Frequently Asked Questions
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Chatzy is a free private chat service which you can use to communicate with people you already know or people who visits your blog or website. With Chatzy you can create a chatroom and send out email invitations very quickly and easily. No registration is required.
Probably because you didn't invite anybody. The purpose of Chatzy is to provide you with private chat rooms in which you can chat with friends and family on the Internet without being disturbed. Nobody can join the chat if they have not been invited by you or one of the other participants.
If you didn't bookmark the chat room (as we asked you to), you may have a problem. However, most browsers "remember" where you have been, so the necessary address may pop up if you start typing "www.chatzy.com". Otherwise, try looking in the browser's history. The address should look like:
If none of this works, you can easily create a new chat room.
As it is costly to develop and run a quality chat service, we reserve a space in the chat rooms for a single commercial message which changes every two minutes and offer a Premium service along with our free chat (see "Subscriptions" section below).
Room creation and deletion
Both are basically free. The most important differences are:
- The Quick Chat allows you to create a chat room and send out invitations, as quickly and easily as you would create a regular email. You cannot, however, specify room passwords or change the chat properties (such as the title/subject) after it starts.
- The Virtual Room gives you many more options. You can set permissions by email address, choose what features the users have access to, define passwords and custom welcome messages. And, importantly, you can change all properties (such as the title/subject) at any time after the chat starts.
No. The chatrooms are always open, regardless of whether the creator is present or not.
You are welcome to create a chat room and link to it from a Web page of your own. Think of it as a free hosted chat solution for your Web site. You simply use the chat room address from your browser. It should look like this:
If you do this, we strongly recommend that you create a Virtual Room. The Quick Chat is primarily intended for private chats with trusted participants. In a Virtual Room, only you or somebody with the administrator password can clear the chat history, and you have the option of specifying a room password for accessing the chatroom.
You can change the appearance of any hosted room by applying a custom skin. This is done in Room Properties, under Premium Options.
A custom skin defines the room's background color and text color, as well as the preferred fonts and text size, so it fits in with your existing design or own liking.
The custom skin is always applied to hosted rooms (»chatzy.com/frame/YourName«). If you want the custom skin to apply when you access your room directly (»chatzy.com/YourName«), the "Also skin when not hosted" checkbox must be selected.
Also notice that the border of the chat is not controlled with the skin, but by the code that calls the iframe. The skin only sets visual properties for what goes on inside the frame.
These Custom Skin Examples will help you get started.
Yes. Chatzy used to be primarily a real-time chat system, but it can also be used as a simple blog or message board. Make sure to create a Virtual Room for this purpose, though.
A chatroom which is used regularly will stay open indefinitely. In order to save space on our system, chat rooms that have not been modified (written to) within 14 days may be deleted. This should not be a problem, since you can always just create a new chat room when you need to chat again.
Premium Rooms (our paid subscription) will be kept open for a minimum of 6 months, from the time they were last used. If they are modified regularly, they will stay open indefinitely.
You cannot remove a chat room in itself. But you can clear the entire chat history (select "Clear Chat" on the menu) so nobody can see what was written previously. Also, chat rooms not used for a period of time will be deleted automatically (see previous question).
Quick Chats are meant to be quickly created, used for a chat or two and then discarded, but if a specific Quick Chat address has become established among you and your friends, you may want it to have Virtual Room features.
If you upgrade a Quick Chat to Premium, it gets automatically converted to a Virtual Room with access control, custom URL and all the other options. Of course, the room also gets all the premium features such as custom URL, timeout settings, etc.
The room administrator password is automatically set to the item number from the payment (make a note of it when you pay or look it up in your receipt email - it is a 14-digit number, but not the same as the room address number). With this, you can enter the room as administrator, register your email as the room owner email and change the admin password to something you can remember.
Please notice that we are not able to decide who is the most legitimate administrator of a Quick Chat. Anyone who knows the room address can "take control" of a Quick Chat by making it Premium.
