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What is a chat API?

A Chat API (application program interface) provides access to a back-end chat service and server infrastructure to easily embed real-time chat inside your app. It also provides chat messaging features that allow apps of all kinds to engage, support, and grow.


What can you accomplish with a chat API?

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Chat API embraces countless use cases only limited by your imagination, including:

  • Ridesharing
  • Delivery
  • Marketplaces
  • Communities
  • Healthcare
  • Education

Integrating chat services within your app allows for live and async messaging to power conversations, sales, and customer support. With Sendbird’s Chat API, you can also add features such as live streaming and voice calling.

Solutions for every industry

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Financial services
Digital health
On-demand services
Social and communities

Top Chat API use cases

Chat API enables new channels of communication

Power one-on-one chat or engage an audience of millions.

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.

Key chat API features for optimal user experience

A chat API should provide some basic features.

  • One-on-one and group messaging, and open channel chat
  • File & custom-data transfers
  • Push notifications
  • Read receipts, delivery status, and typing indicators
  • Chat data analytics
  • Support for multiple platforms with native chat SDKs like iOS, Android, JavaScript, and .Net
  • Chat history
  • Webhooks to receive real-time chat events and data on your server
  • Profanity filters and user blocking
  • Online and offline status indicators

Advanced chat API features for modern messaging

  • APIs to export data and messages
  • Auto-thumbnail generation for rich media
  • Spam flood protection
  • Ability to create marketing or general admin announcements
  • Auto-translation
  • Moderation tools
  • An interface to plug chatbots into the chat stream
  • File encryption
  • Channel auto-partitioning and smart throttling of messages


Chat SDK vs API: What's the difference?
Is Sendbird's Chat API customizable?
Is Sendbird's Chat API cross-platform compatible?
How can Chat APIs improve my messaging app's user experience?
Can I integrate Chat API with my existing messaging app?
How do Chat APIs help with scalability and reliability of messaging apps?

Take your messaging app to the next level

Sendbird powers more than 7 billion messages per month. Join the millions of users sending messages through Sendbird today.