Every virtual event can include a live chat where your viewers can comment and discuss the event amongst each other as it’s happening on your event page or on your site via the embedded chat. As the event owner, you have the ability to moderate this chat as well with comment deletion and banning capabilities.
You must be on a desktop browser in order to use the chat moderation tools. Opening your event on the Vimeo mobile app allows you to see and participate in the chat but there are currently no options to manage the chat via the app. You will not see the live chat if you are streaming from the mobile app.
(Note: Since the production of this video, we no longer offer Facebook as a chat login option. Viewers should either log into their Vimeo account or chat as a guest.)
Enabling & disabling chat
Chat is disabled by default. You can see this from the Live Settings page right after you create your event under the Event tab. Toggle the Chat switch to enable it (it will turn blue).
If you plan on embedding your event, navigate to the Embed tab on the Live Settings page. In addition to the player embed, you can also embed the chat module. Click Chat embed code to grab the iframe to paste into your website.
Once your settings for your event are configured, click Manage production for recurring events or Next for one-time events.
For recurring events, you will see two options: Stream with Vimeo and Stream via RTMP. If you click Stream with Vimeo, you will be taken to the broadcaster page. On the right side of the stream, you will see two chat options: Audience and Speakers.
Audience allows your viewers to chat during your event. You can also post messages, which all viewers can see. Click Disable chat to turn off the audience chat.
The Speakers chat is an internal chat between you and other speakers/guests. It will be enabled at all times.
For events streamed via RTMP and all one-time events, you can manage your chat in the left navigation menu of the live preview page. You can enable and disable chat from here at any point during your event by clicking the More Options (•••) icon at the top.
If you are watching the event from Vimeo, the chat will appear to the right of the live player. The ••• menu here contains options to minimize and pop it out into its own window for your viewers, in addition, to enable/disable options for you.
Your chat will be available on your Vimeo event page and the chat embeds once it is enabled. This means viewers can start chatting even if you haven’t gone live yet. They can log in to an account or chat as a guest and post messages up to 280 characters long.
If you are expecting mobile viewers, you should be aware of some limitations:
- Viewers using a mobile browser will not be able to chat on your event page on vimeo.com as the chat on that page is not currently supported on mobile browsers.
- Viewers on the Vimeo app will need to be logged into a Vimeo account to chat. Additionally, they will only be able to chat in the Vimeo app if your event is set to Public. Private and password-protected events currently redirect to the vimeo.com mobile site.
- However, you embed the chat onto your website, viewers on mobile browsers can participate either while logged in or as a guest.
⚠️Note: While the number of viewers an event can have is unlimited, chat is limited to 80,000 logged-in participants (either via their Vimeo account or by entering their name and clicking "Join"). If your event's chat surpassed 80,000 logged-in participants, any new viewers will not be able to access the chat as well as polls and Q&A; existing participants would still have access.
Chat participants can also delete their own messages if they wish (but nobody else's). The chat will remain active until you finish your stream (unless you disable it).
During the course of your event, you can delete individual comments or ban a user entirely either via the Chat tab in the Live Preview page for one-time events, the broadcaster page for recurring events, or on your stream’s public page on Vimeo. Hover your cursor over their message and select the Trash icon to delete a comment or the Block icon to block the user.
The offending user can still comment when you block them, however, their comments will no longer be visible to any other participants so it will appear that they are being ignored by everyone else. You can also unblock the user if you wish. Please note that the blocked user is only blocked for that event; they would be able to visibly post on future events unless you were to block them again.
During your event, the browser will only display the most recent 100 messages to both you and your viewers; this is to prevent playback buffering and overall system slowdown. Note that you will still be able to export a CSV of all chat messages after your event (more on that below).
After the event
Once your event is over, the chat will deactivate. Viewers would need to comment below the player once the video archives instead. Note that chat messages do not appear as comments after the event ends.
For recurring events and webinars, you can download a transcript of your chat by doing the following:
- From the video manager, go to Live Events and select your event.
- Click Manage production, then select Stream via RTMP. Navigate to the Chat tab, then click the More Options icon (•••) above the chat.
- Alternatively, when opening the Manage production dropdown, select Stream with Vimeo to enter the event's broadcaster page. Open the Audience chat on the right side of the page and select Export chat.
- Select either Current session for the event you just streamed or your event’s date for a previous stream.
- This will download the transcript as a .txt file. Chat transcripts are available to download for 30 days.
If you want to download a chat transcript of a one-time event, you should either do it immediately following your stream, or you can do the following:
- Navigate back to the event archive’s video page (e.g. vimeo.com/1234567).
- Input the following into your browser’s address bar: vimeo.com/live/1234567/stream#chat;
- Navigate to that address within 30 days of your event and you will be able to download your transcript.