Stream Chat Connects Taskers & Users Faster Than Ever Before

About TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit is an online and mobile task platform that connects people with trusted, reliable independent contractors called “Taskers” from their local communities who can help get work done in and around the home. TaskRabbit’s two-sided marketplace makes it possible for consumers to find immediate help with everyday tasks across more than 50 categories, including cleaning, moving, delivery and errands, handyman work, and more. Users can choose their Tasker based on reviews, skills, hourly rate, and availability, and they are able to schedule their appointment with a Tasker whenever it is most convenient. Users can book, pay and review a Tasker through one easy-to-use platform, and now, with the addition of Stream Chat, clients and Taskers can easily communicate in-app before, during, and after the task.

Challenge

Chat has always been a core functionality of TaskRabbit’s product, as the basic nature of the application is to connect people (clients and taskers) so that they can directly communicate about the task at hand. TaskRabbit used a home-grown chat solution for nearly a decade that presented a multitude of issues - its performance was not up to standard, it was often unreliable, and there was a lag between when a message was sent and received. Therefore, miscommunications would occur between users and taskers, which made it evident to the company that they needed to revamp the app’s messaging component. They considered rewriting it internally, but since they wanted to use their resources and team to focus on advancing TaskRabbit’s core competencies, they decided to bring in a third party who would allow them to integrate a top-notch chat product into their application. The team at TaskRabbit realized that the market had matured since they last looked into outsourcing chat, and once they started doing research, they found many viable options to buy instead of reinventing the wheel in-house. Additionally, there were new features that TaskRabbit wanted to incorporate into their chat product, like multi-party groups, gestures, media calls, forms, reactions, threading, etc., and they knew they needed outside help from experts developing this new-and-improved chat functionality, especially if they wanted their messaging element to be scalable, timely, and high-performing like the rest of their application. That’s where Stream stepped in with their real-time chat product.

Why Stream

TaskRabbit considered a few vendors in the space after they made the decision to replace their internal chat product. They scoured the market, analyzing each player in the field through detailed feature comparisons. Twilio, Sendbird, PubNub, Layer, and Firebase were the big names that popped up throughout TaskRabbit’s research process. The biggest attraction to Stream was its React Native library, of which was lacking from all of the alternatives. Additionally, the app needed a solution with front-end components, and Stream’s Chat UI Kit was appealing because it is flexible and adaptable enough to be designed for the specific demands of TaskRabbit.

Sadeepa Wijesekara, VP of Engineering at TaskRabbit, put it simply, “Using Stream was going to give us the biggest bang for our buck.” TaskRabbit needed a fast and efficient solution to speed up the chat development process without heavy investment, and Stream was their number one candidate after sifting through available options.

Primary Reasons that TaskRabbit integrated Stream:

  • Quick time to market
  • Did not want to take the time and resources to develop in-house
  • High performance

Integration Process with Stream

Sadeepa, TaskRabbit’s VP of Engineering, met the Stream team in San Francisco to gather some information before making a decision. Going into the meeting, TaskRabbit’s main hesitation with Stream was that it was a startup, and putting full faith into a young company to produce a core app functionality is a risk due to the possibility of an early-stage organization not making it for the long haul. However, after the conversation, TaskRabbit was confident that there was no chance of Stream disappearing, and the two companies had very similar values when it came to working together and how the product should operate. The partnership quickly took off from there. TaskRabbit was able to seamlessly check-in with Stream real-time through a shared Slack channel to ask any questions or express any concerns that popped up along the way. TaskRabbit was incredibly satisfied with the consistent support from Stream, as it felt like they had an entire additional engineering team on their side. TaskRabbit was impressed with how responsive Stream was in terms of additional customized features that they wanted incorporated into their chat product, as well as multi-region support and internationalization for different countries in which TaskRabbit operates.

“With Stream Chat incorporated into our application, our users will now be able to book appointments through forms directly available through chat, and we expect this new functionality to have a huge, positive impact on business.”- Sadeepa Wijesekara, VP of Engineering at TaskRabbit

Future Vision

TaskRabbit aims to make everyday life easier for everyday people by helping them check off items on their to-do lists. TaskRabbit simultaneously creates new work opportunities for Taskers – whether it’s to earn extra income or to build a full-time business – all on their terms, according to their schedules. As the platform grows, TaskRabbit strives to continue to positively impact the communities it serves by providing a convenient task platform that people can rely on.

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