Our engineers have been hard at work adding a ton of new features, but, unfortunately, you may not have known it because the features haven’t always been updated in our documentation. We’re changing all that. We’ve a backlog of great product updates that we’re working to reflect in our documentation so we can release them to you, the public.
We’ll start with a few quick updates before we make a regular practice of publishing our change logs because we want to get some fun, juicy updates out:
- React Native Push Notifications
- Ephemeral messages
- Public Group Channels
The feature and documentation updates in this release pertain to Group Channels. Remember, that Group Channels includes both 1:1 messaging and group chat.
React Native Push Notifications
Aside from the usual push notifications, you can turn notifications on/off for a particular user or channel and you can also snooze notifications for specified time periods. There are also customizable message templates for each notification.
You can also use our webhooks to be notified by events in your applications and use this to create a custom notification service.
So start building a notification system for your React Native app!
Ephemeral Group Chat
We’ve added an option for ephemeral chat in group channels. When a group channel is ephemeral, none of the messages are saved in the SendBird database.
This affects how group channel participants can view messages. If messages are persistent, then users can scroll up and see the previous message history of the group channel. With the ephemeral attribute, old messages are replaced by new ones and users can no longer view the older ones.
Ephemeral Group Channel messages are so far only documented in our Platform API and Android documentation. But the documentation for the other platforms will be updated in the future, too.
Public Group Chat
By default, a group channel is private. Users can only join the group channel if they’ve received an invitation from an existing member of the channel.
Now, you can make a group channel public. A public group channel allows users to join it without an invitation, opening it up to a wider audience and greater participation.
Public group channels work great for forum or topic-based discussions, whether in media, education, community, or social uses.
You might ask, “How is that different from an open channel?” Good question.
Group channels support different features than open channels. These include:
- Toggle Private/Public group chat
- Toggle Persistent/Ephemeral chat
- Enable Distinct chat
- For 1-to-1 messaging, you can toggle distinct message channels that reference the same message channel between friends, rather than creating a new channel every time.
- Read Receipts
- Unread message counts
- Member Mentions
- Push notifications
- Typing indicators
- Chatbot interface
You can read more about the differences between Open and Group channels at our documentation: Open Channel vs. Group Channel.
The Public Group Channel is so far only documented in our Platform API and Android documentation. But the documentation for the other platforms will be updated soon.
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