SMS Alerts for Topic Replies

Requesting SMS notification for users whenever someone replies / creates a new thread within core discourse. If not internally - option to integrate via third party api or plugin?

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Discourse supports webhooks which could be used to trigger external events; is that the kind of thing you’re envisioning?


It’s certainly possible with a plugin. Do you have some SMS-sending service that you like? Do you have validated user phone numbers somewhere?

A plugin that blindly sent a text to whatever phone number that they put into a custom field is relatively easy (1-5 hours). A plugin that validated the phone numbers and gave the user means to opt out of future texts (rather than, say, sending a text when they got an email notification and having them use the email unsubscribe links) could quickly ballloon to 5-20 hours.

As suggested, a webhook that hit some external service could be done without a plugin, though you’d still need some means to acquire and validate phone numbers.


Hi, Looking forward to the integrated SMS and email notification solution from Discourse.
Currently, any email notifications from posting a new thread and comments take about 10min to hit people’s emails.

I recommend first instrumenting the delay before taking action.

Email headers have detailed information on how long they took to be related at each hop.

Even before that though, take a look at email time window mins which is 10 minutes by default.

I would start with lowering that if it suits your users.


Thanks, got it updated to 1min.
Any chance of that intigrated SMS plug-in being done by Discourse?


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Well the one I would like to see is where only the admin and those who are authorized by admin able to post into a specific category where it will be sent out to other members as SMS notification (for example trade-related posts or maj announcements)

It’s pretty unlikely.

This is what I would recommend:

You could store the numbers as a custom field in Discourse, retrieve it with Data Explorer, and send out the pages through your external service.

Your first step is defining the process. How are you collecting the numbers, validating them, determining who gets messages, managing opt outs, unsubscribes…

There’s a lot of work.

A simpler approach would probably be to step back and build this as an “SMS notification subscription service” where people can subscribe to feeds using someone’s platforms, and publish to that from Discourse.

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