What is a chat API?

A chat API is an application program interface that provides access to a server infrastructure with the stability and broad features required for real-time chat and messaging at a scale suited to your needs from an intimate conversation to a massive chat.

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What can you accomplish with chat API?

Chat API embraces countless use cases only limited by your imagination. It essentially allows you to implement live (sometimes asynchronous) chat and messaging within your own mobile application, website, game, or other service. It can open new marketing or advertising channels. Or it can increase user engagement and retention. It emphasizes the core strengths of your product. It empowers conversations.

Chat API enables new channels of communication:

  • The most familiar form of online chat. Users can communicate in a game, dating-app, team collaboration app like Slack, or messenger apps.

  • Communication on an e-commerce platform between the platform, seller and buyer.

  • Communication between a service provider and a user or customer at a financial institution, healthcare provider, ride hailing service, or any other on-demand service provider.

  • Communication among a live audience and between broadcaster and the audience.

Since there are no issues scaling from two users to an audience of millions, the sky’s the limit.

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What should chat API provide?

A chat API should provide some basic features.

Those basic features should include:

  • One-on-one and group messaging, and open channel chat
  • Synchronization across all platforms
  • File & custom-data transfers
  • Chat history
  • Push notifications
  • Webhooks to receive real-time chat events and data on your server
  • Read receipts, delivery status, and typing indicators
  • Profanity filters and user blocking
  • Chat data analytics
  • Online and offline status indicators

It will likely include advanced features:

  • Message retrieval API and a data export API
  • Moderation tools
  • Auto-thumbnail generation
  • AI and chatbot interface
  • Spam flood protection
  • File encryption
  • Announcement API and admin messaging
  • Channel auto-partitioning and smart throttling of messages
  • Auto-translation

Most chat APIs would be compatible with voice and video API, too. So you could add voice or video chat supplied by other API providers.

Check out these links for more information on chat APIs: