How do mobile members behave on Discourse?

Continuing the discussion from Alternatives to sidebar for Chat?:

This got me thinking about how I imagine many of my members will be using mobile first, if not mobile only, and how I worry they won’t contribute much to topics. I think I’ve seen in my own behavior that when topics tend to be more paragraph based, I get tired of typing on my phone and therefore don’t respond.

I’m curious for those who have members that mostly use their phones to access Discourse, how do you think that affects their behavior on the platform?

Do they lurk more? Still write long topics? Short ones? Mostly just like things? Do they use the chat instead? Do they come and go?

Any insights you can provide may really help better shape my expectations.


I think it really depends on demographic and subject matter above all else.

I check in here on Meta mostly on mobile, but move to my laptop whenever I need to make a lengthier response. I’ve been known to swap device and add to initially short cell-based responses from my desktop. Younger users OTOH are typically more inclined to use the cellphones by default.

Chat applications encourage shorter more frequent responses, Discourse includes specific tools and plugins to discourage such behavior if you deem them undesirable.


I don’t know what others do, but I read more, write less. Or rather, I bookmark items to reply to when I’m at a non-mobile device; full keyboards and tabs for reference/links are where it’s at! :slight_smile:


On my biggest forum I run, mobile page views are less than 50% most days, some days as low as 20% of views.

btw, it would be good to have a single report with page views split by device class?


I’m wondering how hard it would be to implement (and useful) to show publicly who is posting by desktop vs mobile. Almost like a Discourse version of “Sent from my iPhone” to give others the awareness of why the message may be brief and/or include typos.

Would anyone find such a component useful? And any idea if it would be easy to make as a theme component?


It would need to be a plugin. The Post model does not track originating device. Definitely an interesting plugin to make though!


Hmm, this makes me curious about doing the opposite and discouraging longer posts, as I know that the longer the post is that I see on Discourse, the more hesitant I can feel to reply by phone.


Again it depends on your use case.

If users are only posting short pieces of ephemera is a discussion tool the best solution?

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I’d agree if the posts are meant to be more ephemeral then maybe Discourse (topics, maybe not the chat) might not be a good fit.

However, I think great discussion and dialogue can happen in shorter entries, just may lead to a more interactive, back-and-forth discussion than with longer entries.