Invitations and access control
If you are registered with Chatzy yourself and if you are creating a Virtual Room, the "Allow to enter" dropdown box under Room Properties gives you three options for authenticating users:
- You can allow all users who know the particular chatroom address (e.g. chatzy.com/123456789012). You will NOT be able to ban individual users with this option.
- You can allow only users whose email address has been confirmed by Chatzy (registered users). It doesn't matter if the users have been invited or not.
- You can allow only registered users who have received an email invitation for the room or been added manually to the visitor list (or who know the admin password).
Notice that you cannot define a room password with the last option, because there is no need for it - you must specifically invite all users for the room (and you can always ban a user who was previously invited).
It is very simple. Go to the front page, enter your name, one or more email addresses to send the invitation to and a subject for the chat. We will then send out an email invitation immediately. You can also send out invitations directly from a chat room by clicking on "invite people" on top of the page and filling out the form that appears.
When you start a Quick Chat or at any time after the chat starts (also in Virtual Rooms), you can send out email invitations.
Enter a single email address or multiple addresses, separated by comma.
Notice that, in Quick Chats, email addresses are always hidden. In Virtual Rooms, only the room administrator can see them on the visitor list.
No. The chatrooms are open at all times. The invitations are just a means of communicating the chat room address, which is needed in order to enter the chatroom. The recipients can save the address and access the chatroom at any time.
There are several possibilities:
- First of all, please double-check the address. You would be surprised how many of our users are sending email invitations to non-existent addresses like email@example.com (instead of yahoo.com). Unfortunately, our system is not capable of telling you whether the email reached its recipient or not.
- Online email services (such as Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail), as well as many email programs (such as Microsoft Outlook) have spam filters. Although it should not happen, some of Chatzy's invitations may be detected as spam and end up in a bulk/spam folder. Please ask your recipient to check whether this is the case. There is usually an option to report to the email service/program that the invitations are not spam.
- Another possible explanation is that you are sending email invitations to a mailbox, which require that senders be registered for some kind of membership. Yahoo! Groups, for instance, has this requirement. You may be registered and perfectly able to send email yourself, but if Chatzy is not part of the group, our email invitations will be returned and never read by their recipients.
In a Quick Chat, you cannot "uninvite" people (but you can always start a new chat and make sure not to invite the unwanted person). In a Virtual Room, you can either change the password or exclude the user in the visitor list by clicking on the icon in the right side of the row.
As administrator or moderator in a virtual room, you can ban unwanted users, but only if they have registered their email address with Chatzy.
You cannot ban or silence an unregistered user reliably - or anyone, for that matter, if the room is open for unregistered users - since a banned visitor can just enter again under another name.
To prevent unregistered users from entering your room, select the appropriate option in the "Allow to enter" dropdown box under Room Properties.
In a Chatzy room, four authorization levels exist:
1. Administrators, 2. Moderators, 3. Regulars, and 4. Silenced visitors.
A moderator cannot change any room properties, but he/she can:
- Kick out, ban or let in visitors
- View the visitor list and send/receive personal messages
- Clear the room
Only the administrator can appoint moderators and only in Premium Rooms:
- Visitors with a registered email can be appointed permanently.
- Unregistered visitors can be appointed temporarily (until they leave the room).
- Offline unregistered visitors cannot be appointed.
When you post any YouTube or Vimeo video in your room, the original video thumbnail and description are automatically retrieved and shown.
When a visitor clicks on the video thumbnail, the video is played inside the room and the visitor's icon changes to show other visitors that he/she is watching the video. (Visitors can also hold down CTRL or SHIFT before clicking in order to play the video in a separate window.)
Room administrators have the possibility to disable this feature. Video thumbnails are, however, 100% safe and we recommend enabling them by default, as visitors can easily turn them on or off (by clicking on the small video icon in the top-right corner of the chatroom).
Simply include any URL (internet address) ending in .jpg, .gif, .bmp or .png in your chat post and it will be automatically converted to an inline image. You can also post it using the /image command followed by the URL of the image.
If the image is on your computer, you must first upload it to a free file-sharing service like Dropbox, ImageShack, or another one.
The image shows up in your room as long as it is available at the specified web address. For security reasons, only registered users can post images.
