How to Create a Messaging App and Bring It to the Market

by Vitaliy M.

Content Manager


messaging app

People send thousands of messages to relatives, friends, partners, and employees via special apps every day. For the same reason, numerous people want to create their own service and, to succeed, they explore the issue of how to make a messaging app.

There will be no one-size-fits-all answer because there are many aspects, both basic and individual, that need to be considered when planning your app development. Features, operating system, team, technology stack, peculiarities of the procedure, bugs, and rules — all these things and much more need to be studied.

Here, we will discuss what is vital to know before, during, and after the implementation of a project. Let's talk about some critical mistakes, which can thwart the owner's plan and lead to financial losses. This article will be your map on how to create a messaging app.

Definition and Purpose of a Messaging App

Messaging app stands for software designed specifically for smartphones and other mobile devices. The main goal is to satisfy the users' need to communicate and provide advanced functionality. Thus, in addition to standard messages, the app offers access to such options as:

  • Group chats;
  • Voice or video calling;
  • Media file transmission;
  • Photos;
  • Audio and video messages;
  • Exchange of live locations.

Therefore, if you intend to make an Android messaging app and keep up with the competitors, you need to consider what the market provides your TA with. Before we move on to the next point, which is directly related to the question of how to build a messaging app, let's clear up what makes it different from social media.

Both the former and the latter are used for communication. The difference lies in the fact that social networks have a broader set of functions. It is a kind of suite, combining chat, dating service, a news feed, and a personal blog. You can use them for chatting in communities and publishing posts, photos, videos, or listening to music. Messaging apps have fewer features and are a closed space for communication.

What You Should to Know Before You Start a Messaging App?

Year after year, the popularity of such services grows, and the income of their owners becomes higher. The most successful solutions on the market are WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), in China — WeChat, in Japan — Line, encrypted application — Viber, and many others.

You can create a real-time messaging app for your own enterprise as well. A striking example is the hotel industry, where owners implement their solutions that help keep in touch with clients, answer their questions, and improve the quality of customer service.

That is to say, messaging apps are about to go to the next level, so investing in the idea of how to build them is a real value for brands. However, to bring it to life and make the solution profitable, you need to learn a lot of things, from what features to choose to proper planning of your marketing strategy. Even if you don't design your tool yourself, the basic processes need to be understood.

How to Start a Messaging App

Developing an app or a website always requires a pre-analysis of the market, the target audience, and the competitors. This information helps you assess possible risks and see the prospects, learn your potential customers better, and, consequently, define the best strategies, and more. Nevertheless, let's discuss what you should do before the development phase.

create a messaging app

Product Analysis

Sometimes, businesses do this part of the work themselves and come to the developers with a list of requirements. If this point has been missed, the development firms can help with this issue. A business working on analytics together with an agency has more advantages. Joint efforts help achieve a single vision of how to build an iOS messaging app, make a reassessment of the work, and get a detailed budget for the project.

Business analytics helps identify the requirements for the application and options for its implementation. Based on the data obtained, user interaction schemes are created, as well as the basis of the UI is prepared. As a result, analytics gives brands:

  • Functional and non-functional requirements specification;
  • The basis of the graphical interface;
  • A project plan and a detailed budget.


After an analyst has handled their part, it is easier for the designer to understand how to create an instant messaging app, which will be eye-catching and convenient.

Creating a design is the development of the graphical elements of the product. Initially, a specialist creates a design concept, the UI (buttons, forms, fields), and all the pages. Then, the application is subjected to usability testing, which proves how user-friendly the interface is. The business gets a map of the screens, an attractive UI, and easy-to-use UX. It usually takes about 2 weeks.

Drafting the Terms of Reference

Before making a messaging web app, experts write a document, terms of reference, describing in detail the functionality of the product, business processes, and basic principles. It is designed according to an approved interactive prototype and product design. As a result, we get a list of the service's functions, interface, performance, and security requirements, as well as a description of how to implement the idea.

The technical document allows you to understand how difficult it is to make a messaging app and what are its implementation timeframes.


When all the steps have been agreed upon with the customer, developers can begin coding. In large projects, it is recommended that a minimum viable product is used, which helps evaluate the efficiency of the future application. Moreover, MVP allows reducing the time and costs of the customer by testing working hypotheses.

