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September 28, 2015 / carlispina

Create a Private Online Chat With Chatzy

Chatzy logoMany tools exist to facilitate online conversations, from those that streamline Twitter chats to those that focus on creating event backchannels. One such option for creating private online chats is Chatzy. This tool offers the option to create either a spontaneous private chat room through their Quick Chat, or a somewhat more robust Virtual Room that offers additional features. Both can be created for free and without creating an account with Chatzy (though you will need to enter an email to create a Virtual Room). If you opt to pay for a subscription, you can access additional features for both of these options. A Premium User subscription requires an account and gives you access to private messages, unlimited rooms, and no ads (though in my use of the free version I have yet to encounter any ads). A Premium Room subscription is tied to a single Virtual Room and gives the administrator of the room greater control, the ability to invite an unlimited number of participants, and private messages for any of the users, among other features.

The design of the tool looks admittedly a bit out-of-date, but the functionality offers many options for facilitating event or class conversations that are only available to invited participants. Users have to get the hang of Chatzy’s unique commands, but once they have, chats can include more than simple text, including options to roll a die, flip a coin, share an image, video, or other media URL, and send emoji. Only invited participants can join a conversation on Chatzy, which is perfect for situations when you want to keep your conversation limited to class participants. You can either share the URL with participants, post it to social media, or use the included invitation form to invite people to join you. I read one review that mentioned trouble with the invitation form, but I used it without any issues when testing for this post. Another nice feature for educational users is that the chats can be saved or printed if you want to refer back to them later for grading purposes. One draw back of free accounts is that your chat may include ads, though, as I mentioned above, I didn’t see any when I was testing the tool. This might be a problem for some educational settings though, so it would be worth doing your own testing if this is a concern or paying for a subscription. Despite this minor issue, if you have been looking for a private chat tool, Chatzy is worth a try.

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