Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Hyphenate do?

Hyphenate is a cloud-based provider of in-app chat. Hyphenate’s in-app chat solution offers SDKs and a hosted REST API infrastructure that enables developers to integrate chat into mobile apps at a fraction of the cost and time of building chat in-house. Our solution accelerates strong user engagement and retention by fostering in-app communities. Integrating the Hyphenate In-App Chat platform is fast, simple, and allows apps from all product categories to add chat at scale.

The Hyphenate In-App Chat platform includes 1-to-1 chat, group chat, chat room (forum) audio/video messages, image/file sharing (up to 10MB file size), location sharing, and voice and video calls. Our platform is optimized for mobile devices, by reducing data traffic, conserving power (battery), maintaining TCP long connections, compressing audio, transmitting GPS positioning and handling user authentication/security.


What is in-app chat?

In-app chat is real-time communication that takes the primary form of text-based chat between users (1-to-1 OR a group of users) from their mobile device (iOS, Android) or web browser. Hyphenate in-app chat specifically refers to/enables text-based chat that takes place WITHIN the mobile app. In addition to text-based chat, Hyphenate in-app chat also provides advanced communication features, such as video/voice calling, photo/file/audio recording sharing, emojis, or geo-location sharing. All these features are customizable/optional, based on how app developers desire to implement our SDK and UI Kit into their mobile apps.


Why is in-app chat important for my app?

You’ve worked hard to create a compelling app experience, why send them off to a 3rd party when they want to chat?

Hyphenate In-App Chat enables your users to chat inside your app, where you have complete control over the branding and engagement strategy. You maintain control of the entire user experience, from the look and feel of the in-app messaging solution right down to the ability to block individual participants. By providing both you and your users the ability to send real time text, images, voice, video, gifs, maps, and emoji’s – or whatever comes next – you can all communicate together seamlessly, expressively, and at scale.


What are some use cases for in-app chat?

A great use case example is the Bambino app. Bambino is an on-demand babysitting app that modernizes the way parents find, book, and pay trusted neighborhood babysitters. The Bambino app was first published without a messaging or chat feature. Quickly realizing that parents and sitters were forced to use email, phone or SMS to communicate, they began to look into their options for adding chat to their app. They considered building a chat platform from scratch, but the cost, time, and resources required to accomplish this was determined to be too huge of a burden. Bambino then evaluated several 3rd party platforms, and Hyphenate, due to the ease of integration, scalability and competitive price, could not be beat. Adding chat into the app really makes Bambino complete. Nervous parents can check-in on their little ones at any point during their night out on the town, and sitters can reach parents via chat (which is less intrusive than making a phone call) with any questions they might have. To learn more about the Hyphenate-Bambino partnership, check out the blog "On-Demand Babysitting: Bambino - The Babysitting App You've Been Waiting For"

The beauty of Hyphenate is that it enables real-time communication in mobile apps of every product category, from social communities to marketplaces. Examples of specific mobile app product categories that could benefit from integrating Hyphenate In-App Chat are: Social Media, Dating, mCommerce, On-Demand Services, eLearning/Education, Health & Fitness, Fintech, & Mobile Gaming.


How long does it take to integrate Hyphenate In-App Chat into my app?

Hyphenate’s in-app chat SDK was designed to be plug-and-play, with only a few extra lines of code needed to get started. We also give you a demo UI for immediate testing. No servers, no extra steps or code to write. We consider our In-App Chat service a complete toolkit, because we’ve already taken care of the app messaging SDKs, the back-end infrastructure, and the network connectivity complexity for you.

The time required to integrate depends on the features that you’re looking to add into your app. The basic chat feature can be accomplished within 24 hours by referencing Hyphenate’s demo and using the existing UI Toolkit provided by Hyphenate.


How much does the Hyphenate In-App Chat service cost?

Hyphenate is completely free for up to 5000 monthly active users. This gives you the flexibility to integrate our SDKs and give us a “test drive”. Once you have scaled up to 10,000 users and require more storage, we will charge you $99/month per every 10,000 MAU. If you anticipate more user volume than this, please contact us. The cost of Hyphenate, not to mention the engineering resources saved, in comparison to build in-app chat in-house, can’t be beat.


What makes Hyphenate unique?

Hyphenate’s backend infrastructure that resides on Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers extremely high user concurrency (capable of supporting millions of Daily Active Users), has broad scalability (delivering billions of messages per day), and is highly optimized for mobile devices (small footprint, low power, network-aware).

The Hyphenate In-App Chat platform is embedded in existing apps (via SDK), so mobile app developers can better retain and engage their users. Mobile users chat with one another to be part of a community. Our SDKs enable app developers to create a completely customized user experience with several features. Since Hyphenate’s solution is optimized for mobile platforms (iOS/Android), it provides better efficiencies over Javascript/HTML5-based solutions. Additionally, the Hyphenate In-App Chat platform provides better cost savings over SMS-based messaging platforms.

Live chat and voice, video and file sharing capabilities are becoming increasingly relevant capabilities for mobile users to interact and engage. Developing, scaling and supporting these capabilities, however, can be complex and expensive. Hyphenate seeks to address these requirements with a complete in-app chat solution that is robust, scalable and optimized for mobile devices.


So people stay engaged within the app with in-app chat?

Yes, that is the main point of integrating chat into your app. You retain users that can connect, communicate, and engage with a vibrant community in YOUR app. Once users leave your app to use Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, or an SMS text message, you lose that user and any opportunity to monetize.