Text-based Focus Groups

The text chat focus group tool is a popular part of Quallie. It provides an easy way how to conduct a live chat session with a moderator and respondents.

Quallie is a cloud software, participants need only a browser, no need to install anything.

The moderator leads the discussion with respondents based on the text chat. He writes questions and comments to all participants or send messages to a specific person only.

There are many tools to make the online focus group session more engaging and get more insights: a whiteboard for media presentation, moderator’s guide, silent mode and whispering options or drawing on pictures. 

Easy to use
No need to install anything
Text based focus group

Whiteboard features

Whiteboard is a space on the respondent’s panel where stimuli can be presented by the moderator.

Show stimuli

  • Images
  • Video files
  • Youtube video or stream
  • Sound files


Respondents can draw on images on the whiteboard to highlight some image areas.

Focus Group Drawing

Card sorting

Card sorting activity is available on the whiteboard.

Card sorting

Media Evaluator

Video evaluation tool and audio evaluator available on the whiteboard.

Video evaluator

Live focus group tools and features

Client chat

Client chat

Clients cannot write messages to respondents directly. Instead, they can chat with the moderator.

Moderator’s guide

Focus group moderator's guide

The moderator can prepare questions in advance and quickly use them during the session.

Silent mode

Focus group silent mode

If this function is on, respondents can’t see the answers of other participants to avoid respondent bias.


Mark message

Moderator can mark interesting messages with an asterisk.

Typing detection

Real-time typing detection

You can see who is typing a message in real-time. 


The session transcripts are available instantly and you can download them as a Word file, too.

User roles


You can assign one or several moderators to your projects. He can discuss with all other participants, mute or kick out anybody, and has some administrative privileges.


Quallie provides an easy way how to add and administer all respondents in the project. There is also an email module for sending bulk invitations and reminders.


You can invite your clients or colleagues to observe the project and send messages to the moderator.

Team member

The account owner and his team members can create new projects and edit them, moderate discussions or assign external moderators, and much more.

Respondent’s view

Respondents can see each other and talk to the moderator and to other participants.

Every participant can have a specific text color. You can use nicknames instead of their real name.

If the moderator activates the silent mode, new messages of other respondents are hidden until the silent mode is switched off again.

There is a whiteboard space on the right side of the panel. Pictures, videos or youtube videos can be shown here.


Frequently asked questions for focus group chats

How many respondents can be present in the text room at the same time?
There is no technical limit. The recommended size of a text-based online focus group is 6-20 respondents.

Can respondents see the clients?
No, the clients are observers, only the moderator knows about their presence. Clients can type text messages to the moderator during the session.

What is the best length for a text-based focus group?
The typical length of a chat session is 90-120 minutes in Quallie. After 2 hours, participants can be tired.

Can I conduct IDIs / individual interviews in your text chat tool?
Yes, you can conduct IDIs, dyads, triads, too. If you have more moderators, you can run many simultaneous individual interviews at the same time.

Can I export the texts after the discussion?
Yes, transcripts are available instantly, even during the session. You can download them as Docx word file.

Do I need respondents’ consent for sharing transcripts with the client?
The privacy laws differ from country to country. If the respondents use nicknames instead of real names and there are no ways how to personally identify them from the transcript, you don’t need to have their consent to send the transcript to your client. Learn more about GDPR for qualitative research.

Are text-based focus groups better than online video focus groups?
The video-based focus group is closest to a classic focus group. In some cases, a text chat can be a better option – for example when you need to conduct an anonymous focus group, or when you plan to ask very sensitive topics.

Qualitative research platform

Quallie offers an easy and affordable solution not only for market researchers.

Let’s discuss if we can help with your project.

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