messenger app development

How to Build a Chat or Messaging App: The Ultimate Guide

Last updated on May 23rd, 2024 at 08:51 am

As we witness a more interconnected world, the importance of messenger app development has soared, as messaging apps have become a vital means of communication. With the proliferation of smartphones, we now possess the ability to interact with people in real-time, no matter where they are on the planet. This tremendous connectivity has led to an escalating demand for the creation of messaging apps, as both individuals and businesses strive to stay seamlessly connected with others.

This blog will explore the steps, costs, features, and technologies considered in creating a messenger app.

What is A Messenger App?

A messenger app is a software app intended to provide on-time communication between users. It lets the users send and receive messages in an informal format in different forms, such as audio, video, text, and images. Some recognized examples of messenger apps are Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, Signal, and Telegram.

This app is becoming popular over the year because it offers an efficient and convenient way for individuals to interact with each other, irrespective of their location. They are often applied for personal communication with family and friends.

As well as it is used for business communication with clients and colleagues. Several messenger apps provide additional functionalities like group chat, voice and video calls, file sharing, and making them flexible and multi-functional sources for communication.


Messaging Apps Statistics

Let’s take a closer look at messaging app statistics.

  • Message apps are now bigger than social networks by more than 20%.
  • 41 million texts are sent out each minute
  • Messenger is a well-known app in the United States, where 107.87 million people use it.
  • About 2.9 billion people now use WhatsApp and Messenger.
  • There are only 25 countries in the world where WhatsApp is not prevalent.

Messenger App Monetization Strategies

Messenger apps have become highly popular nowadays. Billions of them use this app in their daily routine to communicate with family, friends, and colleagues.

If you plan to develop a messenger app, it is significant to consider how you will monetize it. Let’s discuss some widespread monetization for developing a messenger app:

In-App Advertising

One of the effective ways of monetizing the messaging app is in-app advertising. It considers the display of ads within the app for producing revenue. Advertisers can target the users as per their location, interest, and other demographic data.

The revenue created from in-app advertising can be divided between the app developer and the ad network.

Freemium Model

Another popular monetization approach for messaging apps is a freemium model. It considers offering a basic version of the app for free but charges for using premium features. For instance, a messenger app may provide basic messaging for free but charge users for advanced features such as stickers, voice, video calls and emojis.

Subscription Model

This model considers charging a user monthly or annually to access premium features. For example, a messaging app may offer a premium version considering advanced messaging features, privacy settings, and other features.

In-App Purchasing

Another popular monetization approach lets users purchase virtual goods within the app, like emojis, stickers, and other digital content. The revenue produced from in-app purchasing can be divided between the app developer and the app store.

Sponsored Content

Some messenger apps monetize through sponsored content. It considers the partnership with advertisers and brands for creating sponsored content. These contents display within the messaging app. For example, a messaging app may partner with the brands to develop a custom sticker pack. It is available for users to purchase.

Data Monetization

Messenger apps can monetize by gathering user data and selling it to third-party advertisers. It can create risks for users due to security and privacy issue. But still, some messaging apps let the users opt out of data collection.

Messenger App Development Features

To develop a messaging app, you must choose the best features. Here we have categorized the messenger app into two diverse features, core and advanced.

Let’s delve into discussing it in detail:

Core Features of Messenger App Development

Platform selection is significant in developing the journey, as it can make or break your messenger app. The wrong platform and feature choice can cost you mainly in terms of time and resources in the future.

Following is the list of core features that each recognized messenger app includes in the app:


This messenger app development feature considers registering and authenticating the users for accessing the application. Users may be required to create an account using a phone number or email address and set a password. Another option is to sign in using their social media account like Google or Facebook.



User Profiles

The user profile feature allows users to add and manage personal data like their profile picture, name, and status. It can also demonstrate data regarding the user’s activity on their application, like their recent contacts and messages.

Messaging & Group Chats

These functionalities permit the users to send and receive text messages, videos, photos, and other multimedia content. Group chat also enables multiple users to participate in a single conversation, making it easy for groups of friends or colleagues to communicate and collaborate.

File Storage & Exchange

This feature permits the users to store and exchange files with each other. Users may be competent in uploading and downloading the files directly from the application or integrating the cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Video and Voice Calls

Messaging apps may provide features of voice or video calls and lets the users make calls to other users over the internet. These messenger app development features can benefit remote teams, friends, and family members who want to keep in touch.

Contacts Import

This feature lets users import their contacts from their phones or other sources. It makes it easy to find and connect with other users on the application.

Push Notifications

Push notifications inform users about new texts, calls, or other app actions, even when the app is not open. This messenger app development feature can aid in making sure that users keep updated with the current activity on the messenger app.


This app feature permits the users to customize their app experience, like changing notification preferences, app themes, languages, and other settings associated with the app’s functionality.

Cooperative/Business Section

This section of the app considers the functionalities that allow organizations to use the messenger app for customer support, lead generation, and other purposes associated with their business practices.

