New Feature: In-Forum Chat (Instant Messaging)

Posts are the basis of the forum but now it’s also possible to chat to other members who are online. Instant messaging has arrived within the forum!

How to chat

Chat is available to basic level users and above. You must be logged in to use it. Chat rooms are available as channels that are associated with (some) categories. You can also talk to one or more people in a private chat.

Starting a personal chat

Use the new speech bubble icon at the top of the page to join a channel or talk to people directly (if they’re online).

To start a personal chat, use the :heavy_plus_sign: icon on your chat window and start adding usernames to the recipients list. To leave a personal chat click the X icon next to the channel name (only on desktop).

:information_source: If you accidentally leave a personal chat, starting a new chat with the same person/people will link you back to the messages sent previously.

In-Chat options

Like topics, chat messages support:

  • edits
  • replies
  • quoting
  • oneboxing
  • reactions
  • bookmarks
  • deletion

In the composer, you can insert dates, upload files, and GIFs. Chat channels support channel-wide @here and @all mentions. Avatars of online users have a green halo. If someone is responding in a chat, you’ll see username is typing….

You can also select one or more chat mssages and ‘Quote to topic’ to take a quick conversation and make it into a new topic.

Chat Information panel

Clicking a channel title will now take you to a useful info panel with three tabs:

Screenshot 2023-09-09 at 23.43.13

  • The About tab will display title, description and linked category, so users have the context they need for each channel.
  • The Members tab lets users see who else is in the room with them (member list and total count). It includes a filter so you can use search.

  • The Settings tab will let you set notification preferences (mute, desktop / mobile push notifications).


At the bottom of the sidebar are two new additions.

Screenshot 2023-09-09 at 20.08.12

The expanded view depends on which channels you’ve joined and who you’ve been chatting with.

Screenshot 2023-09-09 at 20.08.59

Chat preferences

There’s a new Chat page in your user preferences. On this page, you can opt-out of chat, opt-out of the @here and @all notifications, manage your chat email notifications or choose a desktop sound.

The settings on the Users page also apply to chat direct chat messages, so you can turn off direct messages or mute or ignore other individual users.

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