Comparing chat solutions

CometChat vs Twilio Conversations: Discover the right choice for your use case

A head-to-head comparison CometChat and Twilio Conversations for live chat use cases. Learn about their features, pros and cons, similarities, and differences.

Whether your product connects people in a multi-side marketplace, helps the sick get advice via telemedicine, or brings together students in a distance learning class, adding chat to your app can deliver more value to your users and help you meet growth and retention goals.

But before you start building, it’s worth giving some thought to how you’ll implement that chat functionality. There are four main ways to add chat to your app:

  • DIY: Design and manage your chat system in-house using your own code and infrastructure.

  • Chat widget: Use a plug-and-play chat tool; that gives you fast setup but you might hit the limits of the tool.

  • Chat API: A level-up from a chat widget, in that it offers you a more flexible chat backend while letting you build a frontend chat experience of your own design.

  • Realtime PaaS: Build a solution tailored to your needs backed by professionally managed infrastructure.

Choosing the right approach depends on how much value you put into speed of initial delivery, quality of service, feature flexibility, and similar considerations.

In this article, we’re going to compare CometChat and Twilio Conversations. CometChat is a dedicated chat API, which focuses on helping you to build your own chat channel into your applications. Twilio Conversations, on the other hand, leans more towards bringing together conversations from multiple chat services, as well as helping you build your own chat channel.

So, which one should you select?

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What is CometChat?

CometChat is a dedicated chat software as a service (SaaS) provider that offers an API to enable you to add chat functionality to your own applications. It takes care of direct messaging, chat groups, moderation, and so on, while also providing UI kits and widgets to help you integrate the chat service into your app.

The focus of CometChat is on helping you create your own chat experience, whether that’s text-based chat or voice and video calling. As we’ll see shortly, that’s somewhat different from Twilio Conversations.

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Pros of CometChat

  • Short time to market: CometChat provides SDKs, documentation, sample code, and UI components, as well as taking care of everything on the backend. 

  • Free to experiment: The free tier lets you access all chat features, but you’re limited to non-production workloads thanks to tight quotas.

  • Customization options: If the widgets and UI kits aren’t a good fit, you can use the CometChat API to build something more customized to your needs. However, it won't offer the same flexibility as a custom solution.

  • Extensions marketplace: CometChat offers extensions that add extra chat features, some of which are offered by default by other providers.

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Cons of CometChat

  • Chat-centric: CometChat is tightly focused on chat, whether that’s text or voice and video. However, if you're looking to build other types of realtime functionality, such as live-streaming stock or sports data to your users, you'd need to turn to a general-purpose realtime PaaS.

  • Support tiers: At the lower end of CometChat’s paid packages, support is by email only, although they do promise community support, too. 

  • Frontend focus: The SDKs provided by CometChat lean more towards frontend integration, rather than integrating with backend languages and frameworks, such as .NET. 

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What is Twilio Conversations?

Twilio Conversations takes a different approach to CometChat. While CometChat is designed for building general-purpose chat experiences directly in your web and mobile applications, Twilio Conversations is geared towards making it easier to manage customer support and engagement conversations taking place in WhatsApp, by SMS, in Google Business Messages, and in Facebook Messenger 

So, while you can integrate chat into your web and mobile apps using Twilio Conversations, its main focus is on providing a unified interface for multi-channel conversations.

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Pros of Twilio Conversations

  • Omnichannel: Twilio Conversations provides one API to manage conversations taking place in multiple locations, including popular messaging services such as WhatsApp. Each participant in a conversation could be joining via a different channel. For example, a customer service agent could be using web chat on their work computer, while the customer uses Facebook Messenger on their mobile device.

  • Quick to get started: With SDKs for both mobile and web, along with UI kits and pre-built apps for Android and iOS, getting started with Twilio Conversations can be straightforward and quick

  • Good developer experience: Twilio is known for the quality of its developer documentation, SDKs, and other conveniences to make working with the API smoother.

  • Compliance options: Conversations held over SMS and chat can be HIPAA compliant, while features such as opt-out management and conversation expiry make it easier to comply with data protection laws.

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Cons of Twilio Conversations

  • Focused on customer support and engagement: Twilio Conversations is tailored specifically to customer support and engagement chat. If you also need chat for other use cases, such as enabling app users to chat with each other, Twilio Conversations might not be the right choice for you.

  • Works best as part of Twilio Flex: Twilio Conversations is a standalone product but to get the most out of the product you might need to use Twilio Flex, Twilio’s customer engagement platform and contact center platform.

  • Not multi-region: By default, Twilio Conversations hosts your chat backend in its US1 region. You can change this, but Twilio suggests picking a region near your main app infrastructure. This could impact chat performance for users who are far from your selected Twilio region. Additionally, if your chosen Twilio region faces outages, there's no automatic switchover to a backup region.

