User Types

We recommend that you understand the following terms before proceeding with the rest of this guide.

User vs. Participant vs. Member

Type Scope Definition
User Application Who can access various chat features of an application by a unique ID
Participant Open channels The user who is in an open channel
Member Group channels The user who is in a group channel

Friend and Blocked

A user can register other users within an application as friends, and start an instant 1-on-1 group chat with a friend or invite friends to existing group channels. On the other hand, a user can block other users to stop receiving any further messages from them in 1-on-1 group channels. When joining 1-on-N group channels, a user will be notified if a user they have blocked is in the channel.
At the application level, by using the SendBird Dashboard or Platform API, an admin or operator can also shadow-block users with abnormal or inappropriate activities attempting to open 1-on-1 group channels with other users. For more information about the block functionality, see the Application section's Block and unblock other users in an application part.


You can assign operators on each channel to moderate participants or members with abnormal activities by banning and muting participants/members in a channel. The banned participants/members who are kicked out of the channel can participate/join the channel after the banning time specified by operators. Muted participants/members are allowed to stay in the channel and view the messages, but can't talk in the channel until the operators unmute them.