Pusher Chatkit Alternative: Stream vs. Pusher

Scott L.
Scott L.
Published May 24, 2019 Updated June 20, 2021

Update: Pusher has announced they are shutting down Chatkit on 4/23/20. If you are in need of a Pusher ChatKit alternative you can review some of the high-level details below. We also provide a Pusher Migration guide on Github.

Chat and messaging are critical components for application success. When searching for a provider to enable in-app messaging, you might compare Chat by Stream with Pusher’s Chatkit. Pusher focuses on real-time infrastructure, offering products to ease the use of sockets and push. Although Chat by Stream is a new product, it provides a much more complete messaging experience, providing many more advanced features out of the box.


  • Stream has years of experience building highly scalable, high performing infrastructure powering activity and news feeds for hundreds of customers.
  • Stream’s solution is feature rich, providing capabilities like AI moderation, @mentions, banning/muting users, custom objects, threads, reaction, slash commands, and built-in search.
  • Stream provides an extensive portfolio of front end components and a beautiful UI kit to make integration more straightforward than any other product on the market.

High-Level Overview

Chat by Stream is the most complete alternative to Pusher available. It supports five use cases out of the box, providing a beautiful UI kit for each in both light and dark modes. The UI kit can be handed off to your designer, and they’ll have all the assets at their fingertips, making it a breeze to swap out what they need to. The five use cases are:

  • Social Messenger
  • Livestream
  • Commerce
  • Team
  • Gaming

Selecting the use case will modify your chat settings for that usage – for example, a Livestream will turn off typing indicators and read status since the volume will be so high.

Built on top of Go, Raft, and RocksDB, Chat by Stream leverages many of the same components our market leading Feed solution is built upon. Over the years our team has learned how to scale feeds to support billions of updates a month in real time, and we’ve used that experience to create one of the fastest and most scalable chat solutions possible. We are trusted by Under Armour, Unsplash, NBC Sports, eToro and many others. Our services are GDPR and HIPAA compliant.

Stream’s Strengths vs Pusher

  • Ready to go front end components
  • Premium Features
  • Admin Moderation Tools and AI moderation
  • Highly scalable, stable and high performing infrastructure
  • Simple Migration

Front End Components

Stream provides rich, powerful, and incredibly easy to integrate front end components, allowing you to add chat to your application in hours not months. Alternatively, Pusher provides a much more complicated interface, requiring you to build out the component infrastructure on your own.

Premium Features

Out of the box, Stream provides advanced features for your one to one, group, or open channel messaging experiences. Features like @mentions, search, custom objects, slash commands, on-prem option, reactions, threads, and rich-URL preview. We also provide developers with a clean API and webhooks, allowing them to build custom features like chatbots, user polls, and anything else they dream up.

Comparing Stream's Features as Alternatives to Pusher's
As a Pusher alternative Stream provides more options for enterprise

Admin Moderation Tools and AI Moderation

Stream provides admins the ability to mute and ban users, mute channels, and send system-wide notifications to help keep your conversations civil. Our tools allow you to ensure user safety within your app. Activating our AI based moderation will automatically protect your users from spam, profanity, and explicit content.

In comparison, Pusher doesn’t offer any moderation tools.

Pusher ChatKit's moderation features compared with Stream's alternatives

Highly Scalable, Stable and High Performing Infrastructure

Chat by Stream is built upon the same Go, Raft, and RocksDB infrastructure that powers the activity and notification feeds for over 300 million end users. With the ability to support millions of concurrent connections for a single app, thousands in group chat and channels, Stream’s ability to scale is second to none.

Pusher limits participants to 100, and only allows up to 60 days of message retention.

Stream’s feed infrastructure has had 99.99% uptime over the past 12 months, showcasing the kind of stability customers can rely on.

Simple Migration

Stream can work with you to make your migration a snap. With our import tools and customizable interfaces, we can help you migrate from Pusher and into Chat by Stream in no time. Companies have been switching to Stream because of our:

  • Scalability
  • Performance
  • Stability
  • Advanced Features
  • Customer Support

Try us out

Hopefully you now see why Stream is the leading Pusher ChatKit alternative. Want to see how easy it is to move from Pusher to Chat by Stream? Reach out via our contact form, and we’ll be happy to help you run a test yourself.

If you’re interested in other alternatives you might also like to read how Chat by Stream stacks up as a competitor to Sendbird. Want to jump right into the code? No problem. We have an interactive API tour available here.

Looking for your next read? Have a look at this product and pricing comparison guide between chat providers.

Happy chatting!

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