Cloud Storage And Backup

Cloud Storage And Backup feature permits the users to store their chat history, media files, and other app data in the cloud, ensuring that their data is backed up and accessible across different systems.

This feature also aids in making sure that users do not lose their data if they lose their system and uninstall the application.

Additional Features of Messenger App Development

The following additional feature can help to improve messenger apps’ functionality and usability. It gives users a broader category of tools and capabilities for communication, entertainment, and collaboration.


It is a better way to add personality to your application and make it more fun and engaging for the users. In addition, they can be applied to promote social offers, events, and so on.

Viber, for instance, has added music to this area and lets users add sticker packs. So, users can add their personal touch to each letter they send.

Digital Payments

It permits the users to transfer money to each other directly through the messenger app. Users may be competent to link their bank accounts or credit card to the application. And then it may be used to send and receive the payment securely.

End-to-End Encryption

It is a security feature that ensures that messages and other contacts exchanged on the app are only visible to the sender and recipient. It protects the user’s privacy and prevents unauthorized access to their data.

Disappearing Messages

Disappearing messages is another feature of messenger app development that automatically deletes messages after a set period. This feature aids users who want to keep their conversations private or ensure that sensitive data is not stored in the application.

Location Sharing

It permits the users to share their location with others on the application. It can be sound for users who wish to meet up with colleagues or friends or need to share their location for security.


This feature can be integrated into the messenger app and lets users play games with each other directly with the app. It can increase engagement and keep the users active on the application.


It is another automated program that helps to interact with the users and offers data or support. Messenger apps may use this feature to answer frequently, provide customer support, and offer users other automated support.

IT Solutions

How to Build a Messenger App?

Developing a messaging app needs a series of steps to be considered. The following are specific steps included in building a messenger app:

Step 1: Identify the App’s Goals

This step considers defining the app’s purpose and addressing the target audience. You must determine what features you want to consider in the app and what issues it will solve for the users. Furthermore, you must decide on your target platforms, like Android, iOS, or both.

Step 2: Select A Development Approach

There are two fundamental approaches to developing a messenger app such as native and hybrid. Native apps are developed mainly for a single platform, whereas hybrid applications are built using web techs like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML5 and then completed in a native container. The approach selection will rely on your budget, goal, and timeline.

Step 3: Select A Development Team

The development team will consider designers, developers, and testers skilled and experienced in app development for Messenger. You can hire a team to work on the development in-house or give the job to a third-party company.

Step 4: Design the App

The design must be user-friendly, visually appealing, and consistent with your brand image. The design must consider the app’s logo, Typography, colour scheme, layout, and other elements. It must also be consistent across all devices and platforms.

Step 5: Develop the App

The development team will focus on the programming language and tools best fitting the selected development approach. The development procedure will entail developing the app’s architecture, coding the features, and integrating third-party APIs. Hire a mobile app developer to develop the app using a feasible development approach successfully.

Step 6: Integrate the Required APIs

Messenger apps need the integration of different APIs like push notifications, social media, and messaging. Integrating such APIs will enable the app to perform its functions significantly. The development team must ensure that APIs are compatible with the selected approach.

Step 7: Test the Application

The messenger app must be tested to ensure it acts as intended. The testing procedure must consider all app aspects, such as usability, functionality, and performance. This step must be conducted on all platforms or devices to ensure the app works seamlessly.

Step 8: Launch the App

Once app testing and debugging are completed, it must be ready to launch. In this step, you launch the app (s) on different platforms and promote it among the target audience. You must create and optimize the app store listing for better visibility and downloads.

Step 9: Maintain and Update the App

After launching an app, you must update and maintain it regularly. It will consider bug fixing, adding new features, and enhancing the app’s performance. You will also need to keep up with the changes in the policies and regulations of platforms to ensure the application remains compliant.

messenger app development hire dedicated developers

Messenger App Development Cost

Regardless of the app type, the development cost is projected according to its complexity and features. The cost of creating a messenger app relies on different factors such as platform, feature, complexity, location of the development team, and development approach.

The average cost of a messenger app is between $30,000-$300,000.

Type of work



$28,900- $42,600



UI/UX design (for one platform)






Factors Affecting the Cost of Creating a Messenger App

Let’s discuss some details about the factors affecting the cost of creating a messenger app.


Messenger app development cost will rely on the multiple platforms you want to choose. Different development approaches, coding languages, and tools will be required to create an iOS and Android app.

Developing a messenger app for both platforms may increase the development cost if you wish to integrate third-party APIs like social media platforms or payment gateways, which will also add to the cost.


The cost of building a messenger app will depend on the features you want to consider. Basic features like messaging, voice, and video calls require less cost than advanced features like group calls, chatbots, and file sharing. Creating a messenger app will add more cost if you want to integrate third-party APIs like social media platforms or payment gateways.

Development Approach

The development approach may also add to the cost of creating messenger apps. For example, choosing a React native app development requires more cost than a hybrid one because it needs separate development for each create chat platform.

