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about 8 years ago

3 Cool Tips to Add Messaging to Your App

Now that you’ve had a few days to register and explore ideas for how to crush the competition, we want to help you get started quickly so you can add cool messaging capabilities to your app. We’ve come up with a few ideas to help you think about how to improve your app with messaging. Here are 3 possibilities that leverage one or more of the interactive messaging scenarios required in the “Official Rules”:

Use Chat to Ask for Help
Add one-to-one or one-to-many chat so users can easily ask for help or request assistance inside your app. Think about how chat can be used to improve the user experience. Are users getting stuck with a given feature? Is there a way to ask for more details before completing a purchase? Do gamers need tips when they encounter a particularly difficult challenge? All of these and more are common scenarios where the simple act of asking for help and getting a response from the right person can make all the difference. Be sure to pay attention to context. These scenarios often offer possibilities to streamline the chat experience because the developer knows something about how or where chat is used inside the app. Take a look at our more detailed blog post about adding this capability to your app. You may also want to review steps and API details for adding chat to your app for iOS or Android.

Share Announcements
Announcements are a great way to send a series of messages or updates to a group of people. Announcements are a classic example of one-to-many messaging. Examples include “Last chance to buy tickets for Friday’s show!”, “Please remember the downtown office will be closed on Monday” and “The staffing schedule for the Thursday event has been updated”. Remember that these announcements don’t just need to be text strings…they can also be HTML, JSON or even images. By leveraging Magnet Message to create a public forum, you can easily send content to users of your app. While some scenarios require you to send announcements to all users of your app, be aware that this can sometimes lead to problems if your app users feel they are getting spammed. As an alternative, you can organize announcements according to a topic or theme. With Magnet Message, we give you the ability to create channels and send messages to those specific channels. (For details, see Magnet Message concepts overview.) This is a specific usage of publish/subscribe functionality that is built into Magnet Message. It lets senders create announcements and “publish” those to specific channels. When users “subscribe” to channels of interest, they automatically receive announcements sent to that channel. For more about creating announcement-style functionality in your app, see details about creating a public forum for iOS or Android. To review a sample app created to send announcements, check out Soapbox, which includes full access to source code.

Share an Image
We often get questions from developers about scenarios that go beyond sending simple text messages. One of the more common requests is how to use Magnet Message to share images between users or across a group. An image can be used in combination with text chat to include a profile photo or gif with a message. An image can also be the message itself, as is the case with photo sharing or photo-based chat. Sending images can be relevant to user-to-user chat scenarios, public forums and private discussion groups. While smaller images can be sent as binary payloads across the messaging transport, developers should consider size and performance implications and may want to use a different approach. In a previous Magnet blog post, we explained how to use a URL in the message payload to transfer any kind of file (including an image!) using our Magnet Message SDK for iOS and Amazon AWS S3. The post includes links to sample code and explains that the basic approach can also be extended to other types of storage backends like Box or Dropbox as well.

We hope these examples give you new ways to think about leveraging Magnet Message in this challenge. Please contact us in Discussions or our Forum if you have questions or need assistance as you build out your app.

-- The Magnet Team