How To Develop An App Like WhatsApp: Complete Guide [2024]

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps owned by Meta….

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How To Develop An App Like WhatsApp Complete Guide

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps owned by Meta. Its popularity depends on various factors like instant messaging, simple user interface, and instant file sharing (images, high-quality videos, stickers, poles, map locations, PDFs, etc). WhatsApp launched “WhatsApp Business” in 2018 to enable smaller businesses to reach clients more efficiently. WhatsApp’s availability in over 180 countries increases its potential to reach over 2.7 billion people. 

Since then, WhatsApp Business has been a popular business option. Over 50 million businesses use WhatsApp for marketing purposes. WhatsApp Business is quickly becoming a requirement, particularly for e-commerce businesses. As of February 2024, it is the App Store’s top-ranked messaging app.

Have you always been curious about how chat applications like WhatsApp are designed? Developing an app like WhatsApp may seem challenging, but with the right guidance and tools, you can surely make an app like WhatsApp in 2024. 

Let’s understand how… 

Features To Add In Your Chat App Like WhatsApp

Best Features To Add In Your App Like WhatsApp

Developing an app like WhatsApp requires careful consideration of the basic features to add to your chatting application. Forget about the long lists of features or even the latest features WhatsApp continues to add every year. First, let’s understand some of the must-have features you should add to provide the best experience to your users. Let’s find out: 

1) Instant Chatting

The primary function of any chat program is to send and receive text messages in real-time. Users should be able to converse one-on-one or in group conversations, supporting multimedia file sharing (images, videos, and documents).

2) End-to-end Encryption

As previously said, users’ primary priority is security. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and receiver can see the messages, protecting user data from privacy violations.

3) Real-time Push Notifications

Real-time push notifications update users on new messages, calls, and other app-related activities. This feature promotes user involvement and timely communication.

4) Contact Management

By integrating the chat app with the user’s address book, users can easily search and communicate through their connections. The software should also allow users to add new contacts by entering their phone number or scanning a QR code.

5) Offline Support

Users should be able to view their conversation history and send offline messages. Messages can be saved locally and sent when the user returns online.

6) Cloud Messaging

Storing chat history on a cloud server allows users to view their discussions from numerous devices, giving a more seamless experience and assuring data continuity.

7) Monetisation Feature

Monetisation options such as premium features, stickers, and themes can be made available through in-app purchases, which generate revenue for the app.

Combined with a user-friendly layout and cross-platform compatibility, these features can help you build messaging software that competes with WhatsApp and Telegram.

Latest Features To Add In Your App Like WhatsApp In 2024

As a beginner in messenger app development, adding fundamental features should be your priority. Although you can learn about some of the latest features WhatsApp has brought in April 2024. Check them out: 

  • Two-step verification
  • Edit messages 
  • Send photos or videos in HD quality 
  • Voice message status 
  • Companion mode 
  • Prevent scam/unknown callers 
  • Lock private chats 
  • React to messages through emoji 
  • Add description/caption with pictures, videos, or documents 
  • Create polls 
  • Status link previews 
  • WhatsApp communities

Architectural Design To Consider While Developing An App Like WhatsApp

The credit for every successful app goes to its robust features and combination of powerful software tools. Have you been curious about the design and architecture behind chat apps like WhatsApp? Let’s understand this in detail:

WhatsApp Architecture Design
  • Each mobile device contains a local SQLite database that stores user data and communications.
  • Devices communicate via HTTP and XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). HTTP is widely used for web services, whereas XMPP is designed for real-time chat applications.
  • YAWS Server is the server that processes web requests, notably those sent over HTTP.
  • The custom ejabberd Server Cluster oversees message routing and user presence. It is built on the ejabberd framework, a powerful XMPP server.
  • Media Data manages multimedia messages such as images, movies, and voice notes. The figure depicts a pipeline in which media is treated differently than text communications.
  • Media Store CDNs (Content Delivery Network) are distributed systems that serve material based on the user’s geographical location, ensuring quick and efficient access. 
  • Databases like Mnesia DB Cluster, MySQL/PostgreSQL, and Riak are used in database management.
  • FCM (Firebase Cloud Messaging) and APNs (Apple Push Notification Service) are used for push notifications. FCM is used for Android, whereas APNs are used for iOS devices. 
  • Write-only data operations can be written to storage but not read or updated. It protects data integrity and security during particular procedures.

