HipChat is an application service provider that allows users to create and participate in chat rooms and send one-on-one messages with other people in a group-centric format.
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Pro Available on Web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
You can access HipChat from pretty much every common platform. HipChat even allows chatting via SMS.
Pro Powerful @mentions
You can ping people to get their attention even if they are not online by @mentioning them. Depending on how the person has set their account up it can be by notifications via in-app sounds, visual alerts, and even email, SMS, or mobile app push notifications.
Pro Huge list of integrations
Including Asana, Github, Zendesk, WordPress, MongoDB, TeamCity, JIRA, Confluence, PowerShell and more that 40 others.
Free with unlimited users, $2/user/month for voice + video calls, screencasts, full history retention and management. (Even enterprise feature like SAML)
Pro Simple, easy to use
An intuitive, easy to overview interface listing both online and offline users.
Pro Embeds files
Things like photos get automatically embedded in the chat thread once you upload them.
Pro Guest access
You can invite people to join conversations even if they don't have a HipChat account. HipChat will generate a link to share and the guest will only need to enter their name to join the conversation.
Pro Desktop client
HipChat has an optional desktop client powered by Adobe AIR.
Pro Good audio and video support
HipChat audio and video works on mobile platforms and web browsers.
Pro "Rooms" for persistent group chat
Participate and keep tabs on ongoing discussions on particular topics or amongst certain groups of people.
Pro Self-Hosting available
If you are worried about third-parties getting access to your data you should consider self-hosting. With self-hosting you are in control over where your data is stored, who has access to it. You will also not be vulnerable to exploits of a third-party provider.
Pro Plentiful GIFs and custom Emoticons
Pro Syntax coloring
Pasted code can be colored based on syntax.
Pro Will be updated to have more functions in the future
A big company with experience will bring in more options like Google Apps One Time Login.
Pro Reliability has been great
Pro Powerful command system
E.g. part, away, all, here etc.
Con Free plan has limited storage
Free plan comes with 5GB of storage, where as paid plan has "Unlimited".
Con Prioprietary (non-free/libre)
Con Only one-on-one video calls in free version
There is no option for multi-user conference calls.
Con No emoji
There's no emoji support. Instead there are some strange custom emoticons which only make sense for people steeped in internet subculture and never get updated.
Con Reliability of service has been weak
The reliability of the hosted HipChat service, particularly in the early days of version 4.x, has not been a strong suit.
Con API calls are limited even on paid plan to 500 calls in 5min by default
This will force you to contact them when you need more calls.
Con Non-synced notifications
Messages read on one client don't sync their status to another client.