Teams know all too well the constant flow and exchange of information needed to get work done—messages, images, video conferences, files, quotes and comments. Your team chat app is the best place to store it all—but if your chat app is down or loses your data, your team will lose months of hard work. With little to no control over what happens to your info, any issue can disrupt the entire team’s workflow.
Rocket.Chat is an open source team communication app designed to fill in that crucial gap by letting you host your team chat on your server. Your teams can log in with peace of mind knowing that there’s complete control over your data. If you prefer to do away with the installation process, Rocket.Chat also offers an affordable cloud solution that lets you enjoy the same features in a simple way that’s secure and easy to set up.
When setting up your server the first time, Rocket.Chat asks for your server name, password, and region before generating your domain. After verification, you’re taken to the login page where you’ll sign up for your member account and access your Rocket.Chat home page. Admins can customize this home page to add welcome text or team-wide announcements for team members to read before jumping into the discussions.
New members have immediate access to the #general channel, but you can create new channels by clicking on the ”+“ button beside the search bar. This opens a window where you can choose to create a public or private channel, set it to read-only, and invite users to the new channel. Take note that private channels are listed separately from public ones and are only accessible to users invited to it. Give the new channel a name and click Create to finalize things.
Any member can start typing messages using the chat window at the bottom of the screen. You can format text, add inline code and multi-line messages, insert emojis, and use TeX functions. If you hover your cursor over any message, you’ll see a three-delimiter icon on the far right that displays a list of message options. You can react, copy, reply, quote, and star messages on the channel.
To the right of the channel window are settings where you can edit the channel description, adjust notifications and privacy settings, and view the entire user list. Mentions, pinned and starred messages are also accessible by clicking on their respective menu icons.
Sometimes an issue or conversation needs to be carried over via a call or video conference with your teammates. You may also need to share your screen to demo features or highlight issues with your product. Rocket.Chat provides free audio and video conferencing tools for your 1-to-1 meetings, quick calls, and screen sharing right within the app. This saves you the trouble from switching to third-party tools back and forth.
What sets Rocket.Chat from close competitors like Slack though are the robust customization options. You can add custom emojis, sounds and notifications, bots, and integrations with apps like Atlassian, SMS, and Slack. You can even upload your brand’s logo, favicon, and app icons so it looks and feels like you’re stepping in and out of the office.
LiveChat is another feature that sets Rocket.Chat apart. It brings actual customers to your team chat so you can provide real-time support while working closely with your teammates on their issues. You can add real-time chat widgets to your websites or mobile apps so your customers can reach you whenever necessary. To enable LiveChat, you need to go to your Administration settings and scroll through the menu till you see the LiveChat option.
And, it's all customizable. In addition to the built-in customization features, if you host Rocket.Chat on your own server, it's open source so you can dive into the code and tweak anything you want. It's the team chat app that works the way your team wants to.