Signing up with Chatzy
Chatzy was designed to work without the users needing to sign up. We do, however, offer some advantages to the users that confirm their email address:
- As a registered user, you have a "My Rooms" list where all rooms you enter, create or get invited to are automatically saved.
- For each of your rooms, preferences such as name and color will be saved for next time you return.
- You can set invitation permissions, e.g. you can specify that nobody or only registered users may send you invitations.
- You can enter into rooms where the owner only allows users with a confirmed email to enter.
Signing up is, of course, free and only takes a minute.
When you are logged into Chatzy with your email address, it can be used to identify you towards room administrators in certain cases:
- In Quick Chats, there is no room administrator and, consequently, nobody can see your email.
- In Virtual Rooms, only the room administrator can see it. Your email is hidden for all other users, even Moderators.
If you have a Facebook account, you can use it to log into Chatzy. The following information from Facebook is stored in your Chatzy profile:
- Your email address, which is used as your normal account ID. (We do need your real email address - anonymous emails provided by Facebook are not accepted.)
- Your real name and Facebook profile address, which, in a future version, may be added to the visitor list in rooms you enter.
We do not read any additional information about you or your friends.
Unfortunately, Facebook's API does not allow our application to limit its access to the above three pieces of data, but, again, we do not use or store any other information.
Furthermore, we do not interact with your Facebook account. We cannot and we will not post anything about Chatzy or your use of Chatzy on Facebook.
This is what you can do:
- First of all, select the "Allow nobody to send me invitations" option under "Account Preferences" (click on your email for that page).
- You can also change your personal password to some random string if you are sure you are not coming back.
- Then click "My Rooms" and remove all items from your personal room list by clicking the X to the right of each room.
That's it! Technically, we will still have a file with your email address, but you will never hear from us again. In fact, if we deleted your email address, we would not be able to prevent people from sending you new invitations from the chat rooms.
Rooms you have entered in the past may still have you on the visitor list, but notice that only the room administrator can see your email address.
Features and daily use
When you have been inactivity in a room for a period of time, you are asked to confirm that you are still following it. If you don't respond within a certain time, you will be logged out automatically. This saves free spots and system resources for more active users.
In a Premium Room, the timeout values is set by the administrator. In a free room, the timeout depends on the number of visitors in the room:
- 60 minutes if there are 6 or fewer visitors in the room
- 50, 40, 30 or 20 minutes, respectively, if there are 7, 8, 9 or 10 visitors
- 15 minutes if people are waiting in line to enter the room (more than 10 visitors).
Premium Users never time out and they don't take up space for non-paying users.
Saving the chat room can mean two different things:
- To save the whole chat room history for your records, just click "Save Chat" on top of the screen. This will open up a new window which you can easily save on your computer by choosing "Save As..." in your browser's File menu (if you use Internet Explorer). (The saved page will also contain a link to the chat room through which you can access the live chat later.)
- To save a link to the live chat room so you can continue the chat at a later time, right-click on the chat room name (just below the Chatzy logo) and choose "Add to Favorites" on the menu that appears (Internet Explorer). If you need to copy the address manually, it should look like this: http://www.chatzy.com/1234567890, where 1234567890 is a number which uniquely identifies the chat room.
Emoticons are graphical smileys. For instance, when you type :D this emoticon is shown:
When emoticons are enabled, a smiley button appears to the right of the chat input field. Use this button to insert one of 24 supported smileys.
In some rooms, the administrator may have chosen to disable emoticons by default, but you can always choose to show them when entering the room.
Likewise, if you think graphical smileys use too much bandwidth or slow down the chat (on limited connections/old computers), you can turn them off permanently on your device.
The idea with Chatzy was never to offer fancy features for advanced users, but a simple chat system which works everywhere and which everyone can use. The more features you add, the more complex the system gets and the higher the risk of bugs and security breaches.
Currently, Chatzy does not support Web cams. We are considering whether or not we should include this feature in a future version.
This behavior has nothing to do with Chatzy - it is a feature of your Web browser (e.g. Microsoft Internet Explorer).
