We bring you a thorough comparison between Stream Chat and TalkJS. We’ll provide a comprehensive overview of both features and pricing. And also pinpoint the core differences between the platforms by showcasing TalkJS as an alternative to Stream Chat.

Table of contents:

Feature comparison

Both Stream and TalkJS provide all the tools necessary for creating an awesome messaging experience. The main differences are the chat UI, and a few advanced features like moderation tools, email, and SMS notifications.

Stream excells at top grade moderation tools that include AI-based auto moderation. While TalkJS offers a complete chat solution, it provides the infrastructure as well as a fully-featured chat UI that’s highly customizable.

Available for web and mobile✔️✔️
Fully featured chat UI✔️✔️
Highly customizable UI theme✔️✔️
Multi-language user interface✔️✔️
On-premise installation✔️ Only with Enterprise planPrivate cloud only (Enterprise plan)
1-on-1 group chat✔️✔️
Group chat✔️✔️
Rich media messaging✔️✔️
Full conversation history✔️✔️
Data export✔️✔️
Real-time translation✔️✔️
Read indicator✔️✔️
Typing indicator✔️✔️
Basic moderation tools✔️✔️
AI moderation✔️ On Enterprise plan only
Roles and permissions✔️✔️
Video chat
Voice chat
Push notifications✔️✔️
Email notifications✔️
SMS notifications✔️ Custom pricing (Amazon SNS)
Desktop notifications✔️
Reply-via email directly (sync to chat)✔️
Mask contact info✔️
Location sharing✔️✔️
Giphy integration✔️

Pricing comparison

Stream’s pricing is based on monthly active users (MAU). They offer three plans that scale with the number of MAUs, and concurrent users per month. There’s a typical enterprise plan as well, with custom pricing that supports features like AI-powered moderation, phone & slack support, dedicated stack, and private cloud service level agreements. The first three plans’ costs will scale linearly as your product grows without any “pricing surprise” if you exceed the MAU limit.

With regard to features, the TalkJS Basic and Growth plans provide core messaging essentials as well as some advanced ones like:

  • Pre-built UI
  • Customizable chat UI theme
  • Webhooks
  • Reply-via-email directly (email-chat sync)
  • Support via chat
  • Custom email notifications and domain (Growth)
  • Priority access to roadmap (Growth)

For use cases that require an on-premise installation, custom paperwork, a proper SLA, or guaranteed performance under heavy load, the Enterprise plan is a great fit. It also offers at-rest encryption and dedicated support.

To give you a better grip on how the TalkJS and Stream pricing compare we plotted the MAUs and corresponding prices on a graph.

Key differences

AI moderation

Stream recently introduced an AI-based auto moderation system, a feature that makes it easy to protect your users and brand. And as far as we can tell, it’s the only company, at least among the chat API providers, that offers such a feature. Besides AI moderation, Stream also provides standard moderation tools that allow you to mute, ban, or flag users.

TalkJS provides basic moderation tools like the activity view in the dashboard where companies can monitor chats, and act accordingly if they want. And also a pro-active way to moderate messages by suppresing information like email or links by using the mask contact info feature.

Chat UI

Stream provides a backend-as-service on top of which the developers have to build the chat UI. To help customers with the design, they offer a UI design kit for Sketch. They also provide code examples, UI elements, and components. With Stream, you have to put all the chat UI pieces together, design the UI, and do the testing before going live.

TalkJS, on the other hand, provides a complete chat solution, frontend and backend, in a single package. You get the infrastructure, the code, and a fully functional chat with highly customizable UI, including the design. The UI is forward compatible, so the chat will keep working on future devices, new features, or future browser bugs.

The TalkJS theme is a CSS file that allows you to tune the look and feel of the chat UI. The core UI layout stays the same, but you can make it fit the website or app design. With just a few lines of CSS, you can change the default UI (on the left) to look any way you like.


TalkJS provides a robust notification system with advanced features that keep the users in the loop across different platforms. For example, users can reply to the email notification directly or jump back in to the chat platform – either way, their response will safely reach its destination. Stream’s notification system is limited to push notifications.

Bottom line

Both TalkJS and Stream provide the tools essential for creating a great messaging experience. If your use case is hung up on advanced moderation features, then Stream Chat is an obvious choice. But If you want a complete chat solution that comes with a fully-featured chat UI, and a robust notification system, then TalkJS is the better option.

Ready to start coding? TalkJS is free for development and testing. You’ll have plenty of time to customize and integrate your chat. You pay when you decide to go live. Try it out!

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