This diagram demonstrates WhatsApp’s distributed architecture, which includes relational and NoSQL databases, specialised servers for messaging, media storage solutions, and connectors with platform-specific push notification services.

 The separation of components ensures scalability and performance over a large user base. WhatsApp’s success is due to its ability to communicate in multiple languages and its careful integration.

How To Develop An App Like WhatsApp: Step-by-Step Process

Developmental Process To Make A Chatting App Like WhatsApp

Learn how you can develop an app like WhatsApp with simple steps. Below is a simple step-by-step process by which you can make your messaging app like WhatsApp. Check it out: 

1) Develop An Idea

Before beginning the development process, conduct extensive market research to establish your target audience and their preferences. Define your app’s unique selling characteristics and plan your development strategy.

2) Add Required UI/UX Design

Create a user-friendly UI with easy navigation and a compelling user experience. Make sure the design follows the platform-specific guidelines for Android and iOS devices. Contact Echoinnovate IT, a UI/UX Design and Development Company, to integrate the best UI designs in your chat app, such as WhatsApp. 

3) Backend Development

Set up your backend infrastructure with a real-time infrastructure-as-a-service, such as. Configure the database, APIs, and other critical components to handle user data and optimise app performance.

4) Frontend Development

Create the front end of your app using the framework and programming language you’ve selected. Use a chat SDK, such as PubNub’s SDKs, to enable real-time conversation in your program.

5) Adding Essential Features

Implement the previously specified key features, including instant messaging, phone and video conversations, end-to-end encryption, push alerts, and contact management.

6) Testing And Final Deployment

Test your app on various devices and operating systems to find and resolve any bugs, performance issues, or security risks. Deploy your program to the program Store, Google Play, or other app marketplaces, following their instructions and restrictions.

7) Maintenance and Support

To keep users interested and the user experience running smoothly, update your software regularly with new features, upgrades, and bug fixes.

Cost And Time Of Developing A WhatsApp App

The cost and time of making a messaging app like WhatsApp depends on multiple factors. Features, platforms, development team, and company make all the difference. To get a rough estimation of the overall cost and time in developing an app like WhatsApp, you may consider the table below for a better understanding: 

Cost And Time Of Developing A WhatsApp App

Build An Amazing Messenger App Like WhatsApp In 2024!

WhatsApp has become the leading messaging application and is projected to have three billion active users in 2024. Building a messaging app like WhatsApp can greatly benefit businesses in 2024. The messaging app market has unrealised functions and experiences that the clients will fully engage with. 

To kickstart your journey to making a fully functional app chat application, collaborate with Echoinnovate IT,  a popular E Commerce App Development and Ionic App Development company based in the USA and India. We can help elaborate on the project and development process, define app functionality based on your goals, and roughly estimate your project cost and timeline. Finally, you’ll have a strong plan for creating a unique messaging application.

FAQs- How To Develop An App Like WhatsApp

What are the key features to include in an app like WhatsApp?

Key features include messaging, voice/video calls, group chats, media sharing, end-to-end encryption, and status updates.

How can one ensure user privacy and security in a WhatsApp-like app?

Implement robust end-to-end encryption protocols, secure user authentication methods, and regular security updates to safeguard user data.

What technologies are essential for building a WhatsApp-like app?
  1. Utilize programming languages like Swift (iOS) or Kotlin (Android), database systems such as MySQL or MongoDB, and real-time communication protocols like WebSockets.

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