The Quest for the Perfect Internet Chat Solution: A Comprehensive Review

The digital age is changing how we communicate, building on traditional methods like calls, short message services (SMSs), and electronic mail through innovative chat solutions.

Thus, this article looks at this revolution, reviewing how these chat solutions are growing from text-based interfaces to advanced systems with audio and video capabilities for real-time conversations.

This analysis will help us understand whether these are the perfect chat solutions that the world desires, and if they are not, what capabilities and technologies are steering the search for even better chat services.

The History of Online Chat Services

Online communications are not even a century old, and developers create new chat services almost daily. Hence, we should expect exponential growth. It started with the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988.

This system allowed users to connect over different channels and hold private or group conversations. Less than a decade later, in 1996, Instant Messaging (IM) platforms like ICQ introduced this idea of communicating with a larger audience. As such, users could use ICQ to track connections that were online. 

Then, the world ushered in the 2000s, and despite fears about the Y2K bug, it seems the turn of the century brought with it better online communication. Hence, new chat technologies, including Yahoo Messenger, debuted.

These showed the world that communication required more than just text chats. That it was possible to add graphics in the form of emoticons, and that communication through file sharing was also feasible. Consequently, online chatting became a more engaging and exciting experience.

Before long, communication moved to mobile apps through smartphones. They had more features beyond the text and multimedia messaging of the previous age. For instance, dating apps made it possible to meet random strangers using your webcam. The geographical boundary created by traditional communication methods ebbed away.

Online conversations changed from text chats with emoticons brought by technologies at the turn of the century to multimedia discussions through voice and video calls. In addition, applications like WhatsApp and Telegram replaced forwarded SMS chains by enabling group thread chats.

The Perfect Chat Solution: Does it Exist?

Given the strides made in the history we have discussed above, chat services will continue to evolve, and there may eventually be a standard that users consider as the bare minimum feature across chat solutions. For instance, now, a chat app either has text and video, text only, or text, video, and audio capabilities as the minimum communication features. 

Nevertheless, for now, since a perfect chat solution does not exist, users look for a balance of various functionalities and features, including the following:


There are many ways to define a chat service as reliable. For example, you can say you have a dependable chat solution because it sends messages promptly regardless of the fluctuations in your network. In addition, you can term it as reliable if it sends error-free messages, meaning the recipient gets what you send. For example, it shares complete files. Such efficiency can be one of the ways to differentiate chat solutions for professional use.

You may also consider a chat service reliable because of its performance when the number of users spikes. It should support communication without degrading its performance, having stand-by servers to step up so that the user does not experience infrastructural inefficiencies. 

On top of that, the system’s maintenance activities and upgrades should not cause downtime. Such a chat service creates practical update schedules, whether it means rolling them out gradually.


Having versatile features enables different users to enjoy the service as they choose a communication mode for their present needs. For instance, you can send a text chat to customer care requesting support. You can follow it up with an image of the problem you’re experiencing if the solutions given do not work.

You can also tell a chat solution is versatile by the tools and services available. For example, if the chat service targets business people, it can have project management tools and a calendar app. 

Chat services also stand out for allowing customization. For example, it can allow you to change the user interface theme, how often you get notifications, and the app language.


Security features are probably the first concern for a new user because of the personal data shared daily, ranging from financial information when paying for premium features to media files. Sometimes, specific compliance requirements define how a chat service or app handles user data.

End-to-end (E2EE) encryption is one of the most common security features in this age, used on chat apps like Signal and WhatsApp. It deserves the spotlight because of the changes it brought to online conversations. E2EE encrypts the message on your device (the sender) and decrypts it on the recipient’s side. As such, even the service provider cannot decrypt it in between. It might be the standard for all chat platforms in the future.

Another area that requires safeguarding is data on the server. Thus, chat solutions can set access controls, encrypt databases, and conduct regular process audits. On top of that, it can have data retention policies that reduce data storage duration to prevent malicious attacks targeting user data.

You may also find chat solutions that engage independent companies to audit their security systems for potential breaches.


Another challenge for chat services is privacy. As such, some chat solutions state in their terms how they intend to collect, use, or share user data. Others also add a policy that allows the user to control their data. For instance, a chat app can permit a user to delete messages or the entire account. 

There are also emerging issues like requests for user data from law enforcement and the government. Consequently, the perfect chat solution can have a compliance framework that abides by legal requirements without compromising privacy.

It may also use features that limit the level or magnitude of data breaches, such as messages that disappear when a user leaves the chat.

Cross-platform Compatibility

This function allows users to maintain connectivity irrespective of the device they choose. For example, a person can start a conversation on a smartphone on the way to work and switch to a desktop computer in the office. 

This interoperability can be demanding on developers as it requires separate applications that users can access flawlessly on different devices. You don’t want to start a conversation on a smartphone and can’t find your chat history when you access the same application on your desktop.

In addition, these applications must conform to the standards of each platform, whether Android or iOS. Further, as they maintain platform requirements, they must give users equal access and functions, whether you’re looking for GIFs, themes, stickers, or fonts.

Chat Solution Suitability to the User

Personal chat solutions are not the same as services suited to professional use. For example, the chat solution on an eCommerce website can provide basic features like emojis and GIFs. 

However, such features do not suit a formal setting, such as a chat service connecting employees in different branches throughout the state. They require productivity, project management, and collaboration features. Educational institutions also benefit from a chat service that considers functions like virtual learning and group discussions.

Advanced Technology

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two technologies that are changing the functions of chatbots. For instance, chatbots can now interpret queries and serve the most relevant answers. As such, a business can use chatbots to respond to frequently asked questions and queries when human staff are unavailable.

Virtual and augmented reality are two other technologies changing the experience for users on chat solutions. For instance, augmented reality can transform an eCommerce shopping experience, allowing a user to overlay items in the real world before making a purchase commitment. 

Accessibility and User Experience

One of the areas that can frustrate a user is the learning curve to use a chat interface. Minimizing the process, especially for differently-abled users can increase engagement. For example, screen reader compatibility is essential for visually impaired users, and a chat solution can also allow color adjustment and text resizing. In addition, voice recognition can help users with motor impairments.

Integrating these and more features to boost accessibility cannot be an afterthought. These should be considerations made during chat service design to meet accessibility standards.


Although many users may not worry about or even consider scalability, this technical issue can affect chat service functionality when user needs or technology changes. Consequently, a chat solution can leverage cloud-based infrastructure to allocate resources as the user base or data volumes increase. 

In addition, a scalable chat service can also enable database sharding to break down databases into subsets and reduce load, ensuring servers function optimally. Another option can be load balancers to control user traffic by distributing it evenly across servers.

Final Thoughts

While the list of desirable features and functionalities reads long, the present range of chat solutions meets some of these requirements. Therefore, it’s only a matter of time before the world gets a chat solution that balances the requirements for a user-friendly interface without compromising service performance or profitability. 


Sudeep Bhatnagar
Co-founder & Director of Business
Sudeep Bhatnagar

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