MVP represents a test version of the tool with the minimum set of features when you develop a broadcast messaging app for Android or iOS. And based on the test results and the feedback from the TA, the experts decide whether the service will meet the market needs.

During the development stage, specialists write code and design its architecture — they build an elaborate and well-tested client interface, logic, and a server for storing and exchanging information.


Testing is the search for bugs in the mobile application. Given that the smallest detail can affect the success of a service, you should not underestimate it. The professionals check the product at all stages of development, from the usability of the interface to the level of security.

Besides, to make an Android messaging app or an iOS one of high quality, in addition to the basic testing, we recommend that you perform regression testing as well. This will allow you to ensure that after fixing some bugs, new ones will not arise.


This is the last step of development, which implies the publication of the final solution in GooglePlay and AppStore. Nevertheless, before it becomes available to users, the service is subject to moderation. After the product is launched, you can make changes to the app without going through moderation again.

How to Make a Messaging App: iOS or Android?

Having learned about the stages of development, let's pay attention to the operating systems and which is the best one for your project. Actually, there are dozens of different operating systems available, but it is iOS and Android that occupy the largest percentage of the market. Hence, we are going to analyze them.

What about solvency? Business owners may want to start developing iOS messaging apps since the users of such devices are ready to pay for unique features, according to statistics. However, we should not discount people using Android. According to the same statistics, the owners of these gadgets have left more than 10 billion dollars on Google Play in 2020, which is 2.6 billion more than in 2019. This proves that Android customers are becoming more interested in app purchases.

Proponents of iOS also believe that it is easier to monetize apps with this operating system. However, the reality is that it depends primarily on the product, not the platform.

How to create a messaging app in this case?

You don't have to choose whether to build a messaging app for Android or iOS. A large percentage of businesses having created a product on one platform will move to both during the development process anyway. There can be several reasons to create a hybrid app:

  • By choosing one OS, a business loses an audience that can bring you income;
  • Developing a hybrid product is faster than splitting the process.

Native or Hybrid Apps

The native method of creating a service involves developing an application for one particular operating system. Cross-platform applications are written for all platforms at once so they are adapted to most devices.

The choice of type affects interface design, user experience, restrictions, and security. Thus, before creating an encrypted messaging app, you should analyze all aspects with the team of developers.

When does native development work?

  • If you need free access to all the resources and services of your phone;
  • If you want the most responsive application possible;
  • If the service has to work offline.

Why do you need cross-platform development?

  • The concept of your program does not involve complex animation;
  • If the software needs constant Internet access;
  • You have to enter the market quickly to test your solution.

About Functionality

The basic principle of how to make a messaging app or any other tool is thorough preparation. And how to achieve this has been described above. Various sorts of studies help determine the set of features to use. There are two types — basic and advanced.

The main features:

  • Registration. Think about how to make a calling and messaging app for Android that allows new users to sign up in several ways automatically — via a phone number or email. An important aspect here is also the ability to import contacts from the phone;
  • Profile customization. Once the user has registered, they should be able to personalize their profile by adding photos and personal information. But settings have not to be limited to this, so think about the ability to adjust the background, the text font, or even more;
  • Messages. This is the main feature of the application, which should be as user-friendly as possible. If we take a look at the already existing services and what they offer, we will see the possibility to check the status of the message. In addition, there are public chats, where you can invite a certain group of people, and private chats are becoming more and more popular. How to build a messaging app with feature-rich chat? Users want to see their chat history, so you are to use cloud storage. A voice or text search function will also be handy. Those who handle business emails will especially appreciate it. Sending voice messages is another basic feature of any chat room;
  • Calls. In the modern world, no messaging app would look complete without allowing users to make audio and video calls. No less interesting would be the option of video meetings;
  • Sharing files. Stickers, pictures, gifs — these are the elements that help express emotions in chats. How to make a messaging app and not incorporate the main emotional component into it? In addition, such elements can be a great form of monetization with paid stickers. Other formats of photo, video, presentation files should not be ignored either;
  • Notifications. An app that doesn't remind its users that a message has arrived won't interest them. The main value of this feature is to prevent users from forgetting to use the service and to allow them to always be aware of what's going on.

