This guide explains another core Sendbird concept: Channels. Channels are fundamental to a solid implementation of Sendbird within your app. By the end of this guide, you will understand the various types of Channels within Sendbird. You will also understand how to create, update, delete, and view Channel objects. Please note that while some implementations will vary from platform to platform, the core concepts remain the same across all SDKs.
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Sendbird Channels are essential to all chat interactions. Users belong to them, and messages are sent in them. Sendbird provides different types of Channels to support various use cases. This guide will cover the two main types of channels: Group Channels and Open Channels. We will also talk about how you can use them.
Group Channels are the most used Channel type within Sendbird. Group Channels allow for close interactions among a small group (up to 100) of users. From a developer standpoint, this Channel type offers a greater deal of customization and control. This comes in the form of read and delivery receipts, reactions, push notifications, mentions, and much more. For a full list of features, check out the docs.
There are two main types of Group Channels: private and public.
Public: A Public Channel is a Channel which any user can join without an invitation.
Private: A Private Channel is a Channel which only invited users can access.
While Group Channels, by default, can have up to 100 members in capacity, many of our customers use them for 1:1 interactions to create a more intimate conversation. These conversations should be defined as distinct, which means any time a user tries to initiate a new discussion with a similar user, the same Channel will be reused. This feature is especially relevant for dating, on-demand, or healthcare apps.
Please see the docs for the full resource representation of a Group Channel.
In the situation where you’d like to use Group Channels with more than 100 participants, check out Supergroup Channels. These can have over 2,000 members in a single Channel with a Pro plan and up to 20,000 members with an Enterprise plan.
The other main type of Channel is the Open Channel. Unlike Group Channels, membership for Open Channels is not permanent and only exists while users are connected. This is a Public Channel that hosts a large number of online users, who can enter and contribute to the conversation without any invitation. This type of channel supports fewer features and event notifications to enable larger audiences. For a complete list of features, check out the docs.
There are two different types of Open Channels: Classic and Dynamically partitioned.
Classic: This is the default type of Open Channel. This Channel allows for up to 1,000 participants in a given Channel. (Please note that classic was deprecated in lieu of dynamic partitioned Channels in March 2021).
Dynamic partitioned: This type of Channel was designed to accommodate massive amounts of users. They range anywhere from 20,000 participants in shared regions and up to 60,000 users in a dedicated region. Contact our sales team if you wish to increase the number beyond 60,000 participants. Open Channels are used for live sporting events, in-game chat, and chat rooms. For the full resource representation of a group Channel please see the docs.
By default, Channels can be created, updated, reviewed, and deleted via Sendbird’s:
Remember that a Channel object contains all of the high level data for the conversation between its members.
The Channel object interacts with the SDKs. Some interactions provide real-time communication through Websockets, and other services automatically contact Sendbird to send or fetch data via secure HTTPS requests.
Refer to the docs to understand how to create Channels with a Platform API call.
(Please note that viewing Channels via the dashboard is a moderation premium feature)
Refer to the docs to learn more about reviewing Channels via Platform API call.
Check out the docs to understand how to update Channels with a Platform API call.
Refer to the docs to learn how to delete Channels by Platform API call.
This guide should have given you a solid understanding of Channels, types of Channels, their use cases, and how they can be manipulated via CRUD operations. From here, we recommend checking out the related documentation for both Open and Group Channels as there are many more advanced concepts and features that can help you create a world-class application.
Happy chat building! ✌
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