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Best Practices

Connections and Relationships Feature for Messaging2 min read

Channelize.io makes it super easy to build, launch and run Chat in your Apps, whatever be your use-case. For 1-1 Chats, following are the most common ways to lead users to conversations:

  • Button on Profile: Example, “Message” button on profile of a service provider the member has booked.
  • Button on Listings: Example, listing of sellers with a “Message Seller” button for each listing.
  • “Contacts” or “Connections” Screen: Showing other users with whom the user is most likely to initiate conversations with.
  • “Recent” Screen: Showing recent conversations of the user.
  • Automatically creating a conversation based on actions and events in your app, and opening the conversation screen.

 

Depending on your use-case, you might have one or more of the above ways in your app for triggering conversations, and leading users to them. In this article, we will talk about the third method above, in which you can have Connections or Friendships between members.

 

Contact_Screen

 

Connections can be interpreted as: Users that are easily accessible to chat

When would Connections Feature be useful for your App

In many use-cases, users would have a subset of other users who they’re most likely to start a conversation with. This is especially relevant in Social Networking, Dating, Niche Communities, etc, or cases like:

  • An Education App where a Teacher would have all their students’ parents as contacts.
  • An Enterprise Work Management App where a Supervisor would have all Experts as contacts.
  • A Home Rental App where a Home Owner can have users who’ve recently booked their property as contacts.
  • A Team Communication App.

and so on…

The “Connections” or “Friendships” or “Contacts” feature of Channelize helps in achieving the above very easily. Connections can be formed or updated via API based on the logic, actions and events of your platform.

Channelize.io supports 2 types of connections:

  • Follow (One-way relationships): A follows B => B will appear in the “Following” list of A.
  • Friend (Two-way relationships): A & B are friends => Both A & B will appear in each others “Friends” list.

Channelize.io provides pre-built screens for “Connections” / “Contacts” in the SDKs for Javascript, iOS & Android. By default, these screens show Online Contacts first in order. Some other pre-built screens / features that use “Contacts” are:

  • Search: Search can be performed over “All Members”, or “Contacts Only” based on an API setting in the Dashboard.
  • Create Group: In the pre-built UI, users can choose “Contacts” to create Groups.

How to use Connections Feature of Channelize.io

See the “Add a Friend” API call: 

https://docs.channelize.io/platform-api-users/#add-a-friend.

This API call allows a user to add another user as a friend or start to follow him.

 

The following table lists the parameters this API call supports.

Name Type Required Default Description
userId string yes The unique ID of the user to whom the logged-in user wants to follow / friend.
type number no 2 Specifies the type of relationship. Acceptable values are 1 and 2. If set to 1, then “follow”. If set to 2, then “friend”.

References

The following are references for API calls from our JavaScript, Android, and iOS SDKs. 

In JavaScript SDK

Javascript

In Android SDK

Android

In iOS SDK

iOS

Check out our Developer Documentation for further references:

Platform API

JavaScript SDK

Android SDK

iOS SDK

 

Conclusion

The “Connections” feature is a valuable feature for Chat in a lot of use-cases. If you have any feedback for this or other features of Channelize.io, then please reach out to us at info@channelize.io. 

Channelize.io’s Demos will give you a good idea of how our product works, and also how it can help in increasing engagement and retention, and help you serve your users better.

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