicators
  • Message history

Depending on the message volume you handle and the industry you operate in, you may also need canned message templates, chatbots, and AI capabilities. 

Engagement features

In this fast-paced world, innovative engagement features captivate the reader’s attention. Evaluate the messaging SDK for the following features. 

  • Emojis and reactions
  • @ Mentions
  • Message reminders
  • Thumbnails
  • Link previews
  • Pinned messages

In case you deal with international customers, you must also check for translation support. 


The messaging SDK should be able to handle peak message volumes and must demonstrate high performance. The SDKs should have high scalability enabling you to add servers as the business grows. So, they should have load balancing abilities allowing the distribution of load across different resources or servers. 

The SDK should have message queuing abilities that help streamline high message volumes and reduce abandonment rates. This helps ensure that the incoming messages even during the peak times are handled efficiently. It must be able to sort network issues and ensure high uptime. 

To prevent data losses, in-app communication SDKs should have data replication systems that store employee and customer conversations on multiple servers. 

UI features

The messaging SDK you choose must have robust UI features and customizable codes. UI features are important as they help enhance the user interface of the messaging app. Having innovative UI features helps achieve a user-friendly, consistent interface. 

You must also check for the degree of customizability as you may have to align the features to be consistent with the design and identity of your brand. 

Choosing a SDK with exhaustive UI features helps save a major chunk of your development time. It also helps ensure that the final UI offers a visually captivating, consistent experience for users.

Security features

For a messaging platform, communication security is highly important. Before choosing a in-app communication SDK, ensure that it complies with the privacy, security, and data protection laws of the national and regional governments. 

You must also check for compliance with industry-specific data security regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, FISMA, CCPA etc. 

You must also check for compliance with international standards like ISO, PCI DSS, and SOC2. 

Such certifications demonstrate your commitment to protecting customer data against breaches and threats. They also help promote security and trust among your customers. 

The messaging SDK must have the following security features.

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Custom user roles
  • Device management

The SDK should also have content moderation abilities so it can detect and filter inappropriate conversations. These features help filter off offensive messages before they are visible on the chat while ensuring sanity in business communication. 

Where can I find high-quality messaging SDKs?

Here are the top 5 in-app communication SDKs you can choose from:

1. Rocket.Chat

Rocket.Chat is an open-source, customizable and highly-scalable platform with advanced communication abilities. It offers a slew of robust security features like end-to-end encryption, customizable user controls, two-factor authentication, etc. 

Rocket.Chat is completely geared up for use in businesses operating in regulated industries like military, healthcare, finance, etc. 

With Rocket.chat SDK, you can achieve a greater degree of customization and leverage white labeling to meet your brand requirements. 

Also, the tool can be easily integrated with CRMs, sales, and business tools including HubSpot, Dropbox, Zoom, etc. 


  • Self-hosted and cloud deployment
  • File sharing 
  • Canned templates
  • White labeling and customization
  • Integration with 5000+ tools
  • Advanced search functionality

2. CometChat

messaging SDK

CometChat offers messaging SDKs and APIs for web and mobile applications. It has fully featured SDKs and UI kits for common technologies including Angular, React, React Native, Vue, Flutter, Swift, and Android. 


  • Direct messaging and group chats
  • Text conferencing
  • Message translation
  • Moderation and blocking

3. Contus

messaging SDK

Contus offers MirrorFly, a pre-built infrastructure for messaging. It has 100+ UI elements that allow you to personalize the messaging application to match your brand requirements. 

It has both, SaaS and SaaP abilities that support on-premises as well as cloud deployment. 


  • In-app chat rooms
  • Typing indicators
  • Pre-built UI kit
  • On-demand translation

4. PubNub

messaging SDK

PubNub offers a scalable SDK that allows you to define one-on-one and group chat features. It allows users to share files and supports multimedia messages. 

PubNub also has generative AI abilities that help extend the functionality of your chat application. The PubNub infrastructure is programmable and helps scale the application to your needs. 


  • 1:1 and group messaging
  • Push notifications
  • UI kit and components
  • Translation and content moderation abilities

5. Sendbird

messaging SDK

Sendbird offers complete SDK and API abilities to accelerate application development. It has extensive voice, video, and UI features. 

It supports white labeling, so you can customize the design and identity to match your brand requirements. The Sendbird in-app communication SDKs supports over 500 million messages and 1 million concurrent connections per application. 


  • Content moderation tools
  • Scalable on AWS
  • Advanced message search
  • Smart throttling

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

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
Related Article:
Team collaboration: 5 reasons to improve it and 6 ways to master it
Want to collaborate securely with your team?
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise or in the cloud and keep your conversations private.
  • Digital sovereignty
  • Federation capabilities
  • Scalable and white-labeled
Talk to sales
Looking for a HIPAA-ready communications platform?
Enable patients and healthcare providers to securely communicate without exposing their data.
  • Highly scalable and secure
  • Full patient conversation history
  • HIPAA-ready
Talk to sales
The #1 communications platform for government
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise, in the cloud, or air-gapped environment.
  • Secure data governance and digital sovereignty
  • Trusted by State, Local, and Federal agencies across the world
  • Matrix federation capabilities for cross-agency communication
Talk to sales
Want to customize Rocket.Chat according to your own preferences?
See behind the engine and change the code how you see fit.
  • Open source code
  • Highly secure and scalable
  • Unmatched flexibility
Talk to sales
Looking for a secure collaboration platform?
Keep your conversations private while enjoying a seamless collaboration experience with Rocket.Chat.
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Cloud or on-prem deployment
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
Talk to sales
Want to build a highly secure in-app chat experience?
Use Rocket.Chat’s APIs, frameworks, and managed backend to build a secure in-app or live chat experience for your customers.
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
  • Highly secure and flexible
  • On-prem or cloud deployment
Talk to sales

Our best content, once a week

Share this on:

Get your free, personalized demo now!

Build the most secure chat experience for your team or customers

Book demo