Chats and Channels are two different types of messaging available on Blink.
In this article:
Chats vs Channels
Both Chats and Channels share the same underlying messaging functionality. They may be found in your Chats list. When a message comes in for something that requires your attention, you will receive a notification in the chats list.
The main difference between them is that Channels ALWAYS belong to a Team, while Chats are standalone and have a unique membership list created by the users involved. Channels tend to be created more frequently than Chats because they are a quick way of bringing a new topic to an existing audience.
Are standalone conversations between 2 or more individual users
Belong to an established Team
Have their own individual membership
Inherit their membership from the Team
Cannot be discovered via Search
Are discoverable through the Team
Disappear from your Chat list if you leave the conversation
Can be left and rejoined by a Team member at any time
If you leave the Chat, you will permanently lose access to all content shared on the Chat
If you leave a Channel, you still have access to the content of the Channel through Search as long as you're still part of the Team
If you are a Chat Admin you can add anyone in your Organisation to a Chat
You can add anyone who is NOT in the Team to a Channel through the Invite Guest feature
The Chat Admins have overall control of the Chat and the Chat Settings
The Team Admin has overall control over the members of the Channel and the Channel Settings
Chats can be created by anyone on Blink
Channels can only be created by Team Admins
Automatically created in you Chat List when you create a new contact
Only appear in your Chat List when you have created or been added to a Channel
How to start a Chat
1. Navigate to the Chats section. This will be on the left side of the desktop app or at the bottom menu of the mobile app.
2. Once on the chat screen, click the + icon. This can be located at the top of the screen, next to the search bar.
3. After clicking that a create chat screen will appear which will allow you to create a "New private chat".
4. From here, simply decide on what kind of Chat you want to create -
Group Chat: To create a group chat using the above method enter a title and add members by searching for them by name, then clicking on the correct user profile.
Private 1-to-1 Chat: To create a private one to one chat using the above method then just search for a name and click on the right user profile. This will connect you!
The alternate method to creating a one-to-one chat is to use the Directory. Click on Directory, then cycle across to the Directory tab. Search for who you want to connect with by name, open their profile, then click chat.
When you connect to another user (via either of the above methods) in a one-to-one chat, they will automatically appear in your 'Contacts' tab.
❓ What about "read" receipts?
At this time, our chats do not support a "read" notification feature for users. That said, we're always looking to expand our functionality and ensure we're providing the features that users want the most. We encourage everyone to submit their suggestions to our team here.
How to start a Channel
Creating a Channel is different from creating a Chat because it originates from a specific Team. Channels can only be created by Team Admins
If you have Channels enabled, follow these steps to create a Channel:
1. Go to Directory icon on the left hand side of the desktop or at the bottom of the mobile app.
2. Go to the Teams section
3. Select the Team you want to create a Channel for e.g. Customer Success
4. Click Create Channel
5. Give your new Channel a name, purpose and select followers. If you leave the Select follower's box blank, ALL the Team members will be automatically made into followers
6. Click Create to make the channel.
Once a Channel is created, it will appear within Chats along with any private or group chats you’re a part of and acts as another place for your Team to communicate. They may be created for an upcoming piece of work, event, shared interest or any topics you’d like. You can create multiple channels within each Team with various team members in each Channel.