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Sendbird Alternatives: Top 10 (Free/ Paid) Competitors For 2024

Published On May 24th, 2024 692Communication

Want to know where top apps switch from Sendbird? Here is a full review of the best in-app chat alternatives, if you are looking for a change this year. 

We know that Sendbird has been in the market since 2013 and is still growing strong in features and technologies. But for some reason, you might want to migrate to a different solution. Understanding this, we’ve prepared a curated list of the top 10 Sendbird alternatives. 

This list will cover 3 important details: 

  • The key differences between Sendbird and its alternative
  • Unique features of the new provider
  • How the provider outperforms Sendbird  

Now before that, let’s take a quick look into What Sendbird is all about?

Why Sendbird?

Sendbird has always been user-friendly. It has been a great option to add real-time engagement features to your web or mobile apps. Even if you are building an app for millions of users, Sendbird’s features can perform very smoothly.

And the best part of using Sendbird is that you can add a wide range of modern messaging features including basic chat, group messaging, and moderation tools.

But, there are many other things that you might need beyond the communication features. So here are some of the drawbacks that might potentially urge you to move from Sendbird.

Reasons Why You Must Switch From Sendbird?

  • You’ll need a lot of time to develop your app with Sendbird

We cannot deny that Sendbird has a lot of plug-and-play features. But would you agree that you need to spend time building your email and SMS notifications from scratch? You know, that is where Sendbird fails.

Some of the basic communication features are not available for quick integration. This sometimes annoys developers who look for a one-stop solution to their communication needs via an SDK.

  • You need to spend a lot of money, and sometimes empty your pockets

There will be a point in time when you’ll look for a package upgrade. That’s when you’ll find Sendbird not as friendly as its competitors. Yes, you can find that there is a huge cost difference between its pricing packages. 

One simple example is that the pro/ premium package of Getstream is $1299 & Comechat is $999, but the cost of Sendbird is $1799, for 25K MAUs. 

And the more you scale, the cost starts becoming hefty. And don’t even get us started with the overage price. You need to pay $5 every time your app reaches its peak concurrent connection. If your app is already super-busy, we are sorry about the charges ahead.

  • You might quite not be happy with their UI Kit

Sendbird claims to have the most modern chat UI components for chat apps. But the question is, do they have the elements that you need specifically for your app?

While this might sound logical, here is another reason to step back from their solution: Flutter is ruling the world for its front-end development. Unfortunately, Sendbird has yet to launch its Flutter and Angular UI Kit and you can see their community with a lot of questions about its development.

So, if you are someone looking to build the front end of your messaging app in Flutter/ Angular, you might want to reconsider your decision on continuing with Sendbird. 

Now there are a bunch of reasons why Sendbird will not fit your chat app strategy for this year, these 3 are the primary ones among them. 

Well, we know you made up your mind to migrate to a different provider. Where should you move?

Let us make this simple for you. 

Top 10 Sendbird Alternatives You Can Consider In 2024

We know migration is a big decision. Among 100s of Sendbird’s competitors, we’ve filtered out the best 10 of them and ranked them in the best order. You can review each one of them and find the best alternative to your existing Sendbird solution. 

#1. MirrorFlyThe White-label Alternative to Sendbird

MirrorFly is undoubtedly the best in-app communication solution for web and mobile apps. Know why? The first reason is it lets you build a white-label chat app. You can use MirrorFly’s solution to build a messaging app with video and voice calls, without mentioning MirrorFly anywhere in your app.

You can add more than 150 real-time communication features and 100+ UI elements to give your users a complete chat experience. You can customize these features as much as you want to personalize your app and meet the exact demands on your users. 

Sendbird vs MirrorFly: What Is The Difference?

Whether you choose Sendbird or MirrorFly, you can add chat, video and voice features to your apps. However, both of these providers differ from each other. And these differences will be helpful for you to find which one is the best choice for you. 

Let’s break them down:

Features:

Communication Features 

  • Sendbird: You can find basic functionalities like 1:1 messaging, group chat and media sharing in both providers.
  • MirrorFly: Goes beyond the basics with features like topic-based chat, chat history, chat backup, and cross-platform calling. 

Customization 

  • Sendbird: You cannot customize as per your convenience. 
  • MirrorFly: You have full freedom to personalize the features as much as you want. 

Deployment 

Pricing

  • Sendbird: Only offers subscription-based pricing.
  • MirrorFly: Offers both custom and pay-as-you-go pricing models.

