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 following tables.

A SendBird application supports two blocking modes at the application level: explicit and silent. The classic mode is now deprecated and only supported for customers who have been using it since before.

How explicit mode works:
Group channel Messages Push notification Channel list
1-on-1 New messages from a blocked user will not be delivered to a channel, and an error for sending the message returned to a blocking user. A blocked user is aware of their blocked status.

A blocking user can see the messages that a blocked user has sent before blocking.

(If a blocked user is unblocked, a blocking user can see all the messages except those that were sent from a blocked user during the blocking period.)

A blocking user will not be notified that a blocked user sent a message. A blocking user's channel list will not be updated and rearranged due to messages from a blocked user.
1-on-N (group chat) All the messages from blocked users are delivered to a channel. A blocking user will be informed of which users they have blocked in a channel. Messages sent from blocked users will be notified to a blocking user. A blocking user's channel list will be updated and rearranged due to messages from blocked users.
How silent mode works:
Group channel Messages Push notification Channel list
1-on-1 New messages sent from a blocked user will not be delivered to a channel, but are saved and displayed to a blocked user's channel view. A blocked user is not aware of their blocked status.

A blocking user can see the messages that a blocked user has sent before blocking.

(If a blocked user is unblocked, a blocking user can see all the messages except those that were sent from a blocked user during the blocking period.)

A blocking user will not be notified that a blocked user sent a message. A blocking user's channel list will not be updated and rearranged due to messages from a blocked user.
1-on-N (group chat) All the messages from blocked users are delivered to a channel. A blocking user will be informed of which users they have blocked in a channel. Messages sent from blocked users will be notified to a blocking user. A blocking user's channel list will be updated and rearranged due to messages from blocked users.
How classic mode works:
Group channel Messages Push notification Channel list
1-on-1 New messages from a blocked user will not be delivered to a channel, but are saved and displayed to a blocked user's channel view. A blocked user is not aware of their blocked status.

A blocking user can't see all the messages that a blocked user has sent.

A blocking user will not be notified that a blocked user sent a message. A blocking user's channel list will not be updated and rearranged due to messages from a blocked user.
1-on-N (group chat) All the messages sent from blocked users are delivered to a channel. A blocking user can't see all messages that blocked users have sent so far. Messages sent from blocked users will not be notified to a blocking user. A blocking user's channel list will not be updated and rearranged due to messages from a blocked users.

Note: The default blocking mode is explicit. This can be manually adjusted only by our side before integrating a SendBird application. Once set at the application level, a blocking mode can no longer be changed. If you want to use the silent mode, please contact our engineering team for further assistance.

The 1-on-1 group channels created by a shadow-blocked user are not visible to other users. Messages sent from a shadow-blocked user will not be delivered to the channel, but are saved and displayed to a shadow-blocked user's channel view. Thus a shadow-blocked user is not aware of their blocked status.

Note: As this is one of SendBird's Premium Features, please contact our sales team for further assistance.


Operator

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.