Using chat

Maeve Brooks

Maeve Brooks

Last Updated:
June 10, 2021

You can communicate with the other participants in an event with text-based Chat. Online participants can send messages in the General chat channel or through direct messages to one or multiple people.

How does chat work?

  • General chat is the public channel everyone can send messages in and can be used for event-wide announcements, prayer requests, and Q&A!
  • Direct messages are private between individual users. Conversations are private and are only seen by participants included in the conversation. An online participant can report inappropriate activity to a member of the Hospitality team, who can remove members from an event. Direct message conversation history is saved from event to event. If you begin a conversation with the same person or group outside of a live event or during another event, your conversation will pick up where it left off.
  • Chat notifications are sent when someone sends a message to either the General chat or to you directly. Every user will hear both a sound notification and see a banner notification from their browser. Each user can individually control their chat notifications and turn them on/off.
  • Chat moderation can be done by anyone with Host/Greeter permissions on an event. Learn more about how the Host/Greeter can manage chat. Any individual user can also edit or delete their own sent messages.
  • Emoji reactions can be given or removed from any message in the General chat channel or Direct messages. Show some love to others!

Chat restrictions for anonymous users

Anonymous users can see everything in the General chat, but can't send or react to messages in the General chat. Anonymous participants can chat with the Greeters, but cannot Direct message other online participants.

Learn more about how the hospitality team can create a welcoming experience for first-time visitors or participants who want to join your community.

How to send a General message

Any logged in user can send chat messages in the General public chat channel.

Step 1: Open Chat tab from the right sidebar by clicking on the Chat icon.

Step 2: Click on the text field to start typing, and click Enter on your keyboard or the Send icon to send your message. Click on the Smiley Face icon to choose from the emoji library.


How to send a Direct message

Any logged in user can send a direct message to any other logged in users.

From the Chat tab

Step 1: Open Chat tab from the right sidebar by clicking on the Chat icon.

Step 2: Click on My Chats to toggle to your direct message inbox.

Step 3: Click on Add Chat to create a new direct message. If you've never created a conversation before, you can also click Start New Conversation.


Step 4: Select the members you want to send a message to from the pop-up and click Create. 

Note: You can create a chat with one other person, or select more than one person to create a group chat.


Step 4: Once the chat is created, the new direct message conversation will be opened.

Step 5: You can return to your May Chats inbox by clicking on the Back button in the upper left hand corner of the tab.

From the Members Tab

You can also send a Direct message to any other participant in an event from the Members tab.

Step 1: Click on Members icon to open the Members tab from the right sidebar.

Step 2: Click on the three dots next to the participants name.

Step 3: Select the Direct message option. You will see the conversation thread open.


From Video Tile in a Row/Seat

You can also send a direct message to someone else you are seated with in a row or table.

Step 1: Click the three dots in the top right corner of the video for the person you'd like to direct message.

Step 2: Select the Direct Message option. You will see the conversation thread open.


Editing, deleting and emoji reactions

Any individual user can also edit and delete their own sent messages, as well as give emoji reactions to messages.

Deleting a message

General users: Any user can delete their own message after it's sent.

Hosts/Greeters: Any Host or Greeter can delete any message sent by any user.

Editing a message

If you accidentally made a typo on a message, you can edit it. Any user can edit their own message after it's sent.

Emoji reactions

We all love emojis! You can give an emoji reaction on someone else's message.


Changing your emoji colors

You can easily change the skin tone of your emojis in Altar chat.

Step 1: Click on the plus icon located at the left of the chat bar at the bottom of your screen.

Step 2: When the emoji window pops up, click the colored circle in the bottom right corner. This will expand a pallet of color options for your emojis with skin color.

Step 3: Select your skin color choice from the pallet.

Your selected skin color will then appear on the hand in the bottom of the emoji window. You can change this choice at any time by repeating steps 2 and 3.

Turning chat notifications on/off

Don't want to get notifications? No worries - click on the bell icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen on a web browser, so you can turn sound and banner notifications on or off. And the best part is the system will remember your settings next time you join an event!

Are you still curious about the community and engagement Altar Live values? Check out: What Does it Mean to Have an Interactive Church Service?



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