Ease of use

  • Sendbird: Requires more technical expertise to set up and integrate.
  • MirrorFly: Easier to use, with pre-built UI components and extensive documentation.

To make it easier for you to compare, here is a table that draws the key differences between Sendbird and MirrorFly. 

FeatureSendbirdMirrorFly
Core functionalitiesBasicAdvanced
CustomizationLimitedMore flexible
Ease of useMore technicalEasier
Topic-based chatUnavailableAvailable
Chat historyUnavailableAvailable
Flutter UI KitUnavailableAvailable
Call ScheduleUnavailableAvailable
Activity FeedAvailableAvailable
Calendar SyncUnavailable Available
Full source code ownershipUnavailable Available
Hire dedicated teamUnavailable Available
White-labelingUnavailable Available
On-premise hostingUnavailable Available
ChatbotsUnavailable Available

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you need basic or advanced features. If minimal and efficient features are sufficient, you can go for Sendbird. But if you need futuristic features at the same cost, with flexibility and reliability,

MirrorFly is likely the best alternative to Sendbird

 
#1 Chat SDK to Integrate Chat & Call Features

#2. StreamThe developer-friendly Sendbird alternative 

Stream, formerly known as Getstream, has always been a favorite chat solution for developers looking to build chat apps for social networking and customer support. 

Most importantly, you’ll find it easy to switch from Sendbird to Stream because of its widely available tech stacks. 

But the major disappointment with Stream is that it offers only messaging and activity feeds, and audio/ video calls are still not in their arena. 

Sendbird vs Stream: What Is The Difference?

Sendbird and Stream are both popular chat APIs that help you build engaging communication experiences in your app. But they are unique in their own ways and have a few notable differences you must know before choosing the best. 

Core Functionalities: 

  • Sendbird: Focuses on real-time communication functionalities to drive engagement among users. 
  • Stream: Build engagement and strong communities with features like activity feeds, notifications and real-time messaging. 

Key Features: 

  • Sendbird: Offers chat features for communication, chat history, custom message types and moderation. 
  • Stream: Offers feed algorithms, user segmentation capabilities and targeted notifications to enhance the personalization of your app and for data-driven engagement. 

Scalability and Performance:

  • Sendbird: It can handle large volumes of concurrent users without much downtime.
  • Stream: Delivers a 99.999% uptime SLA during concurrent connections. 

Pricing

  • Sendbird: You need to pay a monthly subscription, by choosing one of their tiered packages.

Stream: You can either choose their subscription model or pay-as-you-go model.

Ease of Use

  • Sendbird: You’ll need more technical expertise to integrate their SDKs.
  • Stream: Their SDKs are developer-friendly and easy to integrate. 

Now, you need to check on your requirements and find out whether you need an SDK for engagement or community building. And this way, you’ll be able to choose between Stream and Sendbird.

#3. ApphitectThe customizable alternative to Sendbird

The primary reason where other providers fail is the lack of customization. But besides MirrorFly, Apphitect offers 100% customization of its features. Now, if you’d like to switch from Sendbird, Apphitect makes it super-easy to add, modify or remove features as much as you can. 

Also, this self-hosted chat solution lets you deploy your app on your own premise, and launch on any app store as per your convenience. 

Sendbird vs Apphitect: What Is The Difference?

Both Sendbird and Apphitect offer you customizable SDKs. But there are more factors that you need to look into, to find which one best fits your needs. 

Core functionalities

  • Sendbird: Offers basic features like one-on-one messaging, group chats, media sharing, and video calls. 
  • Apphitect: Offers omni-channel communication features, file sharing, and topic-based chat.

Customization 

  • Sendbird: Offers limited customization options
  • Apphitect: Provides more flexibility with its white-labeled solution.

Security: 

  • Sendbird: Protects user conversations with end-to-end encryption.
  • Apphitect: Along with E2E, protects user data with compliances like GDPR, HIPAA & OWASP.

Pricing:

  • Sendbird: Only offers subscription-based pricing.
  • Apphitect: Offers both subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing models, making it potentially more cost-effective for any size of business.

Ease of use:

  • Sendbird: Requires more technical expertise to set up and integrate.
  • Apphitect: Easier to integrate with its low-code SDK components.

Overall, if you are looking for a Sendbird alternative that has better customization options and allows you to take your app faster to the market, Apphitect is your go-to option!

#4. PubnubThe most scalable Sendbird alternative

To businesses that are asking what’s special about Pubnub, you can find that it uses the publish-subscribe (pub-sub) model for its chat service. Which means, you can manage and scale the publishers and their subscribers separately on your app. 

