Messages Overview

LAST EDIT Jul 19 2024

Let's dive right into it, the example below shows how to send a simple message using Stream:

Note how server side SDKs require that you specify user_id to indicate who is sending the message. You can add custom fields to both the message and the attachments. There's a 5KB limit for the custom fields. File uploads are uploaded to the CDN so don't count towards this 5KB limit.

textstringThe text of the chat message (Stream chat supports markdown and automatically enriches URLs).
attachmentsarrayA list of attachments (audio, videos, images, and text). Max is 30 attachments per message. The total combined attachment size can't exceed 5KB.
user_idobjectThis value is automatically set in client-side mode. You only need to send this value when using the server-side APIs.
mentioned_usersarrayA list of users mentioned in the message. You send this as a list of user IDs and receive back the full user data.
message custom dataobjectExtra data for the message. Must not exceed 5KB in size.
skip_pushbooldo not send a push notificationfalse

Complex Example


A more complex example for creating a message is shown below:

mentioned_users field must contain a maximum of 25 items.

By default Stream’s UI components support the following attachment types:

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Image
  • Text

You can specify different types as long as you implement the frontend rendering logic to handle them. Common use cases include:

  • Embedding products (photos, descriptions, outbound links, etc.)
  • Sharing of a users location

The React tutorial for Stream Chat explains how to customize the Attachment component.

Get a Message


You can get a single message by its ID using the getMessage call:

Get a Message Options


if true, returns the original message

show_deleted_message is exposed for server-side calls only.

Update a Message


You can edit a message by calling updateMessage and including a message with an ID – the ID field is required when editing a message:

Partial Update


A partial update can be used to set and unset specific fields when it is necessary to retain additional data fields on the object. AKA a patch style update.

Delete A Message


You can delete a message by calling deleteMessage  and including a message with an ID. Messages can be soft deleted or hard deleted. Unless specified via the hard parameter, messages are soft deleted. Be aware that deleting a message doesn't delete its attachments. See the docs for more information on deleting attachments.

Example of a soft deleted message in a conversation

Soft delete

  1. Can be done client-side by users

  2. Message is still returned in the message list and all its data is kept as it is

  3. Message type is set to "deleted"

  4. Reactions and replies are kept in place

  5. Can be undeleted

Hard delete

  1. Can be done client-side by users but be cautious this action is not recoverable

  2. The message is removed from the channel and its data is wiped

  3. All reactions are deleted

  4. All replies and their reactions are deleted

By default messages are soft deleted, this is a great way to keep the channel history consistent.

Undelete a message


A message that was soft-deleted can be undeleted. This is only allowed for server-side clients. The userID specifies the user that undeleted the message, which can be used for auditing purposes.

Messages can be undeleted if:

  • The message was soft-deleted

  • The channel has not been deleted

  • It is not a reply to a deleted message. If it is, the parent must be undeleted first

  • The user that undeletes the message is valid