About Messages

How do I know that my message was received and read?

When you first send a message to a Virtual Office contact, the message changes from white to filled with color, indicating that it was successfully sent, and is labeled with the time it was sent. Once the other party reads the message:

  • In a one-on-one chat conversation, the message is labeled as Read next to the time it was sent.
  • In a chat room, the message is labeled with the profile images of the people who have read the message.

If you send a message to an external number or personal contact, the message is sent as a green SMS rather than a blue IM; you can only see whether the message was sent successfully.

How do I access my messages?

To access your messages with a specific user or group of users, open the Messages tab to bring up your list of SMS and IM chats. Then, tap the desired user or group of users in the list to view your messages with them.

I'm not receiving notifications for my Virtual Office messages. How do I receive notifications?

When you first install the Virtual Office mobile app, you receive a prompt asking to allow the application to send you device-based notifications. If you decline the prompt, notifications are disabled by default; you can enable notifications again by opening the More tab and going to Settings.

If you do not see notifications despite being logged in, go to your device settings to enable notifications. You can then fine-tune your notification preferences from within the app.

Note: In order to stay up-to-date on communications in Virtual Office, it is highly recommended that you enable notifications on your device.

To enable notifications on your device:

  1. Go to More > Settings > Device Settings to open Virtual Office permissions in your device settings.
  2. Enable Virtual Office notifications, and edit the notification settings as needed.

To manage notification settings in Virtual Office:

  1. Go to More > Settings.
  2. Under Notifications, enable or disable notifications for:
    • Messages: IM and SMS chat messages, faxes, and voicemails
    • Missed Calls: Incoming calls that timed out and went to voicemail, or were hung up before being answered
  3. Go to Sounds to select the ringtone to play on an incoming Virtual Office call; your selection does not affect your message notification sound, or your ringtone for calls to your device number.
    The Virtual Office mobile app follows your device-set vibrate settings for notifications.

Note: In order to see notifications in real time, you must be logged in to the Virtual Office mobile app on your device. If you are logged out of the Virtual Office mobile app, notifications are only visible once you log back in.

Why do I not hear an audible alert when my message notifications come in?

You may not be hearing your Virtual Office notifications for one of the following reasons:

  • If you have set your status to Do Not Disturb, notifications for messages, faxes, and voicemails are visible but muted on your device, and all your calls are sent to voicemail.
  • Regardless of your in-app sound settings when you open the More tab and go to Settings > Notifications > Sounds (which control only the ringtone on incoming calls), if you disabled notification sounds under More > Settings > Device Settings, you hear no sound upon receiving a notification for a new message, fax, or voicemail.
How do I send a message to someone in my company?

You can easily send a message to a company contact by writing a new message from scratch, looking through your list of existing chats, or searching your company directory. You can also send messages to multiple colleagues at once via Team Messaging chat rooms.

To write a new message:

  1. Open the Messages tab to open your list of SMS and IM chats.
  2. Tap the Plus icon to bring up a menu.
  3. In the menu that pops up, select New message to open a blank chat.
  1. Enter the name or extension of the company contact you want to chat with, and begin writing the message.

To reply in a conversation:

  1. Open the Messages tab to open your list of SMS and IM chats.
  2. From the list, select the desired contact to chat with, and begin writing the message.

To send a message from company contact details:

  1. In the Contacts tab, go to Company to open your company directory.
  2. Tap the desired user to open their contact details.
  3. In the contact details, tap the Chat icon next to the contact’s extension number to begin writing the message.
How do I send messages to numbers outside my company?

When you send a message to a company contact, it becomes an IM (displayed in blue), which allows you to see the contact’s availability status, and whether the message has been successfully sent, received, and read.

Sending a message to an external number or a personal contact results in an SMS (displayed in green), which shows you whether the message has been successfully sent, but does not allow you to track the contact’s availability status or whether the message has been read. You can send an SMS by writing a new message from scratch, looking through your list of existing chats, or searching your personal contacts. Note that SMS is only supported for phone numbers in the United States and Canada.

