User Type

User Types

Depending on which type of a channel your users are chatting in, they are given different labels, as well as access to different actions and information. Users can also interact privately with others by registering them as friends, or block others from sending direct messages. In some cases, users can be given an operator role and moderate other regular users who commit abnormal activities.

User vs. Participant vs. Member



Scope: application
Refers to one who can access all the chat features of a SendBird application with their own unique ID, but does not have administrative privileges.


Scope: open channels
Refers to a specific user who has entered an open channel without an invitation and is staying online in the channel. Open channel participants are not provided relational information such as connection status, typing indicators, and read receipts of other participants, as opposed to group channel members. With limited information shared with others, they can enter and exit the channel at all times.


Scope: group channels
Refers to a specific user who has joined a group channel through an invitation from an existing member or from their own choice to join the group due to the channel’s characteristics. Relational information such as connection status, typing indicators, and read receipts of the group channel members can be made available to each other depending on the channel’s settings.

Friend and Blocked

A user can register other users within your SendBird 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, and not to be notified of their new messages in 1-on-N group channels. You can choose whether or not a user can view which users they have blocked in the UI of the channel.

Note: In the Block and unblock other users section, you can see more detailed information about the two blocking modes which a SendBird application provides.


You can assign operators on each channel to moderate participants or members with abnormal activities by banning and muting participants/members in a channel.

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.