Sendbird vs. Twilio:
A head-to-head comparison

Sendbird — complete in-app chat

Sendbird specializes in real-time chat and messaging for websites and mobile apps with a client-side SDK for iOS, Android, JavaScript, .NET, React Native, and Unity, and an out-of-the-box configurable UI.

Twilio — a leader in SMS

Twilio has built a large business around SMS. One area they haven't prioritized is in-app chat. Perhaps because it's a free and more reliable alternative to SMS and they depend on their SMS revenue. We can only guess.


Twilio has announced end of life for Programmable Chat as a stand-alone product — further confirmation that in-app chat isn’t a priority for them. Contact us to learn how Sendbird can help you build the rich in-app chat experience your customers expect.

At Sendbird,

we believe in-app chat, not SMS, is the future of user engagement for digital-first and mobile-first companies. We took a hard and – we promise – honest look at both products and put together a straightforward feature comparison to give you just the facts.

When you put Sendbird and Twilio head-to-head, Sendbird wins on scalability, advanced messaging features, moderation, translation capabilities, and more.

Advanced Messaging Features
Translation capabilities and more

Sendbird vs. Twilio:
A feature comparison

From a great user experience to fast time to market to rock-solid scalability, the Sendbird chat API includes the necessary features to engage your customers, drive more transactions, and increase stickiness.


Sendbird’s UIKit helps you create an in-app messaging experience in minutes with beautifully designed UI components in light and dark mode for Android, iOS, and React.

One-to-one and group chat

Integrate both private and group chat with Sendbird for easy scalability.

One-to-one chat
Group Chat Limit20,0001,000
Private Group Chat
Public Group Chat
Basic messaging features

Sendbird vs. Twilio basic messaging features are comparable. Both offer features like typing indicators, read receipts, online indicators, offline messaging, unread message count, and push notifications.

Read receipts
Offline messaging
Push notifications
Advanced messaging features

Sendbird prioritizes an engaging and modern messaging experience, offering many rich advanced features not available with Twilio.

Delivery receipts
Auto-thumbnail generator
File sharing
Advanced scalability features

Sendbird enables you to scale messaging with ease.

Smart throttling
Dynamic partitioning
User and channel search
Broadcast channelBeta
Message translation

Easily allow your users to chat in multiple languages with Sendbird.

Message translation
Message moderation

Sendbird allows you to moderate messages to keep your users safe. Twilio does not offer moderation.

Moderation dashboard
Freeze channel
User-reporting API
User-to-user blocking
Mute user
Auto-image moderation
Profanity filter

Both support standard web and mobile platforms including iOS, Android, JavaScript, React, and React Native. Sendbird also supports Unity.

Third-party integration
HIPAA compliance

Why Sendbird is the only Twilio alternative

If the priority is providing the best possible chat experience for your end users, Sendbird is the clear choice over Twilio.

Sendbird can handle 30 million+ monthly average users and 1 million+ concurrent connections per client app.

  • Open public channels Up to 100K users
  • Supergroups Private chat channels with up to 20K users
  • Dynamic partitioning Splits users into virtual groups
  • Smart throttling Slows down messages to 3-5 per second
Learn more

Sendbird offers modern messaging features that users expect, while Twilio doesn’t. Select Sendbird features include:

  • Delivery receipts All recipients receive a message with delivery receipts
  • Unread message count Get the total unread message count for all channels with one action
  • Reactions Built-in ability for users to react with emojis
  • Mentions Mention users by name to draw them into the conversation
  • Meta-array API Allows you to build polls, reactions, and more
  • Share files and multimedia Users can share files and multimedia inside of your app
  • Auto-thumbnails Reduces the bandwidth requirement for users because they can choose from three different sizes
Learn more

Sendbird’s advanced features further enhance the end user chat experience, unlike Twilio.

  • Translation 3 different translation modes: auto, push, and on demand (all of which translate into recipient's preferred language)
  • Moderation dashboard Search and moderate (delete) messages by time frame, keyword, user, or channel
  • Freeze channel Only operators can talk when a channel is frozen
  • Auto image moderation Auto-moderated images for explicit content
  • Profanity filters Filter messages with profane content to keep conversations safe
  • Data export Schedule data exports in bulk for analytics and backup
Learn more

Why users choose Sendbird as the Twilio alternative

“With Sendbird’s developer-friendly chat API and SDKs we were quickly able to build in-app chat."

Hiren Bhavsar, Director of PM

“We needed to find new digital ways for users to build meaningful connections and Sendbird's video API promises to do just that.”

Ben Celibicic, CTO

“Sendbird powers our core transaction flows via a fast and reliable messaging layer between our buyers and sellers.”

Victor Neo, Head of Engineering
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