To write a new message:

  1. Open the Messages tab to open your list of SMS and IM chats.
  2. Tap the Plus icon to bring up a menu.
  3. In the menu that pops up, select New message to open a blank chat.
  1. Enter the external number, or the name or number of the personal contact that you want to chat with, and begin writing the message.

To reply in a conversation:

  1. Open the Messages tab to open your list of SMS and IM chats.
  2. From the list, select the desired contact to chat with, and begin writing the message.

To send a message from personal contact details:

  1. In the Contacts tab, go to My Contacts to open your list of personal contacts.
  2. Tap the desired user to open their contact details.
  3. In the contact details, tap the Chat icon next to the contact’s mobile number to begin writing the message.
How do I edit a message I sent that contains a mistake or typo?

If you paste the wrong content into a chat or spot a sentence-altering typo in a message you sent, you can quickly edit the message to correct it and prevent confusion in the chat. Simply press and hold on a message to bring up a menu, and select the Edit option to begin editing. As you edit and once you finish editing, the timestamp for the message changes to indicate its status as currently or previously edited.

Note: You can edit IMs with company contacts, but not SMS messages with personal contacts and external numbers.

How do I delete a message I sent in the wrong chat?

If you enter a message into a chat with the wrong contact or group of people, you can delete the message to prevent confusion or distraction in the chat. Simply press and hold on a message to bring up a menu, select the Delete option, and confirm to delete the message. Once you delete the message, the content and timestamp of the message change to indicate that its content has been deleted, and what time the message was deleted.

Note: You can delete IMs with company contacts, but not SMS messages with personal contacts and external numbers.

How do I create, use, and edit chat rooms?

Let’s say you want to send a chat message to all members of your team, rather than sending one at a time. Using Team Messaging, you can create a purpose-made chat room to streamline your communications with your company contacts. In the Messages tab, you can create persistent chat rooms that you can access in addition to your individual chats. These rooms can be public or private, allowing you to collaborate with any colleague in your organization at any time, or keep confidential information secure within a small group of people.

If you want to quickly find an existing chat room, you can search for the desired room by name as you would search for a contact.

Note: By using the search bar in Virtual Office, anyone on your phone system can find and access public chat rooms, while private rooms are only visible to people who have been invited to the room.

Before you create a chat room, consider whether to make it public or private:

  • Public chat rooms (indicated by a public icon next to the room name) are ideal for fully-collaborative discussions with anyone in your organization:
    • Public rooms are visible to all users listed in your company directory, and can be accessed by any user who finds them.
    • Mentioning any user in a public room brings their attention to the conversation, and displays the chat room in their list of rooms.
  • Private chat rooms (indicated by a private icon next to the room name) are best for discussions of confidential information that is currently secure within a small group of people:
    • Private rooms are visible and accessible only to room members who have been invited.
    • Only users who have been invited to a private room can be mentioned in it to bring their attention to the conversation.
    • If the wrong person has been invited to a chat room by mistake, or if a person in the chat room is moving to a different team in your organization, you can remove the person from your chat room via the Virtual Office desktop app.

Collaborate with colleagues by creating a chat room from scratch, or by using an existing chat room. Once you create a chat room, you can invite members to private chat rooms, and quickly view details on any chat room you have access to.

To create a chat room:

  1. In the Messages tab, tap the Plus icon to bring up a menu.
  2. From the menu, select Create room to start creating a chat room.
  3. In the chat room creation screen that opens, enter the name of the chat room.
  4. Select the room type:
    • Public: A public chat room can be found by anyone in your company contact list by using the search bar of Virtual Office, and can be accessed by anyone at any time.
    • Private: A private chat room can only be found and accessed by room members who are invited. A member who has been invited can later be removed from the room for security reasons; once a person has been removed from a chat room, they no longer have access to the message history of that room. If you are creating a private room on behalf of someone else, you can remove yourself from the room's member list before you finish creating it.
  5. Once you have entered the name and room type:
    • If you are creating a public room, tap Create. Any of your company contacts can now access the room once they search for it.
    • If you are creating a private room, tap Next. You are prompted to invite colleagues into the room. Only people who have been invited to a private room can find and access it.
  6. The new room appears in your list of chats.

