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CareCall Blog Image FEB 20

Chat and messaging: what exactly is the difference?

Written by: Carina Vermooten
These days, people complain about everyone being on their phones constantly and not engaging in conversations. However, our phones have become much more than just mindless entertainment while we wait at the doctor’s office. It’s our way to stay connected to our loved ones, as well as businesses.

Conversational business is the latest buzzword to enter the business and call centre world. Existing customers, as well as potentially new customers, want to be able to message an organization and receive a real-time response to their queries.

Chat and messaging intersect support, and this is why businesses need to have omni-channel communication strategies in place.

Live chat

Live chat is usually used on a company’s mobile app, website or on instant messaging channels provided through call centre software. The session is usually in real-time and once the ticket has been resolved, the history of the chat will disappear.

Live chat is used by customers who have a pressing query but they really do not want to get on the phone and call to speak to someone at the organization they’ve contacted. Live chat is convenient and a quick way to get the answer a client wants or needs.


Messaging typically refers to conversations conducted on social channels such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Messaging often includes support, but it can also form part of commerce and marketing as often you’ll find yourself rather sending a message to a brand about the price of a product or service instead of going onto a live chat to do so.

Messaging isn’t session based either. The customer decides when it’s convenient for them to reply. Live chats provide support which means the customer has an urgent or time sensitive issue they need to resolve.

What does it mean in a business realm?

Messaging is an easy and relatively fast way to communicate, while also providing personalized and convenient support.

Modern messaging software for businesses also supports integrations for analytics, chatbots, and payments. Businesses can also now keep conversations in full context to use in training new employees, as well as to better interact with their customers in future.