Additional Features

How to create an encrypted messaging app to make it successful? Don't try to put extra elements into it even if they seem to be universal. Your users and thorough market research will help you evaluate whether or not this or that option will be relevant in your solution.

What might it be?

  • Advanced profile settings;
  • Hidden chats;
  • Scheduling of messages;
  • In-app games;
  • Chatbots;
  • Stories.

How to Create a Messaging App and Monetize It?

build a messaging app

If you calculate everything correctly, such services can generate a good income for developers. However, just adding some kind of monetization system is not the most reliable way. Therefore, you should think about a monetization strategy.

  • Paid subscription. Most of the well-known services work on a free basis. That is why the "Paid Subscription" scenario is a questionable monetization option for a young tool that has just been entered the market;
  • Advertisement. This model is commonly used in all kinds of applications. Hence, you can develop a messaging app, where ads will appear. The main thing is to choose it correctly and not to use too many of them;
  • Paid features. Add-on functions of the app can also make a profit for your business. For example, paid advanced profile settings or in-app games;
  • Sponsors. The most favorable option for users. The latter are offered to see advertisements for a certain reward (e.g. bonuses).


While figuring out how to make a messaging app, we have almost missed an important point, without which your project runs the risk of being invisible to the target audience. That is why you should focus on the marketing strategy. Having this plan defines the financial and strategic success of your service.

To create a competent tactic, it is necessary to take into account the general statistics of the market, as well as to conduct a number of researches that allow you to determine effective promotion channels.

How to make a peer-to-peer messaging app with the right promotion tactics? You need to study the target audience, do a competitive analysis, and determine key performance indicators.


  • Use a website. By using your own portal, you'll increase your application's visibility and strengthen your credibility. But do more and discover the benefits of search engines and tie your site or blog to an SEO strategy;
  • Email marketing. Do you know that more than 90% of users who have an email check their inboxes at least once a day? Of course, each region will have its own statistics, but the point is, if you want to develop a messaging app and make a profit in the future, start gathering your TA email addresses in advance to use them in your marketing strategies later;
  • Social media. Perhaps it is hard not to mention social media when people all over the planet are so actively using such tools. Nonetheless, when developing strategies, it's essential to find out what platforms your audience uses most often. You can post on your accounts about how to create a messaging app, launch paid advertising, or ask for help from opinion leaders;
  • ASO. A key marketing promotion strategy (in the case of mobile software) is a set of measures to optimize the mobile application. This tactic is necessary to boost the visibility of the service on well-known marketplaces. To succeed, experts add keywords to the title of descriptions, optimize them, use ratings, reviews, etc.

Tips For Promotion

  1. You need to understand what makes the application flourish. Analytics and KPIs help evaluate efficiency. As a result, the owners can understand on what devices the app is being used, the users' behavior, their number, as well as the number of downloads or uninstalls, and much more;
  2. Bear in mind that users are not only looking for apps in specialized stores. One popular source is the Google search engine. More than 25% of users find their applications through it. Therefore, you should consider an SEO strategy;
  3. You can increase the app's visibility through marketing tools aimed at increasing the number of downloads. For example, videos that encourage people to install your solution or advertising campaigns.

You may find it challenging to promote yourself and gain recognition from your target audience in today's overcrowded marketplace. However, following these guidelines will make it easier and steer you in the right direction.


To summarize, we can say that the interest in the issue of how to make a messaging app is justified by its popularity, as well as promising forecasts. In this article, we have reviewed the basics of how to make a P2P messaging app step by step, the ways of monetizing it, and the principles of a marketing strategy.

If you have a great idea, just find the right team of experts, and then, you are sure to succeed in this field!


How much does it cost to develop a chat app like WhatsApp?

If you want a similar product, consider +/- $60,000. Adding more features or integrations is always about increasing the budget.

How long does it take to create a messaging app?

From research to deployment of the application, it takes 4-7 months. The period is shown from preparation to release. This does not include time for developing and implementing a marketing strategy.

Where can you find a company to make a messaging app?

The most effective option is to study the ratings on special websites. On such resources, you can also find company reviews and its portfolio.

How to make money with a messaging app?

Choose the right way of monetization. This can be paid add-ons, sponsorship, or advertising.

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