May 18, 2020 Admin

Mobile App Development

Cost and Features Involved to Build Business Messaging App like Slack

Can you imagine a workplace without effective communication? If there is any, then the future of that office is at stake. Every IT professional services provider business is now focusing more on the smooth flow of communication than ever and apps like Slack are helping them to attain their goals. Looking at the rising demand for messaging apps in the workplace, people are now coming up with innovative solutions.

Hitherto, we have successfully delivered varied mobile app solutions and messaging apps are one of the most popular ones. If you are looking forward to introducing your own instant chat app, then here are a few points that can help you understand this industry better. Have a read:

The Rise of Slack

Honestly, Slack was not an instant success. It has its own share of ups and downs along with some intense challenges. However, the messaging app fought its way through everything and has now become one of the most popular and widely used messaging apps for workplaces. It was an internal tool used by video game developers but soon it was shut off in 2012. The team of the company came up with a new idea and introduced Slack as a standalone product just after nine months. It was a business communication application that enabled employees to connect with each other instantly via text message. Considering the features and benefits that this platform offered, it reached the peak within a year with a total valuation of $1 billion, the fastest company to achieve this ‘unicorn’ benchmark. 

Yes, there were some factors that worked in favor of the company, such as its already existing tool Slack, amount of $16 million raised by the firm, and probably some luck. However, we cannot ignore the convenience and ease that it added to workplaces. It revolutionized the way colleagues interacted and companies offered support services to customers. It displayed features that enhanced user experience and introduced frequent updates to fix bugs, improve productivity, and keep people engaged. 

Here are some reasons that made Slack stand out from other workplace messaging apps:

  • Numerous options under free and paid plans
  • Private and group texts along with direct messaging
  • Availability of separate workspace by a specific URL
  • Content sharing option for images, documents, etc.
  • Internal search for people, files and channels

The Growing Demand for Instant Messaging Apps

Just within the first three months of 2020, the world faced a global crisis, a pandemic, when every country started practicing lockdown. People were restricted to their houses but still needed to carry on with their professional life. Of course, remote working was the only solution and instant messaging app like Slack and Skype made it easier for the companies to ensure smooth communication. However, this time also made us realize how important such communication tools are for all of us. It is surely a big business opportunity for enterprises to come up with an idea that allows quick, personalized, and real-time interaction. 

Growing Demand for Messaging Apps

Apart from employees, customers also seek reliable messaging apps while connecting with a brand. As per a recent report:

  • 61% of customers appreciate when businesses send personalized messages
  • 63% of users value the ability to make a purchase or pay a bill with a messaging app
  • 50% of people prefer interacting with a business if they can message it

Looking at the numbers, we can say that the demand for corporate chat apps will only soar high in the future. If you want to mark your name in this industry, then this is the right time to take your first step. 

Why Do Businesses Need Innovative Office Messaging Apps?

Before you build a messaging app like WhatsApp or Slack, there are some facts that you must know. There are already many messaging apps that provide exclusive features to users and a gamut of benefits. These platforms make it convenient for users to exchange text messages instantly along with files, documents, images, videos, etc. They can do video and voice calls, group chats, editing with the assured security and most of these mobile applications can be installed for free. Every app comes with its set of unique features, such as:

  • Line has a different timeline from others where the users can post and comment.
  • WhatsApp is free to use and easy to set up.
  • Telegram showcases encryption capabilities and security.
  • Viber has an option to make landline calls.
  • GroupMe allows up to 500 users to have group chats.
  • WeChat enriches user experience with a built-in payment feature.
  • Snapchat comes with fancy filters for photos and videos.

However, despite the availability of numerous options, companies still look for authentic messaging applications that can make their operations smooth and keep the communication flow organized. There is still a great scope for many new concepts and apps to try their luck in the market and share the profits. Some of the reasons why workplaces need more such app are:

  • Rising trend of messaging apps
  • Achieve decentralization
  • A step toward advanced technology
  • Ensure security during message exchange
  • Easy integration
  • A dedicated portal designed exclusively for their company
  • Faster and effective communication mode
  • An admin controlled system
  • Convenient in-app features

So, as you seek a mobile app development service for your business messaging app, make sure you have done competitor research. Explore an idea that is unique and innovative to offer what unsatisfied costumes desire and how you can fulfill their needs. Tap into the potential of the instant messaging app sector and you will attain your goals for sure. 

What Are the Key Features of Messaging Apps?

Slack provides a chat room for workplaces where employees can connect for group discussions and share significant information. Considering the primary motive that it serves, the app offers rich and flexible functionalities to users. So, if you want to launch an app, you must come up with a set of features that can compare to Slack. To help you stay ahead of trends, we have listed a few must-have features of office messaging app:

Features of Messaging Apps

User Login: Although Slack allows you to log in using your social media accounts or email id, it is better to use official id to register yourself in such corporate messaging apps. This will keep things formal and all the communication will be from your official email address.