This makes message broadcasting more efficient and faster on your apps. And Pubnub also does a fair job in offering the best possible features it can for real-time communication. 

Sendbird vs Pubnub: What Is The Difference?

Sendbird and Pubnub are 2 highly scalable chat platforms that have been in the market for years. Each of them have their category of user base for unique reasons. Let me quickly jot the differences down. 

Features

  • Sendbird: Offers one-on-one and group messaging, media sharing, voice and video calls, and offline messaging.
  • PubNub: Offers a broader range of functionalities beyond just chat, including data streaming, presence channels, real-time object updates, and push notifications. 

Pricing:

  • Sendbird: Tiered subscription based on monthly active users (MAUs).
  • PubNub: Tiered subscription with free tier available for limited usage.

Ease of Use:

  • Sendbird: You need technical expertise to use Sendbird SDKs.
  • PubNub: Easier than Sendbird SDKs.

Data Ownership: 

  • Sendbird: Data resides within Sendbird’s system.
  • PubNub:  Offers you more control over the data and export options.

So, If you need a powerful chat solution with advanced features, Sendbird might be a good fit. But, if you think that you need a more versatile platform for real-time communication along with data streaming, and third-party integration, then PubNub could be a better choice.

#5. TwilioThe best CPaaS Alternative To Sendbird

Twilio claims itself as the best cloud solution for businesses that need real-time communication features for their app. It mainly focuses on customer engagement via voice & messaging features across enterprise platforms. 

And if you have an idea of building AI-powered IVRs to connect your customers with your business agents, Twilio would be a go-to solution, for sure. 

Sendbird vs Twilio: What Is The Difference?

Sendbird and Twilio are both industry leaders and real-time communication platforms (RTCPs). And here’s how they differ from each other.

Features

  • Sendbird: Offers features like Chat (1-on-1 & group), Voice & video calls, Offline messaging, Moderation tools, Analytics.
  • Twilio: You can leverage features including Chat, SMS, Video conferencing, Email, Push notifications, Data streaming. 

Pricing

  • Sendbird: Available for tiered subscription based MAUs.
  • Twilio: Available for tiered subscription with free plans. 

Customization

Sendbird: Offers limited options to customize the features.

Twilio: The options to personalize the features are very flexible. 

Considering all, you can choose Twilio over Sendbird if you need options to customize, scale up/ down and handle a large user base. Also, if you require an omnichannel communication solution beyond chat features, go for it!

#6. CometchatThe secure alternative to Sendbird

Cometchat is an exclusively extension-rich chat solution provider when compared to Sendbird. It is in fact one of the easiest ways to add in-app communication to any app. 

That is, even if you do not have any prior experience in development, Cometchat’s SDKs are so simple that you can add them to your app with the help of their easy-to-understand docs. 

Sendbird vs Cometchat: What Is The Difference?

Although both Sendbird and Cometchat offer similar features, there are a few key distinctions you must know before you choose one of them. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

Server Location

  • Sendbird: Servers are only located in a single region, potentially leading to latency issues for users in other parts of the world.
  • CometChat: Has servers in multiple regions for better global performance.

Support 

  • Sendbird: Offers 8×5 support.
  • CometChat: Provides 24×5 support at no additional cost.

Ultimately, both Sendbird and CometChat are reliable choices for building engaging in-app communication experiences. And if you prefer more control over data ownership and potentially lower costs for smaller user bases, you can choose Cometchat.

#7. AblyThe most reliable chat service alternative to Sendbird

Don’t prefer Sendbird and Pubnub? Here is another provider that focuses on the pub-sub model of broadcasting messages. 

Particularly, when you want to send large volumes of messages to multiple subscribers, we’d suggest you Ably without a doubt. 

However, there are few concerns like you might have to spend a huge cost when you decide to switch from Ably. This is because you need to integrate Ably with your app’s codebase and it is really hard to move away from Ably. So, think before you choose this provider. 

Sendbird vs Ably: What Is The Difference?

Sendbird and Ably are both powerful real-time communication platforms. And it sometimes is hard to decide which one to choose for building your messaging app. So, let’s help you out with a comparison:

Key Features: 

  • Sendbird: Sendbird provides a robust real-time chat solution with its messaging SDKs along with file sharing and video calling capabilities.
  • Ably: Ably focuses on providing a scalable and reliable pub/sub-messaging platform with features to indicate the online presence of users and storage of their message history. 

