Actual Chat is in Open Beta!

Alex Yakunin
3 min readMar 2, 2023

Big day for us: we’re launching the Open Beta of Actual Chat today!

It’s a chat app, but with a pretty unique user experience:

Our vision is straightforward:

  • Despite the various methods available for online communication, they all imitate centuries-old tools such as telegrams, mail, and phone calls.
  • With the advancements in AI and digital communication, isn’t it the time to address the challenges inherited from these predecessors? Is it possible to improve online communication to surpass traditional face-to-face conversations?

We would love for you to try out our Android app (iOS app is on the way) or web version and share your feedback. Both offer almost identical features, so choose the one that works best for you or easier to try. We welcome your feedback to help us improve and grow.

Some items you can start from:

  • Try to sign in & share the link to your account with someone else you want to try talking to. You can find the link in Settings (click on logo or on your account picture to get there).
  • If you have no idea whom to talk to, please feel free to reach me out to deliver some instant feedback :) The link to my account: https://actual.chat/u/hjp639qb6bp1
  • If you’re bold enough, try creating a group chat. The join link for a public group is its URL; the invite link for a private group can be generated on its “Chat info” tab (the one on the right side).

A few scenarios where Actual Chat really makes a difference:

  • Conversations in small teams centered around projects, tasks, incidents — in fact, anything that takes longer than a single discussion to close.
  • Peer-to-peer talks — almost anything fits here unless it’s extremely urgent. Random ideas to discuss, quick status updates, or even things like shopping lists.
  • Any important discussions you want to keep track of. In fact, we’ll be adding more and more features to facilitate this area better.

3 charts showing how we position ourselves compared to more traditional communication tools:

1. Actual Chat offers a seamless transition from real-time to asynchronous mode and back again, eliminating the need for users to decide on how to communicate.

2. You can join or start conversations easily thanks to real-time transcription and the absence of pressure to respond instantly. This makes the barrier to communication much lower compared to traditional platforms.

3. And interestingly, we don’t just lower the barrier, but also encourage efficient communication. It’s less likely that you’ll end up starting a conversation with something like “Hey, can I ask a question?” when you know that you aren’t actually distracting the person you’re talking to.

Our home page is full of extra points, along with much nicer illustrations.

And of course, we’re just getting started. Our ultimate goal is to make communication as simple and efficient as possible, and Actual Chat is designed to grow in this direction. But that’s a story for another post.

Please don’t hesitate to reach me out & share your feedback: https://actual.chat/u/hjp639qb6bp1 (that’s my account on the platform).

P.S. Please keep in mind it’s an early Beta, and “a completely smooth experience” isn’t a part of it :) But our team has been using Actual Chat as our only chat app for about 8 months now (yeah, lovely dogfooding!), so there is a good chance you won’t be completely disappointed — even if you end up using it in a real team/project, or as a “family intercom”.

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