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Debunking the Edge Network myth: Why latency alone doesn't define chat platform performance

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In the competitive landscape of chat platforms, one term that has gained significant attention is the "Edge Network."

While it's true that an Edge Network can offer some advantages, the benefits for chat are at the user's first connection, which is a short moment of an entire conversation. Thus, it is essential to take a closer look at the overall impact on user experience, especially when compared to a robust cloud infrastructure with multiple regions.

What is the Edge Network?

An Edge Network is a distributed system of servers placed in various geographical locations close to the end users. The idea is that by positioning these servers at the edge of the network, data can be delivered more quickly, optimizing latency for initial connection.

However, the emphasis on low latency for real-time communication alone can be misleading. In reality, it's essential to consider how the latency improvement using an Edge Network for chat impacts the user experience, and whether it is perceptible.

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The myth of lowest latency

While latency is paramount for real-time communication, there is a threshold under which it may not necessarily translate to a noticeable difference in user experience, especially when chat platforms already maintain low latencies with other technologies. Most businesses require a global, highly performant network to ensure the lowest latency possible. Sendbird continues to deliver on this requirement for large scale applications like Krafton (PUBG), PicPay, and Hinge to facilitate optimal user experience.

Sendbird’s Cloud infrastructure

At Sendbird, we prioritize user experience above all else. Our cloud infrastructure is strategically located in 11 regions worldwide, ensuring that users across the globe can connect to the nearest server, regardless of their location, and to this day, our communication latency is far below any human perception.

We also use local caching with speedy load time for offline messaging. Our SDKs monitor the network connection in the background to ensure that a dropped or intermittent connection is swiftly re-established once the network is back up.

Sendbird powers one of the largest mobile battle games PUBG: New State from Krafton, with a global user base that requires impeccable latency performance. Our cloud infrastructure and optimized APIs are designed to deliver the responsiveness and reliability necessary for seamless in-game chat experiences. Whether players are in the same city or on opposite sides of the world, they can effortlessly communicate in real time, making their gaming experience all the more immersive.

Considering users in different regions

To build on the example above, when two players are located in different regions of the world, the Edge Network will only establish the first connection a few hundred milliseconds faster, which while an improvement, is unlikely to be noticeable by the user.

Beyond the first connection, since every message will need to be written in the database that is not replicated at the edge, there will be no further latency improvement after the first connection. Therefore, the best performance will come from the quality and reach of the overall cloud network, which can ensure the lowest latency across regions.

In this case, the bigger and the greater the cloud, the better.

If the cloud performance already ensures that two players experience imperceptible latency, what is the value of bringing it down further below the noticeable threshold? There isn’t any, really… not to the user anyway. It’s therefore important to remind yourself of the difference between a marketing claim used to give a perception of innovation from the actual user benefit.

User experience is the ultimate measure

At the end of the day, the ultimate measure of any chat platform's success is its ability to provide a fantastic user experience. Low latency alone may not be enough to guarantee this outcome.

Sendbird focuses on building an end-to-end chat platform that offers unparalleled user experiences, regardless of geographical location and the real-time demand for traffic at any scale. Our dedication to continuous improvement and delivering next-generation chat has made us the platform of choice for leading global gaming companies and many other industries. From global social platforms like Yahoo! and international healthcare companies like DocPlanner to world-spanning games like PUBG from Krafton, Sendbird has garnered undeniable recognition and continuously reaffirms its commitment to excellence through the unwavering trust of its diverse customer base.

So what’s that cloud edge fuss all about? The true value lies in a proven infrastructure

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While an Edge Network may bring the platform closer to its users, the overall impact of reduced latency on the user experience may not be as significant as it is claimed to be. At Sendbird, we understand that delivering an exceptional chat experience requires more than just focusing on latency. Our comprehensive infrastructure addresses a multitude of requirements, earning the trust of some of the most demanding online customers, where chat is core to the user experience – such as Coupang, DoorDash, and Paytm.

In the world of chat platforms, it's essential to look beyond marketing claims and prioritize real-world performance and user satisfaction – and that's precisely what we deliver.

Our commitment to excellence is built on a robust cloud infrastructure, strategically positioned in multiple regions worldwide, ensuring seamless connectivity and unmatched performance for users across the globe.

By choosing Sendbird, you gain access to a proven infrastructure designed to meet the diverse needs of your users and provide an exceptional chat experience. Experience the difference with Sendbird today.

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