How to Display the Message Sent Time in Chat

In today’s digital world, instant messaging has become an integral part of our communication. Whether it’s a personal conversation or a business discussion, the ability to see when a message was sent is crucial for understanding the context of the conversation. In a chat application, displaying the message sending time can provide important information and improve the overall user experience.

One way to display the message sending time is to show it alongside the message itself. By adding a timestamp next to each message, users can easily track the progression of the conversation. This can be done by using the <time> element in HTML, which represents a specific period of time or a date.

To ensure that the timestamp is easily readable, it’s important to format it in a user-friendly way. For example, instead of displaying the exact time the message was sent, you can use relative time formats such as «just now,» «5 minutes ago,» or «yesterday.» This helps users quickly understand when a message was sent without needing to calculate the exact time difference.

Another option is to provide more detailed information about the message sending time. For example, you can display the full date and time in a tooltip when users hover over the timestamp. This can be implemented using HTML and CSS, with the <span> element for the timestamp and the :hover pseudo-class to add the tooltip functionality.

How to Show Time Stamp of Message Sent in a Chat

When designing a chat interface, it is essential to provide users with the ability to see the time at which a message was sent. This time stamp helps users track the order and recency of messages, creating a more streamlined and organized chat experience.To display the time stamp of a message sent in a chat, you can use a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Here is an example of how you can achieve this:


<div class="message">
<span class="message-text">Hello! How are you?</span>
<span class="message-time">12:30 PM</span>


.message {
display: flex;
align-items: flex-end;
.message-text {
background-color: lightblue;
padding: 10px;
border-radius: 5px;
margin-right: 10px;
.message-time {
color: gray;
font-size: 12px;


const messageTime = document.querySelector('.message-time');
const date = new Date();
const time = date.toLocaleString('en-US', { hour: 'numeric', minute: 'numeric', hour12: true });
messageTime.innerHTML = time;

In the above example, we have a <div> with the class «message» that contains two <span> elements. The first <span> contains the actual message text, while the second <span> with the class «message-time» is used to display the time stamp.

In the CSS, we set the styles for the message container and the message time. The message time is given a smaller font size and a gray color to differentiate it from the message text.

Finally, in the JavaScript code, we select the «message-time» element and use the Date() constructor to get the current date and time. We then format this time using the toLocaleString() method and update the innerHTML of the «message-time» element.

By incorporating this HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code into your chat interface, you will be able to display the time stamp of a message sent in a chat, enhancing the user experience and providing valuable context to the conversation.

The Importance of Displaying Time Stamp in a Chat

In today’s digital age, communication plays a vital role in both personal and professional settings. With the vast use of messaging platforms, it is essential to ensure effective communication. One crucial aspect of messaging is displaying the time stamp of each message.

Here are a few reasons why displaying the time stamp is important in a chat:

  1. Clarity: Having the time stamp allows the participants to have a clear understanding of when each message was sent. This eliminates any confusion that might arise due to delayed or out-of-order message delivery.
  2. Context: Time stamp provides important context to the conversation. It helps distinguish between an active ongoing chat and a conversation that has paused or resumed after a significant time gap. Context is crucial for understanding the flow of the conversation and responding appropriately.
  3. Efficiency: Time stamp enables users to quickly identify the recency of a message. It helps prioritize the response and manage time effectively. Users can easily gauge the urgency of a message and respond accordingly.
  4. Verification: Having a clear time stamp allows users to verify the timeline of events. It can be useful in resolving conflicts or disputes by providing an accurate record of when messages were sent.
  5. Organization: Time stamp helps in organizing and searching through chat history. Users can easily navigate through conversations based on specific time periods or search for a particular message using time references.

Overall, displaying the time stamp in a chat is crucial for effective communication, providing clarity, context, efficiency, verification, and organization. It enhances the user experience, promotes transparency, and facilitates better understanding between participants.

Methods to Display Message Sending Time in a Chat

When designing a chat application, it is important to include the timestamp of when each message was sent. This helps users track the conversation flow and provides context for the discussion. There are several methods to display the message sending time in a chat:

1. Inline Timestamps: One common method is to display the timestamp inline with the message itself. This can be done by appending the timestamp directly after the message content. For example, a message could be displayed as «Hello! 10:30 AM». This method is useful for quickly glancing at the messages and their sending times.

2. Hover or Tap: Another approach is to display the timestamp when the user hovers over or taps on a specific message. This method saves screen space and keeps the conversation UI clean. The timestamp could be shown in a tooltip or a separate bubble near the message. Users can easily access the sending time when needed.

3. Message Grouping: In a chat with a high volume of messages, it can be overwhelming to display individual timestamps for each message. In such cases, message grouping can be employed. Messages sent within a certain time frame, such as within 5 minutes, can be clustered together and display a single timestamp for the group. This method reduces clutter and provides a clear overview of when messages were sent.

4. Scroll-to-Top Timestamps: When scrolling through a long chat history, it can be helpful to have timestamps appear as the conversation moves back in time. This method keeps the most recent messages visible and allows users to gauge the elapsed time between messages. The timestamps can be fixed at the top of the chat window or appear as a sticky bar while scrolling.

