Alternative to Stream Chat: Talkjs vs Stream

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:


TalkJS is a full-featured chat API you can add to your website or mobile app. It comes with a fully featured chat UI and works seamlessly with any language or framework. You can have a chat solution up and running in a matter of hours.

“My dev has said your documentation is one of the best he has seen. So, so easy to implement, and he is a hard man to please too! ☺

We already have it up and running, and it looks fab.”

—— Sean,

TalkJS key benefits:

  • Fully featured chat UI
  • Robust notification system
  • On-premise installation

Stream offers enterprise-grade feed & chat APIs. You can build scalable activity feeds or real-time chat applications a lot faster and with less difficulty.

Stream Chat key benefits:

  • AI moderation
  • UI design kit for Sketch
  • Private cloud

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✔️
UI design kit✔️ Design files for Sketch and UI components
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 two plans, the standard plan that scales with MAU, messages per month, and concurrent users per month, and a typical enterprise plan with custom pricing.

The standard plan ($499/mo)*

  • 25k Monthly Active Users
  • 3,000,000 Messages/month
  • 7,000,000 Messages/storage
  • 1,250 peak concurrent connections

Enterprise Chat (custom pricing)

Gives access to these advanced features:

  • AI powered moderation
  • Phone & Slack support
  • Dedicated stack or private cloud
  • Service level agreements

To get a better feel for how pricing scales, let’s address the asterisk in the Standard plan. Customers that exceed the limit on MAU, messages or peak concurrent connections in a month are charged $12 per percent over. Example: using 35,000 MAU in a month will result in an overage fee of $480, 40% over the base of 25,000 MAU, which comes up to $979/month. In other words, every additional 1k MAU over the limit raises the monthly cost by $48.

In contrast, TalkJS offers three pricing plans that support unlimited MAUs and unlimited messages. With no limitations on concurrent users or conversation history. Developer support via chat is available on all plans.

The Lite plan is intended for small businesses that need basic messaging features.

The Standard and Premium plan provide core messaging features as well as some advanced ones like:

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

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.

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.

stream chat getstream alternative


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.

getstream alternative

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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