Personalized Profiles: The next feature to include in the app is personalizing the profile by adding or changing user name, profile picture, fonts, etc. Allow your users to change the status, and see if others are typing or online.

Share Text Messages: The key objective to build a business chat app is to let colleagues interact with each other smoothly, hence the message sharing feature. It can be either one-to-one chat or group conversations but the process must be fast and seamless. You can also make chat rooms customizable but overall the platform should be reliable and simple.

Voice & Video Calls: Texting is not always adequate while communicating in an office and people may need to connect over a video or audio call. Therefore, include this interactive option that doesn’t restrict the interaction. Users can call anyone from their contact list and chat within a few seconds. 

Media Files Sharing: If you are keeping up with app development trends, you must have noticed how frequently people share media files, such as videos, images, documents, audios, etc. Mark this point in the list of your must-have features and you are good to go. 

Message Broadcasting: With this feature, a user can create a group of contacts and share a message with all of them together. As soon as they will receive the text, it will appear on their screen as a non-group message. 

Appointment Reminders: Another feature that you must remember during messaging app development is a reminder. Employees can schedule the upcoming meeting or presentations on the app and can be notified well before the time and date.

Encryption: As an app provider, it is your duty to secure the data and information of the users. Thus, end-to-end encryption is required that keeps the messages safe from any infringement. Only people involved in the interaction can access the message and any attempt by a third-party to break the code fails. 

Location sharing: This element helps users to pin their location and others can see the same on the app.

Contact sharing: Here is another feature to add convenience to user experience. People can share contacts with others which are then saved to their contact list automatically.

Push Notifications: This one is a common feature that you can see in Whatsapp and any other mobile app. The app will send notifications to users about any message, received files, updates, or meeting schedules.

Advanced Features

  • Automatic contact sync
  • In-app camera
  • Built-in games
  • Integration with cloud services
  • Search Widget
  • Stickers and pop up stickers
  • Bots
  • Offline persistence

Technology Stack for Messaging Apps

Technology Stack for Messaging Apps

What Are the Cost Components to Develop an Instant Messaging App?

Estimating the exact cost to develop a corporate messaging app is a bit difficult as it involves various factors to quote the price. Right from the beginning of development technology employed to the team taking care of your project, all the aspects are considered to calculate the final amount. Here is a quick look at the cost components to develop your app:

Cost Components

Backend Development: The first step is to prepare the skeleton of the app. It includes everything from server and cloud storage systems to APIs and interface. The architecture takes a minimum of 350-450 hours. 

UX/UI Design: How your app will look, its interface, user experience, design, appeal, and features are a part of UX/UI design. The fancier and advanced your design is, the more amount you will have to shell out.

Technology: We have already given you an insight into the tech stack of developing a messaging app. Although many of them are open-source, there are several others that you will have to pay for.

Features Complexity: You are aware of the basic and advanced features that you can include in your app. However, for providing your users with the listed advanced features, you will have to spend additional cost but the returns will be worth every penny.

Platform: If you are planning to launch the app on one platform, i.e., either Android or iOS, then you will have to spend less. However, if you plan to introduce a hybrid app that is compatible with all the devices, then it will be costlier for you.

The Team Involved in the Messaging App Development Process

We preen ourselves for our dedicated development team that will spare no effort to deliver you an app that is second to none. Have a look at the professionals who will work on your project:

  • Project Manager - 1
  • Business Analyst (optional) - 1
  • Mobile Developers -  2 Android, 2 iOS 
  • Web Developers - 1 front-end, 2 for back-end
  • Quality Assurance Engineers - 1-2
  • UX/UI Designers - 2

What Is the Approximate Cost to Develop an App like Slack?

After taking a look at all the factors and experts involved in the workplace messaging app development process, it’s time to break the process down and add the total amount. We will start with backend development which is almost 300 hours and cost includes $22K-25K. The next in the line is frontend development that demands 200-250 hours with the amount that ranges from $32K-36K. The design will take almost 150 hours and will cost you around $20K. You will have to spend a minimum of $65K-70K for the app with basic features. With more advanced functionalities, the amount will only soar high. 

Let’s Chat!

We agree that there are numerous messaging apps in the market and the competition is getting fierce every day. However, it is the idea that counts, how you can make a difference, and what unique product you can offer to your users. 

Yes, the process may seem a bit complicated but with the right guidance of our experts, you will certainly stand out. So, do not waste a minute and get in touch with us now. 

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