To view and update chat room information:

  1. In a chat room, tap the More icon next to the room name to bring up a menu.
  2. From the drop-down, select Room info.
  3. In the chat room details page that opens, you can view information on the room, such as the room type, name, and members.

    Notes:
    -If you are viewing the details of a private room, you also see how many members have been invited into the room.
    -If the chat room is connected to a Sameroom-based communications app, such as Google Hangouts, Slack, or even another organization's Virtual Office applications, you see that the room is shared with other apps via Sameroom.

  4. As a participant in the room, you can edit the room name. If you are in a private room, you can also invite people to the room when needed. If you accidentally invited the wrong person, or need to remove a person who has moved to a different team, you can remove people from existing private rooms.

To invite participants to a chat room (private rooms only):

  1. In the Messages tab, open a private chat room.
  2. In the private room, tap the More icon next to the room name to bring up a menu.
  3. From the menu, select Add member.
  4. In the contact directory page that opens, search and select users to invite to the room.
  5. When you have selected all the desired users, tap Done to invite your colleagues. Existing members of the chat room see a notification that new members have been invited.

Note: For added security, an invited colleague has access to the chat history of the private room starting with the time they were invited.

How do I mention someone in a chat room to get their attention?

If you need a particular person to weigh in on the subject of your current discussion in a chat room, simply type <@> before their name (for example, <@John Smith>) to get their attention at any time; this is referred to as an @mention. In a public room, you can @mention any of your company contacts, while in a private room, you can only @mention colleagues who are currently members of the room.

When you are @mentioned in a chat room, you receive a special notification with an @ label to indicate that a colleague is requesting your attention in a chat room. To ensure that you are always up to date on your tasks, you always receive notifications when you are @mentioned.

To mention colleagues in a chat room:

  1. In the Messages tab, open a chat room.
  2. In a chat room, type <@> before the name of a user (for example, <@John Smith>) to bring up a list of users with matching names; the list narrows as you continue typing.
    • In a public room: You can @mention any colleague in your phone system to bring their attention to the current conversation.
    • In a private room: You can only @mention colleagues who are members of the private room.
  3. Select the desired user from the list to bring their attention to the chat room.

How do I control notifications I receive for chat rooms?

Now that you are part of a discussion in a chat room, you can choose how frequently you receive notifications for the room. With Team Messaging, you can toggle between receiving notifications for all messages in the room or, if you receive too many notifications for discussions that are not relevant to you, you can choose to receive notifications only when you are mentioned in the chat room. Your notification settings are unique to each room you have access to.

To set up chat room notifications:

In a chat room under the Messages tab, tap the button next to the room name to change your notification settings for that chat room:

  • If you are currently Following a chat room: Tap the button to receive notifications only for messages where you are mentioned.
  • If see the option to Follow a chat room: Tap the button to receive notifications for all messages in the chat room.


Regardless of how frequently you receive notifications for a room, you can access the room to view its full history of messages and changes at any time.

For example, if the name of the chat room is updated, or if a new colleague is invited to a private chat room you are part of, you can see these changes listed as system messages in the chat history for that room. Any such change is listed along with the time the change was made, as well as the name of the person who made the change.

How do I remove a person from a private chat room?

If the wrong person has been invited to a chat room by mistake, or if a person in the chat room is moving to a different team in your organization, you can remove the person from your chat room.

To remove a person from a private room:

  1. In the Messages tab, open a private chat room.
  2. In the private room, tap the More icon next to the room name to bring up a menu.
  3. From the menu, select Room info.
  4. In the chat room details page that opens, you can view information on the room, such as the room type, name, and description.
  5. If you are in a private room in which a member has moved to a different team or project, you can tap the desired member, and select the option to remove them from the private room.
How do I copy the text of a message?

Let's say your colleague sent you information on a meeting you need to join instead of inviting you directly, or that you want to quote someone without retyping everything in the desired message; simply press on the desired message, and confirm to copy the message text.

