How to Build WhatsApp like Chat app & Technical Checklist to Consider

Calls, messages, file transfers – All the three makes the majority of actions made by any smartphone owner in the world on any random day. And it’s not a wonder that there is a mania to build chat app like Whatsapp and win its market share.

To the question of how to create a chat app like Whatsapp or just a one that’s universally accepted, the answer lies within knowing two things in depth.

i) Technical checklist ii) End-user preferences to consider

In the forthcoming portion, we are going to talk about both technicalities and end-user preferences that help to develop a chat app that works great on iOS, Android or any given platform.

Technicalities that are required to build a chat app like whatsapp

What has made WhatsApp the bible for building chat apps, be it for simple purposes or with enterprise-level sophistications?

Undoubtedly it is the architecture of the WhatsApp and the technicalities that pillars it to render an uncompromising experience across all devices. Well, here goes our effort in revealing the technical strengths of WhatsApp. And once you are done reading it, you can improvise them to make things much better. So here it goes…



The server and programming language pairing do the trick for WhatsApp. Ejabberd server does the duty of processing multiple messages between several nodes while the codes written with Erlang programming language takes care of the instructions. High sustainability and capacity to accommodate a huge communication network are the reasons for leveraging these technologies.

Storage and protocol used

YAWS takes care of multimedia file storage. YAWS is coherent with Erlang and this web server is meant for apps with high data loads. From XMPP protocol, WhatsApp engineers have moved on lately to a new protocol for server performance optimization.


FreeBSD happens to be WhatsApp’s operating system while Mnesia and MySQL are the databases.

Well, this checklist will sufficiently answer the question of how to develop WhatsApp like application that’s technically sound. Let’s move on to our next topic which happens to be the often overlooked area.

What do end users love to have in a chat app?

How to build a simple chat app that’s loved by end users? Here are certain end user preferences to look for. Focus on this is what separates Whats app from other chat apps built on iOs and Android. When you are reading our material, you never have to worry about it. We have made it a point to make things clear about user expectations.

Easy to Get Started


Users will be eager to experience your app, so the minimal the initial formalities are, the sooner they’ll get into the experiencing phase. To give a flying start for users, you can build a native chat app with single step registration. And to get started, contact information import from a phone book and social networks can instantly provide users with a flurry of friends to begin a conversation with.


Profile Customization

Cool quotient of profile is what users look for. Multiple customization options can extend their options to personalize the profile the way they want and offering provisions to link their social profiles via chat app would be a great advancement.


Messaging Options

When it comes to messaging options, the more number of options are, chances are more likely for user to get addicted to your instant messaging app. A few messaging options you can consider are i) One-To-One ii) One-to-many iii) Scheduled messaging iv) message broadcast to many groups etc.,


Security & Privacy

Ensuring safety of data or information shared and privacy are two factors which makes users feel pleased with a chat app. If you want to build such a build secure chat app the features to consider are HMAC, end-to-end encryption, self destructive messages, password protection for file transfer and premium encryption for chats.



Notifications keep users glued to chat apps with repeated reminders and alerts of chats they receive. On the other hand, repeated notifications can annoy users to the extent of getting rid of the app itself. So, notification moderating convenience is what all customers expect. Enable/ Disable option for group chat notifications can help in getting rid of ever-buzzing chats.

sharingFile Transfer

File transfers are the second best actions performed by every chat app user. Extending the capability to send more types of files like Images, videos, emojis are a part of the usual offering. Multiple file type support (.xls, .pdf, .gif), adding self destructive option can help you build real-time chat app for enterprises and teams.


Location Sharing

For users, location sharing makes things easy when they are in a unfamiliar place, want to find a friend nearby and under any scenarios where they need a map assistance. Google Maps location sharing with BLE and geo-location based technologies like iBeacon and Eddystone can be used to build chat apps that elevate user experience.

Other features that can make a difference to your chat app build

Video chats – The innovation that’s not far behind

In-app purchase – Monetization idea for your chat app can be a good revenue generator. In-app purchases can be set for people to buy more personalized experience.

Well, that sums up the list of end-user preferences that can be considered before you attempt to build a Whatsapp clone or an instant messaging app on iOS, Android or any other platform.

How to Build a Real-time Chat App?

Your dream chat app can be built choosing a readymade solution that can accommodate the above-discussed technicalities, end-user requirements and a one that’s flexible enough to bolt in any specific business requirement.

Apphitect IM Solution can be your perfect ally then. Apphitect IM is a ready-to-go solution that has the framework built to build chat apps that fully functional and technically sound. Have look at what makes Apphitect IM a great choice to begin your chat app development.

Adding to this, Apphitect IM is 100% customizable that makes it friendly towards any level of tweaks, downsizings and third-party integrations.

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About the Author: Masilamani


  1. Why are you using 3 different database when you can store the user details and sessions in Cassandra or vice versa

    1. We have made use of three different databases for holding three different purposes in order to achieve an optimal performance by minimizing the load.

      – Mnesia is for user sessions.
      – MySQL holds user info like account credentials, personal data.
      – Cassadra for Chat logs

  2. I want to create an app like whatsapp where I want to include peer-to-peer voice calling feature. Is that possible using your solution?

    1. Thanks for contacting us. Yes, You can get the voice calling feature implemented in the chat app where the end-to-end user can communicate with each other.

  3. Nice post! Got to know the technical stack to create a chat app. I’m into process of create one similar to this. Hope it comes out well ☺

  4. Got to see a whole list of end-user preferences here. Gives sufficient ideas to go on with the chat app development process with enough features!

  5. As i have knowledge in the development part i say, Creating an app like whatsapp seems a quit easy task when it comes with minimal features. But when we expect customizable features going for a readymade solution is the right path i agree!

  6. Do u have an app such as what’s app clone? In All The other apps available the clone remains maximum for a day and then it again asks to scan the code. Do u have or do u know any other app in which unless I logout from the clone what’s app it doesn’t disconnect or asks for the qr code?

  7. I am using XMPP for my Chat application for iOS, but i am not able to mange push notifications in background state using XMPP, how you are managing push notifications in background state, can you give me some idea technically .

    1. There are open source chat app builders that can be used for creating real-time messaging apps on iOS and Android, However, if you are concerned about Apphitect IM solution we’d like to mention that we give it’s SDK for a price.

  8. Do u have an app such as what’s app clone? In All The other apps available the clone remains maximum for a day and then it again asks to scan the code. Do u have or do u know any other app in which unless I logout from the clone what’s app it doesn’t disconnect or asks for the qr code?

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