Fortunately, it is easy to disable. Simply find this checkbox and uncheck it:
- In Internet Explorer: Tools menu => Internet Options (last menu item) => Content (tab) => AutoComplete (button) => Use AutoComplete for Forms (checkbox)
- In Mozilla Firefox: Tools menu => Options (last menu item) => Privacy (tab) => Remember what I enter in forms and the search bar (checkbox)
A very small number of our users don't know how to behave. They copy/paste large chunks of random text (such as "qweqwe qweqwe qweqwe" etc.) into the rooms they are visiting just to annoy people. To prevent this, we have implemented an anti-spam filter which limits the amount of text that can come from a single IP address (a computer address) within a five-minute interval.
This limit will not be reached by simply typing very fast. If you get a spam message from the system, chances are that you have been copying precomposed chunks of text into the room. This is of course OK if the text is relevant for the room. Since our system cannot distinguish relevant text from nonsense text, however, there may be a few "false positives". Here is what you can do if that happens to you:
- First of all, register with Chatzy (it's free and takes one minute). The limit for registered users is higher, simply because we assume that anonymous users are more likely to spam.
- Ask the room administrator to check the "Loosen up spam control" option in Room Properties. When this box is checked, the system allows much more text to be pasted to a room without showing the spam warning. The limit is especially high in Premium Rooms, which are suitable for use from a single location such as a computer lab or a company network with only one IP address.
- The limit for administrators in Virtual Rooms is high by default (if people spam their own room, it just means nobody will visit it). In Quick Chats, the default level cannot be changed, but registered and Premium Users still have high limits.
Taking the above into consideration, you shouldn't have any problems. If you have just gotten the spam message, you may have to wait up to five minutes. Within this period, please don't paste long messages; it will extend the ban period. To know when you can continue, try pasting a small message once every minute.
The room administrator can choose to close a chat, for instance when he or she is not there. Use the following commands from the chat prompt:
- /close closes the chat. Until it is reopened, only room administrators can post. Existing visitors can read and leave the chat. No new visitors can join the chat.
- /open reopens the chat for posting and joining.
Please notice, however, that users may still have permission to write multiline messages or in other way change the contents of the room even when the chat is closed. This depends on the »Allow users to« box in Room Properties.
Private messages are a premium feature. It means that all visitors in Premium Rooms as well as Premium Users in any room can send and receive private messages.
You can send a private message in two ways:
- By clicking on the visitor's name in the visitor list on the right (when shown).
- By typing /pm [name] [message] in the chat. (Put the name in "quotes" if it contains spaces.)
When a message is sent to an online visitor, it is delivered immediately. If a message is sent to an offline (gray) visitor, it will be delivered the next time he/she enters the room. Until the message is delivered, it can be changed if necessary.
The administrator can send private messages to anyone, while the "Allow private messages" section under "Premium Options" controls whether regular visitors can send private messages or not.
Global Messages work just like Private Messages, only they are immediately delivered to everyone currently in the room.
Also, you have the option of making the last Global Message delivered automatically every time somebody enters the room.
To send a Global Message, you need to be a room Administrator or Moderator. You can either click on the megaphone icon to the right of the Room Board, or use the /gm command.
The visitor status is a personal message that is displayed on the Visitor List, as well as when visitors mouse over the visitor icons in the Visitor Pane.
You can change your status as often as you want, either by clicking on your own icon in the Visitor Pane (when shown), or by typing one of the following commands:
- /status <message> updates your online status.
- /away <message> marks you away and sets an away message. You can tell people what you are doing or when you are coming back.
- /leave <message> makes you exit the room, leaving a message that everybody can see while you are offline.
Like most properties on Chatzy, the visitor status is a per-room setting, i.e. you can have as many different visitor statuses as you have rooms.
In a multi-line message, you can make bulleted or numbered lists by starting a line with a ¤ or § symbol (followed by a space):
- ¤ makes the line bulleted
- § makes the line numbered (1., 2., 3., etc.)
To finish a bulleted or numbered list, insert an empty line below it (a single line break continues the style).
The Room Board is a small text area usually shown on top of the room (opposite the chat text field) with a moving or static text.
