In addition to channels and direct messages, Discourse chat supports group messages (i.e. personal chats with 3 or more members), which makes it easier for small groups to stay connected with each other. We recently introduced a number of improvements to group chats to let you add new members to an existing group chat, easily create new chats, and support naming your group chats.
Note: We’re using the word “group” here in a general sense to describe multiple people — we are not referring to Groups as they operate in Discourse.
Previously, it wasn’t possible to add a new member to an existing group chat — you had to create a new group chat, which meant the new member didn’t have access to previous message history. Now, you can add new members to existing group chats through the channel settings.
We’ve included a visual cue that lets you know how many more members they are allowed to add to the group chat, based on the community’s chat settings (
chat max direct message users).
New members will have access to all previous chat messages in the group chat, based on your community’s retention settings (
chat dm retention days). You’ll see a message in the group chat when new members are added.
Note: This functionality supports expanding existing group chats only. At this time, you can’t convert a direct message (1:1) into a group chat (multiple users) by adding new members.
Creating new group messages is fast and easy with the addition of the New group chat button in the chat message creator (accessible through the + button or via
CMD + K keyboard shortcut).
From there, it’s easy to add users to your group chat and even set a group name.
You can still use the existing
Shift + Click /
Shift + Enter shortcuts to select multiple users from the chat message creator.
What’s in a name? Turns out, a lot of fun You can now name your group chats when creating a new group…
…or to existing group chats through the channel settings.
In addition to being a great way to have fun with your fellow community members, group chat names can help you stay organized since you may have multiple group chats with some (or all) of the same members. Names can also give new members helpful context about the group chat’s purpose.
If you decide not to set a name, your group chat will be labeled with a list of the members in the chat.
We’re excited about these improvements and would love to hear what you think. Drop your comments or questions here — we’re eager to learn how we can continue to make group chats better for your community.