Removing "Enable Chat" for topics

Heads up! Pretty soon, we’ll be removing the feature that allows you to create a chat channel for a given topic in Discourse. Existing channels that have been created this way will automatically be migrated to a channel in the category which was linked to the topic.

One of the main reasons we started working on adding #chat features to Discourse is because we believe that modes of communicating will be important for many communities, and that there is a lot of opportunity to help communities make better decisions together about which is more appropriate for a given conversation when the tools are integrated well together.

This feature was one of our first experiments with how that might work. We thought it was really cool. We tinkered with other ideas for how to take it even further, and sparked the imaginations of some of you with similar ideas.

But right now, we think it’s better to let go of this one…

We think that a simpler model for creating channels is likely better in the long run, and that there are better ways to encourage changing lanes between the fast lane of chat, the slow lane of topics, and vice versa.

If you’re interested in trying chat on your own forum or meta, please reach out and let us know by joining the @chat-testers group. Things are still gonna be changing quite a bit in the near future, and we’d love your feedback along the way.


Hello. Does the chat have a “enable for all subcategories” setting or is there a separate chat for each category?

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A given channel lives in a single category (much like a topic does), and there can be more than one channel in a category.

So, for example, we could have channels for #chat and #admin-ui both live in the #feature category here on meta, which would be accessible to all logged in users.

We could also have separate channels in the #lounge category for TL3 members named something like #lounge for casual conversation and #content-gardening for discussions about improving topic titles and tagging/categorizing existing content better among TL3 users with those permissions.

Channels can live in subcategories as well, but there isn’t really a concept of a single channel being associated with multiple categories, so nothing like “enable for all subcategories.”

Does that help? If not, can you share a bit more about what you’re thinking you want to accomplish with how you set up chat channels?


I think if a general category is closely related to child categories, then it makes sense to add a setting to apply a channel to all child categories. That is, to have a common chat for the entire section.

For example, if we have a thousand categories in total, then we will have 50 channels, not 1000 channels. On more general channels, users will communicate more actically than on 1000 channels. Most likely, they will not have anyone to communicate with!

I think you could just create a channel in the top level category in that case and not bother creating channels in the subcategories. But if you start to tinker with this and still think like something like this could help, can you share a mockup or two of what you’re thinking?


I understood you. If only the administrator can create channels, then there is no problem :slightly_smiling_face:


According to my logic, I assumed that when creating a channel on the category pages, a link to the channel is created so that users know that a channel is linked to their categoryes. Now I see that there is no such link.


Ah, I see. If you’ve got other ideas on that front, perhaps you can share them in this topic: Greater visibility for Category Channels


Quick update here: these changes have now been merged and are live here on meta.