By default, the text message in the Room Board moves right-to-left (or bottom-up) as in a news ticker if it cannot fit onto the screen in its entirety.
In Premium Rooms, you can modify the text as often as you want and choose whether the text should tick/move, be highlighted, etc.
Performance and browsers
Chatzy has been thoroughly tested with the latest version of the major browsers:
It is our aim that Chatzy continues to work in older browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape Navigator 6, but we highly recommend upgrading to one of the above, more modern browsers.
We want as many people as possible to use Chatzy, but at the same time we need to make enough money to pay for our high-performance chat servers:
- In free rooms, we have had to set a limit the 10 concurrent visitors. Of course, this limit does not apply to Premium Users - these can enter freely and they do not take up free spots.
- In Premium Rooms, there is no limit. We recommend a maximum of 150 people in order for the chat to work efficiently between the participants, but the system can easily cope with many more (we have had chats with more than 1,000 participants in one room!).
- If there are more than 150 people in a room, our system changes to "bulk mode", which means that the visitor list stops keeping track of who is in the room. You can still see all visitors in the order they enter the room, but you won't know for sure when they leave.
- If your room has 500-1000 concurrent visitors or more, we may, if the room causes server problems, have to impose a temporary limit of 500 people. Until now, we have never had to do this and if it happens, we will give you a full refund on your latest payment.
We believe 500 people in a room should be enough for all kinds of normal chat. If you need to communicate to/with more than 500 people, Twitter is probably a better choice than Chatzy.
Maybe because your Internet connection is not fast enough. Due to the way Chatzy functions, there is a short delay from when a user writes a message to the moment it shows up on your screen. With a good Internet connection (such as cable/DSL), this delay should be no more than 0.5-2 seconds during normal activity.
Since we started back in 2001, we have had only very few short periods of downtime, typically in the order of 1-2 hours. We realize uptime is very important for our users and we do everything we can to get as close to 100% as possible.
We used to restart our servers weekly, but this is no longer necessary.
Security, privacy and abuse
The way Chatzy distinguishes between your chat room and everyone else's is by giving it an ID number. This ID number is between 0 and a trillion (up to 12 digits). That means, if anyone can guess a number in a trillion, they can access your chat room. Not very likely, is it?
Chatzy is very safe to use:
- Secondly, there is no way Chatzy can transfer a virus or execute code from another chat user on your computer. The only thing that passes from one chatter to the others is plain text. All HTML tags, and thereby embedded code of any kind, is filtered away. Consequently, there is no need for virus protection in relation to Chatzy.
No, we do not. Furthermore, we never use pop-up/pop-under windows and we try to avoid flashy, disturbing banners.
Well, first of all, you are the one who decides where to spend your time. If you don't like the language in a specific chatroom, we suggest that you don't visit it. It's that simple.
Fortunately, we have never received a request from the police to disclose an IP address and we hope we never will.
As a measure towards the 0.1% of our users who do not know how to behave themselves, we are displaying a user's partial IP addresses for log-in and rename actions. This makes it more difficult for the mentioned 0.1% to log in as multiple or different (fake) identities in the same chatroom. Furthermore, it clearly shows everybody that we are logging IP addresses, which we hope will deter malicious or deceitful behavior.
An IP address is a number, which all computers on the internet have and which people can usually not change. The number could for instance be 22.214.171.124, which we would display as X.X.X.123. This gives a good indication of which computer the user is behind without compromising the safety/privacy of the user by revealing the full IP address. We realize that it is not the perfect security measure (a deceitful user may still use multiple computers), but it is better than nothing.
In a Quick Chat, you have no control of people, once you have let them in. Your only option is to stop using the room and move your trusted friends or visitors to another room by sending them the new chatroom address.
In a Virtual Room, you can ban or specifically allow users based on their email address. You can also change the room password from time to time. Of course, these options only apply if you have the administrator password for the chatroom.
Please also notice that, unless you are a skilled programmers, installing user scripts made by others makes you highly vulnerable to them stealing your password and hijacking your account. We have seen examples of this in the past. So don't be stupid and install something people you don't trust have created.
