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How chat apps approach threads and why they fail

November 21, 2019

How chat apps approach threads and why they fail

It happens to all chats with multiple people eventually. Several distinct questions get asked at the same time, and people start chatting about them one over another. Various topics get discussed, replied, argued about, forgotten, lost, found, started over, argued about again, and so on. It's easy to get lost and hard to escape without a headache.

Slack chat threads

Let us break it to you right away: There is a cure, but (spoiler alert) it's not threading.

Chat Threads?

Various chat apps take different approaches to fight this problem:

Slack hides the thread under one message, and you see it as a completely separate chat.

Slack hides the thread under one message, and you see it as a completely separate chat.

Microsoft Teams keep the thread messages visible in the chat, and all messages reorder whenever a new one gets posted.

Microsoft Teams keep the thread messages visible in the chat, and all messages reorder whenever a new one gets posted.

Other chat apps like Whatsapp, for example, bury heads in the sand and do not attempt to solve the problem in any way.

Samepage's Chat Threads

Yeah, yeah, here comes the part where they claim Samepage fixed the problem - we hear you saying that to yourself. No. It's not the case. Although Samepage does have chat threads, because, you know, a propper chat kind of needs them:

Samepage chat threads

We don't think there is a proper solution to this problem yet. All the solutions require a lot of discipline from the users. People must pay a lot of attention to what they are replying to, whether to post to a thread or reply in the main chat, etc. The thing is, though, that people are rarely that disciplined. On the contrary, a lot of them aren't (often driving those that are crazy, of course).

So what is the real solution to chat threads?

The Ultimate Answer to Chat Threads

Don't use them. Keep your content and discussion together and in context.

Instead of having just a bunch of chat rooms, which is a typical setup for a chat app, Samepage encourages your team to have many chats. Not dozens, but hundreds, thousands, or even more.

Every page in Samepage has it's own chat. You may or may not need it on every single page, but it is there for you. How do you make use of it? Perhaps you create a new blog post article draft as a page. Now you want to discuss it. Instead of posting a chat message in an unorganized chat room, you post it to the page chat. Everyone on your team gets notified, while your message and any subsequent discussion it may spark will stay in the context of the blog article.

Don't use chat threads, use pages.

This way, you may discuss dozens of article drafts, project plans, designs, customer quotes, you name it. Discussions may happen at the same time without you being confused if the message belongs to this or that thread. It always stays together - both the content and the conversation.

Samepage Inbox takes care of organizing all conversations. Grouped by teams and pages, and thus at a fast glance, you have an insight into what is happening. It also makes it easier to focus, allowing you to go just through only the important messages.

Inbox

So, don't chat in threads. Chat in context.

Check out Samepage.