To copy the text of a message:

  1. In the Messages tab, open a chat.
  2. In the chat, press on the desired message to bring up a menu.
  3. From the menu, select the option to copy the text of the message. You can now paste the text of the message where needed.
How do I mark a specific message as unread?

If you have yet to get around to an action item that came up in a chat, simply mark a message discussing that item as unread so that you can quickly return to it the next time you open the conversation!

To mark a message as unread:

  1. In the Messages tab, open a chat.
  2. In the chat, press on the desired message to bring up a menu.
  3. From the menu, confirm to mark the message as unread and return to the Messages tab. The conversation now shows up as unread; the next time you open the conversation, you will jump to the message you marked.
How do I mark a conversation as read?

Let's say your colleague sent you a message you haven't read yet, and encountered you in person; they mention that they messaged you earlier, and you have a quick chat that clears up the task your colleague messaged you about. Since your colleague discussed the message with you in person before you could read it in Virtual Office, you can simply mark these now-unnecessary messages as read without needing to open it to prevent clutter in your chat history. You can mark SMS messages as well, such as spam or messages mistakenly sent to your number.

To mark a conversation as read:

  1. In the Messages tab, press on the desired chat to select it.
  2. If needed, select additional chats to mark.
  3. Once you have selected all the desired chats, confirm to mark them as read.
How do I hide a message from my chat history?

If you receive spam messages via SMS, or find that your chat history is cluttered with old messages, you can easily clean up your chat history. If you hide a message, you do not delete it; other people you chatted with still have access to the conversation in their chat history.

To hide conversations from your personal chat history:

  1. Open the Messages tab.
  2. Swipe left on the desired conversation or chat room to select it.
  3. Tap the Hide icon to hide the messages from your chat history. Any conversation you hide this way is now hidden from your personal chat history, but continues to exist on our server and show up in the chat history of the people in the conversation.

Note: Hidden conversations reappear in your list of messages when you receive a message in a hidden chat with a colleague, a message is posted to a hidden room you are following, or you are @mentioned in a hidden room you are not following.

How do I share and access file attachments in a chat?

Via the Virtual Office mobile app, you can quickly and easily access images and files that you or your colleagues sent in a chat, as well as send images of your own.

Note: At this time, you can send only images from the Virtual Office mobile app. However, you can still access non-image files that were sent by colleagues from the Virtual Office desktop app.

In addition, if you need to forward a file to someone with limited Virtual Office access; once you access a file attached in chat, you can share it in just a few taps!

To share images in a chat:

  1. Open the Messages tab, and open a chat.
  2. While in a chat, you can:
    • Tap the Share Image icon to attach an image that is saved to your mobile device.
    • Tap the New Image icon to take a new image and attach it.
  3. If desired, enter a message to accompany your attachments, and send.

To access attachments in a chat:

While in a chat, tap the thumbnail of an attached file to open the file.

To share attachments received in a chat:

  1. While in a chat, tap the thumbnail of an attached file to open the file.
  2. While viewing the file, tap the Share icon to bring up a list of applications (such as a messaging or email app) that you can use to share the file.
  3. Select the desired application, and continue to share the file with the intended recipient.
Is SMS messaging enabled on my extension?

SMS is enabled for all 8x8 users under the North American Numbering Plan (in the United States and Canada).

Is SMS supported on my UK or Australian 8x8 phone numbers?

Currently, 8x8 does not support SMS chat on phone numbers from outside the United States and Canada.

As a user in the United States or Canada, can I exchange SMS messages with international contacts?

Since SMS is currently supported only in the United States and Canada, contacts with international phone numbers are unable to receive or send SMS with North American users.

Why are all my chat messages showing up as unread after my update to version 7.2?

Due to our move to a new messaging platform in version 7.2, all past messages show as unread once you update to version 7.2 or newer. To fix this, open each conversation that has unread messages. Following this one-time action, all messages will correctly show as read.

Why do I not see my chat messages from March 2018 and earlier?

As the Virtual Office mobile app has moved to a new messaging platform to ensure a smoother chat experience, IM history is available from February 2018 onwards, and SMS history is available starting with April 2018.


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