Introduction to Real-Time Chat Apps

Real-time chat applications allow users to communicate instantly with each other, making them valuable for a wide range of use cases. Next.js, a powerful React framework, is a great choice for building real-time chat apps with dynamic and responsive interfaces. In this tutorial, we'll explore how to create a real-time chat app using Next.js, complete with sample code and best practices.

Setting Up Your Next.js Project

Let's start by creating a new Next.js project for our chat app:

npx create-next-app my-chat-app
cd my-chat-app

Next, install any necessary dependencies and create the project structure. You may want to use libraries like Firebase,, or GraphQL for real-time chat functionality.

Creating the Chat Interface

The chat interface is the core of your chat app. Here's an example of a basic Next.js chat page:

// pages/chat.js
import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';
const Chat = () => {
const [messages, setMessages] = useState([]);
const [newMessage, setNewMessage] = useState('');
// Fetch initial messages or connect to chat service
const handleSendMessage = () => {
// Send the new message to the chat service
return (
<h2>Real-Time Chat</h2>
<div className="chat-messages">
{, index) => (
<div key={index} className="chat-message">
<strong>{message.sender}:</strong> {message.text}
<div className="chat-input">
onChange={(e) => setNewMessage(}
placeholder="Type your message"
<button onClick={handleSendMessage}>Send</button>
export default Chat;

This code represents a simple chat page. You can customize it further by adding real-time messaging functionality.

Adding Real-Time Messaging

Real-time chat apps require real-time messaging functionality. You can use WebSocket libraries like or GraphQL subscriptions to achieve real-time communication.

User Authentication

Implement user authentication to secure your chat app. You can use Firebase Authentication or other authentication providers to manage user accounts.

Styling and Theming

Styling your chat app is important for a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. You can use CSS, CSS-in-JS libraries, or UI component libraries to style and theme your app.

Deploying Your Chat App

Once your chat app is ready, deploy it to a hosting platform of your choice. Ensure that the platform supports WebSocket or real-time communication for a seamless chat experience.