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CometChat vs Twilio Conversations: Feature comparison

Choosing between CometChat and Twilio Conversations depends on what problem you’re looking to solve. CometChat is a general-purpose chat API that gives you the tools to build a chat experience into your existing web and mobile apps. 

Twilio Conversations, on the other hand, focuses on customer support and engagement use cases. Crucially, it allows you to unify communication across multiple platforms and present your customer-facing teams with a single, ongoing conversation view. That way, a customer could switch between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, for example, without disrupting the flow of the conversation or causing confusion for your support teams.

That means the choice is driven, largely, by your use case. But let’s take a closer look at what both tools offer.

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Performance, reliability, scalability, and messaging guarantees

An unreliable chat platform will quickly lose the trust of your users. Similarly, if the chat platform you choose can’t scale with you as your app grows, then you might find yourself urgently looking for a replacement later down the line.

Both CometChat and Twilio Conversations are backed by significant infrastructure and experienced teams. But how do they match up when it comes to performance, reliability, and scaling?



Twilio Conversations

Uptime guarantee

99.99% (up to almost an hour’s downtime per year)

99.95% (close to 4.5 hours of downtime per year)


Under test conditions, the CometChat team achieved a response time of less than 50 ms. It’s not clear what CometChat’s response times would be across the open internet for globally distributed end users.

Unknown, but Twilio’s best practices document recommends client connections should have less than 200 ms latency, which suggests the platform isn’t built with low latency in mind.


Under test conditions, the CometChat team achieved 1 million+ concurrent users.

One conversation can host up to 1,000 users.


CometChat appears to have regions in EU, US, Australia, and India.

Twilio has three main regions: US, Ireland, and Australia.

Not all functionality is available in every Twilio region.


No. You must choose one region and then all your chat activity will take place there.

No. You must choose one region and then all your chat activity will take place there.

Guaranteed message ordering



Guaranteed message delivery



Automatic reconnections with continuity


Twilio Conversations SDKs automatically reconnects to the service when a network becomes available.

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Chat features

Richer chat features can boost user engagement. As we’ve seen, though, CometChat and Twilio Conversations set out to solve somewhat different problems. Does that impact the features that they offer?



Twilio Conversations

1-to-1 chat



Group chat


Available only in the US and Canada using MMS and with a maximum of 10 participants

Public and private group chat


Only private, not public.

Chat UI components

Yes (Flutter, Angular, React, React Native, Vue.js, Swift).

Yes (JavaScript, Swift for iOS, Kotlin for Android).

Push notifications



Message history (persisted data)

Yes (6 months by default, longer available at additional charge)


Rewind/load previous messages



User presence



Advanced chat features

- Typing indicators

- Message delivery receipts & read receipts

- Reactions

- User and channel mentions

- User and friend lists

- Unread message count

- Message and user moderation (sentiment analysis, malware scanner, user blocking, moderator roles, etc)

- Multimedia support (audio, video, photos)

- Thumbnail generation

- Typing indicators

- Message delivery receipts & read receipts

- Media support (photos, videos)

- Omnichannel: individual users within a single chat could be using different chat platforms

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Supported languages, integrations, and protocols

Once you’re sure that a chat API offers the functionality you need, the next step is to consider how well it will integrate with your existing tooling and infrastructure. That means looking at whether there are SDKs for your preferred language or framework, as well as integrations with databases, auth systems, and similar tools that you rely on.



Twilio Conversations


- JavaScript

- iOS

- Android

- React Native

- Ionic/Cordova

- Flutter

- JavaScript

- iOS (Swift)

- Android (Kotlin)

UI widgets

- Web (JavaScript)

- iOS

- Android

- React Native

- Ionic/Cordova

- JavaScript

- iOS (Swift)

- Android (Kotlin)

3rd party integrations

CometChat’s extensions marketplace offers integrations with third-party services such as Intercom.

Where it falls down, though, is in providing integrations for databases, data streaming services, and serverless platforms.

Twilio Conversations offers an API and also supports pre and post event webhooks.


CometChat uses WebSocket to connect chat clients with the CometChat backend.

There doesn’t appear to be a fallback where WebSocket is unavailable.

Twilio Conversations uses WebSocket to communicate between the client SDK and the backend.

Twilio Conversations also offers a REST API to manage conversations.

There doesn’t appear to be a fallback where WebSocket is unavailable.

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Security and compliance

Chat is a primary channel for customer service, internal company communication, and other situations where data privacy and compliance with regulations are essential. So, how do CometChat and Twilio Conversations shape up?



Twilio Conversations


In-transit: SSL/TLS

At rest: AES 256 encryption

In-transit: HTTPS

At rest: file and volume level encryption


Auth tokens

Ephemeral JWT access tokens

Configurable chat roles & permissions




ISO 27001, HIPAA, GDPR, SOC 2.

ISO 27001, GDPR, SOC 2, HIPAA (provided you buy a Twilio Security Edition package with HIPAA coverage).

