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I plan to host webinars via a YouTube Live video that is embedded on a page in my internal Laravel website (where all visitors are already logged in).

Below my embedded YouTube Live video, I'd like to have a group chat widget. And since visitors will have already logged into my website, I want this widget to already be aware of their identity (and not ask for their name or email address).

In other words, I want something like Tawk.to but with support for group chatrooms (rather than just individual conversations between admin/agent and visitor).

Desired Features

  • Works on mobile and desktop
    • And must work for 100% of visitors easily/instantly (does not require installation of anything, such as Flash or other plugins)
  • Easy to install within minutes (such as an iframe... doesn't require custom code / development)
  • Free or cheap (I found RumbleTalk, but it is $25/mo for up to 25 seats and then $1/mo for each extra seat! I do not want to pay $50/mo for 50 simultaneous users.)
  • Allows 2+ admins
  • Admin controls need to be web-only, or if they are a program, need to support Windows and Mac
  • Visitor is automatically logged in by the embed code using the info from their session on my site (I know their email address and full or first name)
  • Admins can ban someone
  • Saves history (time-stamped) for after the webinar

P.S. Unfortunately, according to YouTube docs, "embedding live chat isn't available on mobile web."

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If you are looking for software (self-hosted):

You should provide more information about the platform you're using. There are lots of solutions that exist for this. Here is one for WordPress. There are more for Django, Ruby on Rails, JavaEE, etc.

Your platform is important because, unless you want to use some innovative blockchain like Bitmessage (in which case you should check out Tribler), p2p chat is necessarily going to involve some backend. It is not possible to provide it through HTML/JS/CSS alone.

If you are looking for a service (cloud):

Then there are lots of options. I have a feeling you are looking for a cloud service, considering your reference to tawk.to. AWS has even published an article describing how to accomplish exactly this with a combination of their services.

If you want to make it really quick and easy (and prebuilt), there are four services you should consider.

I have not used these myself but I have seen each of them used successfully by colleagues.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1 for your effort. I really appreciate your thoughts. My platform is Laravel. Unfortunately, I'm already familiar with Pusher, Twilio, Stream, etc but am looking for something that is more like a widget that can be installed within seconds (like TawkTo for 1-on-1 chat) rather than developed from scratch, as Pusher etc would require. I'll update my question now. – Ryan Jan 16 at 17:01
  • @Ryan I'm curious if you found something that fit your criteria? – William Rosenbloom Jan 20 at 15:48
  • Not yet. If you have any more ideas, I'm all ears. Thanks. – Ryan Jan 20 at 16:04
  • @Ryan You're probably going to need to make some choices. You're asking for an awful lot for less than $50 per month. In particular, the admin controls you want and the seamless integration of your existing auth system are features that are pretty much only found in commercial tools. Between turnkey ease of setup, smooth integration, low low price, admin controls, and high performance, I think you will need to sacrifice at least one of these. – William Rosenbloom Jan 20 at 17:40
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    @Ryan This is a pretty interesting challenge. If you'd like, I'd be happy to help you with it in my spare time. My email is williamrosenbloom@gmail.com. – William Rosenbloom Jan 21 at 20:39

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