Pricing 

  • Sendbird: Sendbird’s pricing structure may vary based on the specific features and usage requirements. It typically involves a combination of monthly active users (MAUs) and additional features like voice or video calls.
  • Ably: Ably’s pricing model is based on usage metrics such as messages per second, peak connections, and data transfer.

Customization

  • Sendbird: Sendbird’s customization options include UI elements, themes, and integration with other services.
  • Ably: With Ably, you can configure & personalize the channels, presence features, and third-party integration.

Ultimately, if you’d like to go for a budget-friendly communication platform, go for Ably’s messaging SDKs. Also, the platform’s pub-sub messaging is a feature you’ll never regret.

#8. AgoraThe mobile-first alternative to Sendbird

If you are looking for a communication SDK along with streaming capabilities, kudos, you’ve found the right provider. With Agora, you can build your Android or iOS app, and connect over 100+ concurrent users via messaging, voice and live streams. 

But if you need video calls, you might have to wait until they officially move their beta release to a full release. 

Sendbird vs Agora: What Is The Difference?

Sendbird and Agora are both popular when it comes to delivering personalized communication experiences with their APIs. But they have huge differences in their features and offerings. Here’s a breakdown:

Core Features:

  • Sendbird: Sendbird specializes in real-time chat and messaging solutions, including features like one-on-one chat, group chat, file sharing, and voice/video calling.
  • Agora: Agora specializes in real-time engagement solutions, including voice and video calling, live interactive broadcasting, and messaging.

Security:

  • Sendbird: Sendbird employs security measures such as data encryption and end-to-end encryption.
  • Agora: The level of security may vary based on the specific configuration and plan you choose. 

Pricing:

  • Sendbird: Sendbird’s pricing model is based on factors like the number of monthly active users (MAUs), additional features (such as voice or video calls), and data usage.
  • Agora: Agora’s pricing model is based on factors such as the number of minutes used for voice/video calls, data transfer, and additional features.

So, yes. If you want to handle a large user base, Agora would be the best option for your messaging application. Also, it is an easier way to personalize your communication features to drive users to your business.

#9. TalkJSThe top Sendbird alternative for any type of industry

TalkJS has a rich collection of chat features and design elements for your app’s interface. This makes it an easy choice for building your custom chat platform for any kind of industry. 

Whether it is virtual event, recruitment sector, E-commerce or EdTech businesses, TalkJs can help you build the platform just exactly the way you need it. 

Sendbird vs TalkJS: What Is The Difference?

There are multiple differences between Sendbird and TalkJS. Here is a quick comparison of the industry leaders:

Use Cases:

  • Sendbird: Sendbird is mostly used for building apps for industries for E-commerce, Gaming and On-demand services. 
  • TalkJS: TalkJS is designed for real-time chat and messaging and can be utilized in various industries, including online marketplaces, and online communities. 

Deployment:

  • Sendbird: Sendbird provides options for cloud-based deployment and hosting. 
  • TalkJS: TalkJS provides a cloud-based solution and also allows scalable deployment and hosting on cloud infrastructure.

Overall, TalkJS is a great option over Sendbird for its ease of use and its highly intuitive UI components. This responsiveness will eventually drive a large user base to your chat app.

#10. MessageBirdThe omnichannel alternative to Sendbird

MessageBird is simply the most user-friendly customer engagement platform. The easier it is for you to build your chat platform with MessageBird, the smoother it is for customers to use your app. 

The basic difference between MessageBird and Sendbird is clear with the emphasis of the former’s chat widget, while the latter focuses on activity feeds. 

Sendbird vs MessageBird: What Is The Difference?

Customization

  • Sendbird: Sendbird typically offers customization options to personalize the chat experience of your users to match the design and functionality of your app.
  • MessageBird: MessageBird offers customization to the level where your users can personalize the content and appearance of messages sent via different channels.

Use Cases

  • Sendbird: Sendbird is used across various industries, including gaming, e-commerce and on-demand services. 
  • MessageBird: MessageBird is utilized in several industries for various communication needs, including e-commerce, healthcare and finance. 

Overall, you can choose MessageBird if you’d like to try a real-time communication platform with a wide range of customization options.

Now, That’s A Wrap!

In summary, we explored the top 10 SendBird alternatives with each of its unique strengths. From 100% customization of MirrorFly, to the versatility of Agora, you can find alternatives that align with your goals and requirements. 

So, it’s now your turn to do all the analysis you need and start the migration right away!


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Vigneshwar

Vigneshwar is a Performance Marketer, guiding providers of healthcare, education, etc., to elevate their conversation value with the help of powerful communication solutions to drive a better communication experience.

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