Hybrid app development is a cost-effective choice as it permits the development of messenger apps using a single codebase. It can be applied across multiple platforms.


The level of complexity may increase the messenger app development cost. For example, a simple messenger app with basic features costs less than a moderately complex app with advanced features and integration.

If you also want to create a messenger-like app with highly advanced features such as on-time transactions and AI-integrated chatbots, it will increase the cost.

App Complexity level Estimated Cost
Simple App $35,000-$60,000
Moderately Complex App $60,000-$100,000
Highly Complex App $100,000-$250,000

Location of the Development Team

Another factor that may affect the cost of building a messenger app. Hiring developers from developed nations like the USA, Australia, and the UK will be more expensive than hiring from developing nations like India, Vietnam, and Ukraine.

But it is significant to make sure that team you hire has the required skills and experience to create a better quality messenger application.

Region Hourly Rate of Development
Western Europe




Eastern Europe






Tech Stack

You may choose the tech stack based on the developer’s choice or new tech to handle the potential demand. But, some investment cost requires to match the tech stack with the demand. A user interface and other parts an end user deals with are part of a front.

Also, a server is a hardware/software part of the service that helps execute the app code and functions outside the user’s device. It may add to the cost of creating a messaging app.

APIs are protocols that connect the front end to the backend and integrate the external services that may increase the cost of creating a messenger app.

Server Infrastructure

You do not need to invest more in server infrastructure at the starting stage. While the user base increases, renting a cloud service will not be ideal. When any customer adds on, you must invest more in the server infrastructure for data storage.

Hiring A Development Team

Hiring in-house teams requires more extended time and cost, but they support creating higher reliability. Outsourcing with an experienced team will offer you technical knowledge at an affordable development cost.

The messenger app development cost can vary from $20,000 to $500,000 or more based on the above factors.

Technology Used to Create A Messenger App

Let’s now focus on the tech stack that can be applied to developing a messenger app. It may differ and depend on the project’s complexity and app functionalities.

Android App

App Functionality

Tech Stack

Networking Retrofit 2, OkHttp 3
Image caching Glide
Programming language Kotlin
JSON parsing Gson, Jackson
Database Room, Anko SQLite

iOS App

App Functionality

Tech Stack

Networking Alamofire
Programming language Swift

Backend Development

App Functionality Tech Stack
Programming language Node.js and JavaScript
Framework Express 4
Database MySQL
Infrastructure AWS
API Documentation Swagger

 Third-Party Services

App Functionality Tech Stack
Storage Amazon S3
Real-time engine
SMS Twilio
Emails Elastic Email
Push notifications for iOS. APNS
Push notifications for Android. FCM

How Can eBizneeds Help You to Build A Messenger App?

eBizneeds offers various services, such as unique social network website creation and a long development process that helps companies connect with the rest of the world. Our team of experts in making social media apps can combine the social aspects of traditional businesses with modern app solutions.

A recent illustration of our work is the development of converse chat, a social media platform intended to develop a secure (end-to-end encrypted) mobile chat application for SE Asia. It will share the market with the currently available chat app.

Suppose you are interested in creating a similar social media app. Contact us at eBizneeds, an exceptional messenger app development company, to learn more about our services.

messenger app development contact ebizneeds


Developing a messenger app could be a challenging and complex procedure. However, with the feasible approach, it can be enriching. By cautiously considering the steps considered, costs, required resources, available technologies and features available, you can develop a robust and engaging messaging app that would meet the requirements of your users.

Whether you are developing an app for personal use or your business, you must take the time to plan and execute the development procedure significantly, as it will aid in achieving success.


How much cost do you require to develop a messenger app?

The app development cost is evaluated by the time it needs and the hourly rate of expertise included. Creating a messenger app will require at least 550 hours of development time. But remember that It is a rough projection as the cost of developing a messenger app depends on project complexity, designing, testing, hiring a team, and development approach.

What features you must consider in developing a messenger app?

Following are some of the features you must consider while developing a messenger app:

  • Registration page and contact alignment
  • Create a profile
  • Messaging
  • File sharing
  • Video or voice calls
  • Tracking the location
  • Push Notification

How to reduce the cost of developing a messenger app?

First, you must develop an MVP version to increase the investment. If you don’t want VC-backed support initially, you can save that money and invest in the future when users increase. It would be best to consider different factors to reduce the cost of developing the messenger apps, such as technical complexity, range of OS devices, custom design, and the development company’s location.

Which technologies are used in creating a messenger app?

Various technologies are essential to execute critical chat app features. The protocol lets users send instant messages for free and is compatible with different programming languages. The backend tech includes database management systems such as web servers, secure and scalable storage services, and PostgreSQL. It ensures content and app delivery.

How to hire the right chat app development team?

When selecting a software vendor, different factors must be considered, from the developer’s experience in executing similar projects and the hourly rate of developers to the engagement model and integration with the company’s value. Don’t hesitate to contact us and discuss all the details about the projects with our specialization.

Related Posts