If you choose to show images, you will automatically see internet images posted by other visitors in the room.
Internet images are not hosted on the chat server, but automatically retrieved by your browser from other internet domains. It means that the address of the chat room and visitor IP addresses are exposed to the image servers and their administrators.
From a security point of view, showing images automatically corresponds to clicking on every link posted in the room. You should only do this if you trust everybody in your rooms.
On the other hand, if your computer is up-to-date and protected, the risk is limited. Again, it corresponds to clicking on links to random web sites.
Subscriptions / Premium Features
We like the idea of being free and we will continue to offer a free, ad-supported chat service. Our success, however, has brought about hosting costs which we are unable to meet without subscriptions.
We offer two different types of subscriptions:
- A Premium User subscription which applies to one user (you!) in all rooms you visit.
- A Premium Room subscription which gives all visitors in one room premium status.
We recommend the Premium User subscription if you use Chatzy a lot, but you don't administrate your own rooms. Premium Rooms, on the other hand, are intended for people that maintain one or several Virtual Rooms.
For more information, you may refer to this small comparison chart.
A Premium User subscription gives you:
- Unrestricted access. In free rooms, the number of non-subscribers is limited to 10. Premium Users, on the other hand, are always granted access (without taking up one of the 10 free spots).
- Private messages. As a Premium User, you can send and receive unlimited private messages to/from any visitor.
- No advertisement. A clean chat experience without banners or promotions.
- Faster chat updates. Messages appear faster in all rooms you visit.
- No timeouts. You will never be asked to confirm that you are still following a room and you will not be logged out after one hour of inactivity.
- Unlimited lists. Your lists of personal rooms and room visitors will no longer be limited to 40 items (12 on Chatzy Mobile).
- Inline images. Unless specifically disallowed in the room, you can post as many inline internet images as you want.
A subscription is only 2-3 dollars a month. Show me the options.
A Premium Room gives the best possible chat experience for all visitors:
- Unlimited number of visitors. In free rooms, the number of non-subscribers is limited to 10. In Premium Rooms, there is no limit to the number of people in the room.
- Private messages. If you allow it under Room Properties, visitors can send/receive unlimited private messages to you and/or other visitors.
- No advertisement. A clean chat without banners or promotions.
- Faster updates and no timeouts. Messages appear faster and you (the administrator) decides when/whether visitors should be sent away automatically.
- Complete chat history. All visitors can access the entire chat history (not just the last 10 KB). The administrator can even recall deleted contents.
- Moderation option. You can promote visitors to room moderators.
- Room Board. Administrators and Moderators can control the area above the chat called the Room Board.
- Custom room URL. The room administrator can choose a permanent room address like: chatzy.com/YourName.
- Hosting on your site. If you want, you can embed the room on your own website or blog in your own design and without Chatzy logos ("white-labeled"). Tell me more
- Inline images. Unless you disallow it, all room visitors can post inline internet images.
In the future, we may add more premium features at no extra charge.
When you pay for a Premium Room or to become a Premium User, a recurring payment is automatically set up at PayPal. For instance, a quarterly subscription creates an automatic payment every three months. This way you don't have to worry about loosing your premium features.
You can change or cancel your subscription at any time before a renewal payment:
- To change your subscription, for instance from a monthly to a yearly subscription (which is cheaper), simply select the subscription period you want, click the "Change Subscription" button, and follow the instructions.
- Click here for information on how to cancel a subscription.
After you fill out our purchase form, you will be directed to a secure server at PayPal. PayPal, an eBay company, is one of the world's largest online payment processors.
All sensitive information is entered and encrypted at PayPal's secure server. Only PayPal will know your credit card details, they will not be available to Chatzy.
If you are not already registered with PayPal, you will have to choose a user name and a password at PayPal's site (as well as entering your credit card details). With this user name and password, you will be able to pay quickly and securely at services which use PayPal as their payment processor in the future.
Once you have completed the transaction at PayPal, please make sure you click the "Continue" button in order to return to Chatzy.com. Only at this point do we get confirmation about your payment.