5. Toggleable Timestamps: Some users may prefer a clean chat interface without distracting timestamps. In this case, providing an option to toggle the visibility of timestamps can be useful. Users can choose to display timestamps only when needed, minimizing visual clutter while still having access to sending time information.

When implementing any of these methods, it is important to ensure a consistent and intuitive user experience. The chosen method should be easily understandable and accessible to all users. Consider the specific needs of your chat application and user preferences to make an informed decision on how to display message sending time.

Option 1: Inline Time Stamps

To display the sending time of messages in a chat, one option is to include inline time stamps within the conversation. Inline time stamps provide a clear indication of when each message was sent, allowing users to easily track the progression of the conversation.

Here is an example of how inline time stamps could be displayed:

User A: Hi there!

(8:30 AM)

User B: Hey! How are you?

(8:32 AM)

User A: I’m doing great, thanks! How about you?

(8:34 AM)

By including the time stamp immediately below each message, users can quickly and easily see the exact time at which it was sent. This can be particularly useful in situations where time-sensitive messages are being exchanged, or when there is a need to reference specific points in the conversation.

Inline time stamps are a straightforward and effective way of displaying message sending times in a chat, providing users with the necessary information to follow the conversation and understand the temporal context of each message.

Option 2: Separate Time Stamp Section

In this option, we can display the message sending time in a separate section next to the message itself. This can provide a cleaner and more organized layout for the chat interface.

To implement this option, we can use CSS to style the time stamp section and position it adjacent to the message. We can also use JavaScript to dynamically update the time stamp whenever a new message is sent or received.

To create the time stamp section, we can use a <div> element with a unique class or ID, such as «time-stamp». Inside this <div>, we can use a <p> element to display the actual time stamp.

<div class="time-stamp">
  <p>Sent on: <em>[message time stamp]</em></p>

In the above example, we have used the text «Sent on:» to indicate that the displayed time stamp represents the time when the message was sent. You can modify this text as per your requirements.

To style the time stamp section, you can use CSS. For example:

.time-stamp {
  display: inline-block;
  padding: 5px;
  background-color: #f3f3f3;
  border-radius: 5px;

In the above CSS code, we have applied some basic styling to the time stamp section. You can customize the styles as per your design preferences.

With this option, the time stamp will always be displayed next to the corresponding message, providing a clear indication of when the message was sent or received in the chat interface.

Option 3: Hover or Tap for Time Stamp

Another option for displaying the message sending time in a chat is to provide a hover or tap feature that reveals the time stamp when activated. This option keeps the chat interface clean and uncluttered, while still allowing users to access the time information when needed.

Here’s how you can implement this option:

  1. When a message is received or sent, show a small icon or text hint that indicates there is more information available.
  2. When the user hovers over or taps on the message, reveal the time stamp as a tooltip or in a pop-up window.
  3. Make sure the time stamp is displayed in a clear and easily readable format, such as «hh:mm AM/PM» or «dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm».
  4. Allow the user to easily dismiss the time stamp by moving their cursor away or tapping outside the pop-up window.

This option provides a convenient way for users to check the time of a message without displaying it all the time. It also allows for a more focused and clutter-free chat interface.

Note that this option may not be suitable for touch devices without hover capabilities. In such cases, you can consider using a tap and hold gesture to show the time stamp instead.

Option 4: Automatic Time Stamps

If you want a simple and automatic way to display the sending time of messages in a chat, you can use automatic time stamps. With this option, the time stamps will be generated automatically by the system, without requiring the user to manually input the time.

To implement this, you can use JavaScript to get the current time and format it according to your preferred style. You can then insert the formatted time stamp into the message display area.

This option provides the advantage of accuracy and automation. Users don’t have to worry about setting the correct time manually, as the system will take care of it.

Here is an example of how you can implement this in HTML:

<div class="message">
<p class="message-text">Hey, how are you?</p>
<p class="time-stamp"></p>

In the above code, we have a div element with a class «message» to represent a chat message. Inside the div, we have a paragraph element with a class «message-text» to display the actual message text. Below the message text, we have another paragraph element with a class «time-stamp» to display the time stamp.

To update the time stamp automatically, we can use JavaScript:

var messageDiv = document.querySelector('.message');
var timeStampParagraph = messageDiv.querySelector('.time-stamp');
var currentTime = new Date();
var formattedTime = currentTime.toLocaleTimeString('en-US');
timeStampParagraph.innerHTML = formattedTime;

The JavaScript code above selects the message div and the time-stamp paragraph element using the querySelector method. It then creates a new Date object to get the current time. The time is formatted using the toLocaleTimeString method, which provides a way to display the time according to the user’s locale.

Finally, the formatted time is inserted into the time-stamp paragraph element using the innerHTML property.

By using this approach, each time a message is displayed, the time stamp will be automatically updated to reflect the current time.

Option 4 provides a simple and convenient way to display time stamps in a chat, without requiring manual input from the user. It ensures accuracy and saves time for both the user and the developer.

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