5 Best Chat API Platforms for Developers 2023
Today’s users expect a lot more from web and mobile applications. They are no longer willing to settle for basic functionality; they require speed, agility, interactivity, and dynamism on every site they visit and every app they use, regardless of whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. So, how do you deliver the best when it comes to integrating a popular chat service that helps them communicate with each other or the brand representative? The answer is the humble chat API. Whether it’s a Twilio chat API or another live chat API, the need of the hour is an easy way to embed such functionality into your own application in order to provide that seamless and highly functional experience that your users are looking for.
What Are YOU Looking For in a Chat API as a Developer?
To that end, we’ve curated a list of the top 5 livechat API options and other chat API products that you can choose from. The key here is to look for particular aspects that can support your business. Remember: your stakeholders – in other words, your business, your internal customers, and the external end-users of the application in question – are not thinking in terms of API complexity or how hard it is to implement a solution. All they want is for their chat tools to work perfectly whenever they need it. So, as a developer, it’s up to you to worry about the nitty-gritty, such as:
- API Request Success Rate
- RPM, RPS, and QPS level projections
- Endpoint latency averages and limits
- Errors Per Minute
… and so on. You’re the only stakeholder responsible for these metrics, which makes choosing the right live chat API or any API a crucial component of success or failure. And by that, we mean the success or failure of how well your integrations are able to serve the needs of the business as well as the end user.
With that, let’s take a look at some of the top chat API solutions available today.
Top 5 API Chat Products for In-App Chat and Live Chat
This versatile chat SDK allows you to flexibly build custom chat solutions for a variety of scenarios. It offers more than 50 different chat features to enrich the end-user experience and have that translate into success for your organization. The UIKits SDK lets you deploy chat environments in minutes, not hours. Use it with the readily available UIKit components and you can quickly create an engaging chat service with unique capabilities.
ZEGOClOUD prides itself on superior API capabilities and rapid deployment of state-of-the-art chat solutions across a wide range of device formats and operating systems.
- Fast integration with any mobile or web application
- Chat SDK is easy to integrate and fully customizable
- Numerous chat solutions – one-to-one, private group, public, offline, push notifications, etc.
- Rich features – media attachments, unread message count, one year of message history, etc.
- Latency as low as 200ms with 99.99% API success rate
- GDPR compliance-ready
- Virtually infinite concurrent messages
- Chat categories – social, team, live streaming, marketplace, telehealth, gaming, and more
- Cross-platform SDK: Flutter, React native, iOS, Android, Web
- AES256 and TLS encryption for robust security
- UIKits SDK and components for rapid time-to-market
First 10,000 minutes free every month,
As you might already know, Vonage is one of the pioneers of Voice over IP or VoIP solutions. Though not the first to the game, it does have the privilege of beating Skype to the market! Vonage bought Jumper.ai in 2021, giving it the ability to offer what it calls Conversational Commerce.
In essence, it’s a communications API for chat services that can be integrated into your own product to provide automated responses to customer queries and even facilitate sales conversions by streamlining your sales funnel and diverting your valuable resources to other high-value tasks.
- Automated responses
- Human handover to live chat agent
- Easy-to-build chatbots
- Conversion and engagement tools – payment gateways, appointment booking, order sync with inventory, calendar invites, etc.
- Data capture and business intelligence mechanisms
$5,000 setup fee (one-time)
Recurring fee starts at $1,000 a month (10 agents) or 3.5% of sales generated via Jumper.ai, whichever is higher
Additional agents charged at $35 per month per agent
Additional channel charged at $350 per channel per month
#3: Sendbird Chat
This API-based chat service allows you to embed the power of conversational interactions with your customers into your own web and mobile applications. Used by some top companies around the world such as PayTM, Reddit, and Teladoc, Sendbird chat offers a range of capabilities for two-way private and public chat messaging, engagement, moderation, and analytics. It also offers third-party integrations for chatbot deployment and post-event webhooks.
One distinctive advantage of the Sendbird Chat API is that, similar to ZEGOCLOUD, it offers UIKit options for different platforms, making it easier to go to market with your chat integrations. The chat SDK itself is supported with samples and tutorials so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own.
- Private, group, and supergroup chat channels
- Attachments, admin messages, templates, etc.
- Dashboard for moderation with domain and profanity filters
- Data export and analytics
- Offline messages, message search, message translation, and more
- Channel management tools like throttling, freezing, and spam flood protection
Free for up to 100 MAUs or monthly average users
$399 a month for the Starter Plan
$599 a month for the Pro Plan
Paid plans have a 5k MAU minimum, after which pricing is calculated based on additional MAU blocks (5k, 15k, etc.)
This API chat service comes prebuilt with a user interface SDK and includes notifications. It supports multiple chat use cases like one-to-one, group, and livechat API. It can be deployed in a number of scenarios such as marketplaces (for buyers and sellers to interact), educational platforms (to facilitate chat rooms and one-to-one chat), online job portals (connecting a hirer to a freelancer or jobseeker), and so on.
TalkJS is best known for its customizable themes where you, as a developer, get to control the layout, styling, branding elements, and other aspects of the chat API. It’s a developer-friendly product with a lot of great tools that you can use right out of the box, such as notifications, email triggers, text messaging alerts, and more.
- Pre-built UI to quickly add chat capabilities on any app or site
- Realtime messaging with extensive features – search, translation, file sharing, chat history, etc.
- TalkJS Themes – custom fonts, borders, colors, avatar styles, shapes, and more
- Easily integrate into your back end with webhooks for event-triggered notifications
- Out-of-the-box email, push, SMS, and desktop notifications
- Chat moderation and analytics tools
Basic Plan is $279 a month for up to 10k MAUs
Growth Plan is $569 a month for 25k MAUs
Enterprise Plan pricing on demand
Additional MAUs charged at $0.03 to $0.04 per month
#5: Twilio Conversations API
Similar to Vonage’s Jumper.ai, Twilio has its own Communications API or chat API that boasts scalability to any degree and simplicity of deployment. However, it’s a little more complicated than it looks because even though it is marketed as “A single API for seamless conversational messaging”, there are several moving parts, of which chat is merely one of them.
This complexity does allow developers to build out compelling conversational and engagement platforms for their products but it requires time, effort, and more than a little relevant expertise to get the job done. The unique aspect here is the ability to blur the lines between various channels such as email, texting, MMS, Messenger, Google Business, WhatsApp, and others.
- Cross-channel media and text communication
- Multichannel messaging
- Delivery status across channels
- Pay-as-you-go model – no subscription lock-in
- Web and mobile SDKs and UIKits for faster deployment
- Customizable components – messaging, user participation, etc.
- Webhooks for intelligent escalation using Twilio Studio flows
No Free Tier
Starts at $0.05 per active user per month
Media Storage at $0.25 per GB per month