Lock it up, shut it down: A guide to private chat & video

| December 20, 2016

Not everything needs to be broadcast to the whole world. Some things are best kept between just a few people, like your finance presentation or your plans to take over the Internet with an army of baby goats. Well, HipChat’s got you covered with multiple ways to ensure that what you share can only be seen by people of your choosing.

Just between you and me

In a private chat (also called a 1-to-1 chat), you can send messages and video chat with a single teammate. Brainstorm ideas for your upcoming presentation, hash out plans for the editorial calendar, send pictures of candidates for your baby goat army back and forth—whatever it is, it’ll stay between the two of you.

In the desktop and web apps, go to New Chat, start typing your teammate’s name, and click the person’s name to start a chat. Better yet, use the keyword shortcut ⌘+N for Mac or Control+N for Windows to quickly open the New Chat dialogue.

HipChat for Mac

In the Android app, tap Join Chat, start typing your teammate’s name, and tap the person’s name to start a chat.

In the iOS app, start typing your teammate’s name in the search field at the top of the app, and tap the person’s name to start a chat.

Just between you, me, and these other three

HipChat has two types of rooms—open and private. Open rooms can be joined by anyone in your HipChat group. Private rooms, however, are only accessible to those specifically invited.

When you create a room, you’re prompted to choose whether you want the room to be open or private.HipChat private roomTo add teammates to a private chat room, the room admin (the person who created the room) will need to invite them. Just click on the hamburger icon in the upper-right corner of the app, and click Invite People.

HipChat private room

If you want to open up a private chat room or make a room private, you can easily change the privacy settings. Either do it in the app by selecting Change PrivacyHipChat private room settings

Or log in to HipChat.com, go to Rooms, click on the My Rooms tab, click on the room you want, and change the permissions there.HipChat private room permissionsThat’s it! Now your baby goat cabal’s dastardly plans are safe from prying eyes. It’s okay to practice your evil laugh—they won’t see that, either.

Bring in the cavalry: Guest access

No matter how amazing your team is, sometimes you just need an outside perspective—from a client, a vendor, a strategist, you name it. Guest access allows you to open up some rooms to people outside your HipChat group, for as long as you desire.

When you turn on guest access in a room, you’ll get a link that you can share with people outside your organization, which you can see in the right sidebar.HipChat guest accessAnyone who has the link will be able to join the room in their browser using the HipChat web app. Guests can use this URL to access the room in their browser until guest access is turned off.

The room’s chat history, including files, are only visible to guests from the point they logged in. If they leave the chat and then come back, they won’t see any history or files from their previous session. If anyone asks them about what they saw pertaining to a possible baby goat army, they can’t prove a single thing.

You can turn off guest access at any time. If you turn it back on later, the guest access URL from before will no longer work, but you’ll get a shiny new one instead!

Private video chat & screen sharing

When you’re in a 1-to-1 or group video chat and realize you need to consult with a few more goat suppliers people, just share the link to the video chat with them, and they can jump right in. You can share this link with teammates, or you can invite guests with the link.

To share the video chat’s link and add more people to the chat, click on the users icon on the left side of your screen to view and add participants. Click Share the link, and both the link and the field to add a password will pop up.HipChat video chat guest access

Then share this link and the password (if you added one) with the people you want to join the video chat. From there, you can discuss face-to-face and use screen sharing.

Now you have the power to keep your private conversations private. We trust you’ll use it responsibly. Putting baby goats all over the Internet is a responsible use, right?

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