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Pricing and support

Evaluating the pricing and support of chat API providers can be challenging due to differing package structures. Features offered without limits by one vendor might be metered by another, for example. Additionally, the quality and type of support can differ between companies.



Twilio Conversations

Free plan

Free plan suitable for proofs of concept:

- 25 monthly active users

- Access to “Pro” plan features

Free plan for up to 200 monthly active users

Pricing model

Pricing depends on the number of monthly active users.

Essentials, Pro, and Custom plans offer different levels of functionality, each of which charges differently for the number of active users.

For example, at the time of writing, the Essentials plan is $379 per month for up to 10,000 MAU, whereas the Pro plan is $799 for up to 10,000 MAU.

Pricing varies depending on the number of monthly active users:

- $0.05 per active user (between 201-5,000)

- $0.0475 per active user (between 5,001-10,000)

- $0.0450 per active user (between 1,001-20,000) 

Volume pricing provided for use cases with more than 20,000 monthly active users

For example, if you have 20,000 MAUs, you will pay $900/month. On top of this, you are also charged for media storage (photos, videos, and other files users send over chat). The price for media storage is $0.25 per GB per month.

Support offering

CometChat offers email and community support for Essentials and Pro plans, with hands-on implementation assistance available to Custom plan customers.

Twilio's Developer plan offers best-effort support.

Higher-tier support plans (Production, Business, and Personalized) offer enhanced options like live chat.

The Personalized plan, at 8% of monthly spend or $5,000 minimum, guarantees 1-3 hour response times and provides a dedicated Twilio account manager.

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CometChat vs Twilio Conversations: what to choose?

Ultimately, whether you choose CometChat or Twilio Conversations depends on your use case:

  • Custom chat inside your app: CometChat

  • Unify customer conversations from multiple platforms: Twilio Conversations

Before you make a decision between the two, let’s recap how the two products differ and where they are similar.

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Differences between CometChat and Twilio Conversations

  • Where chat takes place: The main difference is where the chat takes place. CometChat is all about building your own chat functionality, whereas Twilio Conversations enables people to join a conversation using SMS, WhatsApp, and more.

  • CometChat offers public chat groups: As it is designed more for customer support and similar conversations, Twilio Conversations does not offer public chat groups, whereas CometChat does.

  • CometChat offers cross-platform mobile SDKs: Twilio Conversations offers native iOS and Android SDKs, whereas CometChat also supports Flutter and React Native.

  • Twilio Conversations is not a standalone solution: You could build chat functionality into your app using one of CometChat’s widgets and not need any other tooling for your chat functionality. While Twilio Conversations offers UI kits and sample code, you’ll need to build your own frontend (and possibly backend) code to integrate the service into your user experience.

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Similarities between CometChat and Twilio Conversations

  • Single region: Like many chat APIs, both CometChat and Twilio Conversations host your chat functionality in a single cloud region. That means a reduced experience for users further away from that data center and it increases the risk of downtime as there’s no fallback.

  • Good compliance: Both solutions offer good compliance with security standards, but depending on your needs that might come at an extra cost with Twilio.

Whether you’re looking to build a dedicated chat in your app or to collate conversations from multiple channels, there is an alternative. Rather than compromise your needs according to what either CometChat or Twilio Conversations can offer, you could instead build your own chat functionality on top of Ably.

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Create engaging chat experiences with Ably

Whatever your use case, creating and maintaining a reliably and engaging chat experience takes robust global infrastructure. With Ably, you can build precisely the chat experience that suits your needs and that delivers a smooth experience to end users no matter where they are in the world. That’s thanks to features such as:

  • Online/offline status

  • Last seen indicators

  • Edit/delete messages

  • Threads

  • Emoji reactions

  • Typing indicators

  • Read receipts

  • Chat admin privileges

  • User avatar

  • Push notifications

You can read more about our building chat using Ably in our reference guide.

And once you’re working with Ably, you have the tools and infrastructure to build any realtime experience. That could be multiplayer collaboration to bring remote workers together, data broadcast for a sports app, or connecting remote IoT devices. Here are some of the things that set Ably’s realtime PaaS apart:

  • Global network reach: Scale globally thanks to more than 205 edge locations.

  • <65 ms latency: Create seamless experiences with quick response times.

  • Resilient delivery: Ably guarantees that messages arrive in order and on time.

  • 99.999% uptime: Ably’s dedicated team works 24/7, so you can have peace of mind even during high-demand periods.

  • Elastic scaling: From thousands to billions of messages, Ably meets your application’s demands seamlessly.

  • A great developer experience: with SDKs targeting more than 25 languages and frameworks, integrations with common tooling, and industry leading documentation, Ably’s developer experience gives you the tools to become productive quickly.

Discover how Ably empowers you to integrate global, scalable, and efficient realtime chat experiences in your apps, with a developer experience built by developers just like you.