Difference between Group Chats and Channels on Cliq 

If you consider how you communicate in your workplace, there are two modes of communication you can categorize them into. Planned organized topic centric discussions, meetings and impromptu, casual discussions about various short term topics. Though both are essentially group discussions, they are built to serve two different purposes and there are many sharp differences between them. Cliq is beautifully designed to ensure that you get the best of both worlds with Group chats and Channels. 

Group Chats

What are group chats? 

Group chats help you have discussions with selected people in your organization. These conversations don't have any access controls, which means all participants can perform chat actions without any restriction. Moreover, group chats stay private and are not discoverable by other users unless they are invited. The maximum number of users that can be added in an ad hoc conversation is 500. 

When should you create a group chat? 

They are more on-the-spot group chats that you can create to discuss an ongoing customer ticket, get more details about a new bug filed by the QA team, getting your co-workers opinion when you are purchasing a car, creating your own virtual water cooler space and  more. The main purpose of a group chat is to discuss a momentary topic actively. Here are some examples of when you should consider creating one: 

  • Debugging a bug that you found with the concerned developers. 
  • Collaborate with people across departments on a specific customer query or to discuss a blog series. 


What are Cliq channels?

Channels are a medium for collaboration and communication within and outside the organization. Channels can be created for 4 different audience levels: Organization, Team, Personal and External. Cliq channels can support up to 2500 users and an organization can have any number of channels. 

When should you create a channel? 

Channels are optimal to have long-term (permanent) conversations that will double up as a knowledge base. Channels are structured and can work for different audience levels with roles and permissions.  They're also self-discoverable by any user, which allows users to join in and leave open and accessible channels as they please. Channels are also a great way to connect to your external third party app and streamline notifications and alerts from that app and directly inside Cliq. 

  • Organization wide announcement only channel for HR's and Management to communicate company policies, important alerts etc 
  • Organization wide channels for internal support, where users can post their query directly to the IT Admin 
  • Module or project specific team level channels with the concerned stakeholders as channel admins. 
  • Cross functional multi team channels with key stakeholders from each team.
  • External channels to collaborate with clients or vendors on a particular topic.  

Group Chats vs Channels: The differences

Group ChatsChannels
Best suited to carry out ad hoc, momentary conversations and clarifications. Best suited to carry out long-term discussions that can also double up as a knowledge base for new users. 
Maximum participant limit: 500Maximum participant limit: 2500
Users can be added as participants only by people who're already a part of the group. Users can look up any organization and team wide channel that's open for them to join. 
Has no structure and permissions. Any existing participant can add new participants or remove existing participants, including the person who created the group! 

Channels are structured. They come equipped with channel member roles and permissions to control collaboration. 
Available channel roles:

  • Admin
  • Moderator
  • ​Members.

The user who creates the channel becomes the channel admin by default. 

All participants can send messages, host a PrimeTime session or start a group audio or video call. The channel admin can define channel permissions for all actions that participants can perform in the channel, such as sending messages, hosting a PrimeTime session or starting a group audio or video call. Know more about channel permissions
Group chats cannot be connected to a third party application. Cliq channels can be easily connected to third party services through, 

Group chats are not self discoverable, the only way to participate is by getting invited. 

Organization and Team open to all channels are self-discoverable, users can join/leave at their will. 

Data in a group chat is owned by all the participants. Once a participant is removed from a group chat, they will still have access to the previous messages that were exchanged till they were a part of the chat. 

Data is owned and managed by the channel admins. Data is shared with all the participants only as long as they are a part of the channel. 
Group chats cannot be archived and unarchived.  

Channels can be archived and unarchived. Know more about channel archiving.

Messages posted in a group chat can't be moderated. 

Messages posted in a channel can be moderated.  
Group chat history can be turned off by any participant. 

Chat history cannot be turned off.