What are channels?
Channels are just groups of people that need to communicate around a topic. Here are some everyday examples:
- Topics like Safety, Quality, or Permits
- Channels for your internal project team (e.g. Superintendents)
- Channels for each of your subcontractors (e.g. Electrical)
Here's an example from a general contractor project. Note how each trade can have their own channel and dedicated phone number.
Project can have as many channels as you like. But we suggest you don't overdo your channels at first. See how the team communicates and what topics are important for the project.
If you are an administrator, to add a new channel, click on "Create new channel" at the bottom of the list of channels for your project. Only account administrators can create new channels.
Channel Notification Styles
When you create a channel, you can set the notification style to one of the following options:
- Broadcast - one-way broadcast messages to a larger group of people, e.g. an entire site
- Group chat (Default setting) - two-way group chat messages
- Notified when mentioned - two-way group chat where people need to be @mentioned in order to be notified
More details on each of these notification styles follows below.
Group Chat Notification Style
If you set a channel as Group Chat, everyone will get a text message or app notification with every new message, unless specific people are @mentioned. For a very large group of people, this can get noisy. That's where the Notified When Mentioned channel setting can be useful. With this setting, people can see the messages in the FieldChat app, but won't get an app notification or text notification unless the whole @channel is mentioned or specific people are @mentioned.
Notified When Mentioned Style
For a large group of people, the Group Chat setting can get noisy. That's where the Notified When Mentioned channel setting can be useful. With this setting, people can see the messages in the FieldChat app, but won't get an app notification or text notification unless the whole @channel is mentioned or specific people are @mentioned.
Broadcast Notification Style
For a very large group people, broadcast-only notifications can be useful. This can be used to notify everyone on the site about site conditions, emergencies, mandatory meetings or other important information. Only channel or customer administrators can send messages in a broadcast channel.
Broadcast messages are prefixed with an alert symbol when they are received by users in the app or as a text message.
Users will always receive broadcast notifications unless they are completely disabled in their personal channel notification settings (e.g. a user's notification settings for the channel are set to "Never send text messages" and "Never send app notifications").
If you want to send text messages on a channel, it needs a phone number. You can assign a phone number when you create or edit a channel by selecting the "Enable text notifications check box". To deactivate a phone number for a channel, simply edit the channel and uncheck the box.
Note: In order to save resources, if you have a phone number on a channel that is unused for 60 days, FieldChat will automatically recycle it. You will receive a message if this happens, and you can re-assign a new phone number if needed.
Channel admins can invite more users to a channel or remove users from a channel.
Edit a channel
To edit a channel, select the Edit Channel menu option. In the mobile app, you can find this option in the message panel menu under the three dots. In the web app, this is in the channel panel menu.
Deleting a channel
To remove a channel, select the Delete Channel menu option. In the mobile app, you can find this option in the message panel menu under the three dots. In the web app, this is in the channel panel menu. If you delete a channel with a phone number, that number becomes available for use in another channel.
Archiving a channel
To archive a channel so that it is removed from the active list of channels, but available in the future if you ever need to review history, select the Archive Channel menu option. Only account admins can archive channels. You cannot archive the "FieldChat Help" channel.
Unarchiving a channel
To unarchive a channel, find the "Archived Channels" option at the bottom of your list of channels and use the chevron to reveal the list of archived channels. Use the button beside the archived channel you wish to restore. Only account admins can unarchive projects.
Export channel history
In the web app, you can export the entire conversation history in a channel as a text file using the "Export Channel" menu option in the Members List.