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How to choose between SendBird and Firebase

SendBird endorses Proof of Concept (POC) comparisons

There’s no better comparison than the one you and your team conduct independently. SendBird thinks it’s essential to develop first-hand experience of the chat solutions you might commit to.

Many of our customers conduct Proof of Concept (POC) comparisons with other services before choosing their final chat solution. If you have the engineering resources and time, we encourage you to build your app with SendBird and other chat solutions side-by-side. It will be the surest way to develop first-hand experience of the chat solutions available on the market. Always feel free to reach out if you need any help with this.

Contact us if you need help with your POC comparisons.

 

Comparing SendBird and Firebase

Building rich messaging for your mobile app or website can be a complicated task. That is why many businesses turn to companies like SendBird, Firebase and its alternatives to help create the best messaging solution for their platforms.

Recently, as the messaging SDK and chat API market matures, more companies are offering chat solutions, making it difficult for a business to choose the right vendor. So, to bring more clarity to the marketplace, we decided to provide a detailed comparison between SendBird and Firebase.

To be clear, we are comparing Firebase Cloud Messaging service against SendBird and not Firebase as a whole product. Firebase is a real-time synchronization platform and if you are looking to build a better mobile app, Firebase is a great product.

As you review the chart below, you’ll notice that SendBird has more chat features, but Firebase also provides basic messaging services such as text, file and custom messaging with solid file encryption, spam protection and push notifications. All features you need if you are looking to build a simple chat solution. But if you are looking for a more fully featured messaging and chat experience and looking to scale, SendBird may be a better fit for your company. Currently, Firebase is hard-capped at 100K concurrent connections, while SendBird is the world's most scalable chat API and can serve over 1 million concurrent connections.

Please review the comparison charts below and see which features each company provides.

 sendbird firebase competitor feature comparison 1

sendbird firebase competitor feature comparison 1

  

For developers, using Firebase to build chat seems like an obvious solution - after all, Harry, our CTO, began building chat on Firebase before creating our own chat API from the ground up. From his experience, we saw that Firebase delivered simple messaging and real-time synchronization between devices at a low cost, but it wasn’t the ideal chat solution for us because it required us to build a lot of the custom features one by one to make it a fully functioning chat. And ultimately, Firebase could not scale appropriately to fit our needs.

However, Firebase does provide a lot of potential freedom for businesses looking for basic messaging capabilities. Meaning that if you are willing to take the challenge, you can build many of the messaging features like unread count and auto-translation if you have the time and development support. Firebase can also easily integrate their service in many instances. Basically, Firebase is giving you a open messaging framework and letting you roam free and do as you please. However, it’s not always helpful to roam too freely.

SendBird, as a Firebase alternative, might not allow as much freedom, but we are providing you with many off-the-shelf features that Firebase does not like typing indicator and read receipts, which are now essential to messaging, to more advanced features like smart throttling and moderation tools without any development needed. As we continue to build new features and services, they will be available so we can build your messaging together.

 

Which solution should you choose?

When deciding to go with any service, the most important factor is fit. Finding out which solutions fit your company and what kind of features you are looking for can help you understand the best solution for your company. If you are looking to for a more basic messaging platform or looking to test chat for your business, then Firebase could be the messaging solution for your organization. But if you want a solution to scale with your company’s growth or one that already offers the chat and messaging features that consumers expect, then SendBird might be the answer for you. 

 

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TAGS Insights, firebase, chat API

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