Now I've got Chat 💬 what do I do with Personal Messages?

Personal chat should transform into simply chats, which have both personal chat and multiple user chat.

Its confusing now if i want to tell someone something should i use messages or chat?

Although both have distinct capabilities but still, simple is almost always better…


Chats vs Personal chat certainly has advantages @mcwumbly in the sidebar :

  • All the rest of the sidebar sections are 1 word.
  • All the rest of the words except Community are plurals
  • Aligns a bit better with Messages
  • Anyway Personal Chat as a home for DMs is a bit strange, we can not call ti PCs

Longer term, I’m starting to see potential to move in the direction that Kris was hinting at:

In the short term, I think we’re living with some visible tension between these concepts that’s hard to resolve in a completely satisfactory way. But I can get behind a rename of “Personal Chats” to “Chats” or something else if we come up with a favorite.

We should consider where we try to use these terms so we can work towards consistency, for example:


I continue to prefer Direct Messages. It’s consistent with other common platforms like Slack and Discord. Also, I noticed that in Customize Text, the code calls it direct messages! “Send me a DM” is also super clear terminology.

The complication for Discourse is that Messages has been used for topic like / email like posts between individuals.


So, what’s the difference between chats and PMs?

This is probably worth its whole own conversation in ux!

Personaly, I think that it’s probably a good idea to gradually deprecate PMs in favor of chat. Possibly except only administrative messages and warnings.

But right now, PMs have a number of features that I don’t think chats do, like incoming email.


I joined this forum just because as a Discourse forum user. I would hate to see PMs go in favour of Chat.

I have not seen the chat feature in action but my first search about it tells me that would be a bad idea when one of the things you cannot do is search them.

I often share stuff, code, files in PMs and often need to search back for them since they were unique to those PMs with individuals and not in the main forums.

Also seems to be a lack of notifications where chat is concerned?.

Is the a definitive list/compare of PM v Chat feature ?


And tags, topics and better order in so many ways. From my point of view private chats are totally waste of resources :grin:


Yikes, @mattdm’s suggestion would be a nightmare scenario for my Discourse forum. I have about 1.7M PMs, and many users very frequently refer back to their old PMs, they highly value that data and very much view it as permanent. Additionally, PMs are often used for detailed and carefully composed responses about important issues, and that paradigm is not aligned with the quick and frivolous nature of chats. I haven’t even enabled chats on my forum and I don’t plan to do so. It would quite simply be the end of my forum if Discourse tried to replace PMs with ephemeral chats. Please don’t go that route.


I agree the chat is for social networks not for the forums and if one enables it then it put more loads on mods. We also have not enabled chat on the forum and not intending to do so. I personally don’t like it to put Chat and PMs on the same boat, there was a way to make PMs as chat just like there was a plugin for it (Quick Messages Plugin) a chat window for the PMs for the quick reply but creating chat and putting PM’s aside is an awful thing done in the discourse.


Additionally, PMs can already work like a personal chat thanks to Discourse’s fantastic AJAX loading of new posts and the user typing indicator. Realtime PM conversations with short/quick responses work just fine for users that want that conversation style, and later when the conversation slows down there will still be a permanent searchable history of the conversation that can be continued again at any later time and/or include longer more detailed replies too.


We have PMs enabled from Trust Level 2 and chat for everyone.


Discussing a quick thing by private chat (sometimes just asking a question) sometimes leads to a new PM discussion when something needs to be discussed more in-depth.

Using this transient way of communication like this also helps to have a less cluttered inbox with “low-value” PM content.

A list can be written (if someone wants to do this :stuck_out_tongue: ), but the chat is still heavily worked on, including new features.


So we have low value chats instead and polluted sidebar with countless amount of private chats :wink:

This is loose-loose situation. But I have to admit that it seems like ordinary users have lower barricade to start chat instead of PM. In my circles anyway.


From what I saw on multiple Discourse forums, it heavily differs from one forum to another.


I think this is the point, I’m not against the chat feature in Discourse and I’m sure it’s useful for some communities. But the PM functionality absolutely should not be considered for deprecation, as it is a critically important and irreplaceable part of many large communities.


I don’t think it’s on the table to be deprecated. We use it heavily for our support inbox, so it’s pretty vital for us. :slight_smile:


Well, I and propably no one else either didn’t think so. Comments were counter measure and reactions because of this opinion:

Shortly: topic went sideways and raised a storm in drinking glass (well, that sounds much better in finnish :rofl: )

But I don’t change my mind about this :wink:


We have no plans to deprecate PMs ever. Everyone has the option of either or both.