Twilio Data Tracks vs Twilio Conversations for Chat?

edited June 7 in Video & WebRTC

Hi all, I wanted to ask about the pros/cons of building chat with Data Tracks versus using Twilio Conversations for Twilio Video customers. My list so far below.

Data Tracks Pros:

  • Free with Video Group Rooms (and P2P)

Data Tracks Cons:

  • Need to build out actual chat functionality
  • Will likely not be as fully featured as Conversations

Conversations Pros:

  • Ready to go chat
  • Access to other channels such as SMS and WhatsApp
  • Future Conversations improvements

Conversations Cons:

  • Separate pricing aside from Video.


  • To me, the biggest con for using the DataTrack API for chat is that there is no persistence. With the Conversations API you can always load all of the messages that have been sent to a conversation. With the DataTrack API messages that you send will only be received by other participants that are current connected. If a participant joins after a message is sent, they won't see it and can't load it from anywhere (unless you build some sort of persistence in yourself).

    One other difference: Conversations supports media messages which would be another overhead to implement in the DataTrack API.

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