Topic Views, Posts Read, and Reading Time

:bookmark: This is a reference guide for describing how topic views, posts read, and reading time are tracked

The user profile page for all users contains statistics about that user’s read time, topics viewed, and posts read.

Topic Views

Topic views are the number of topics a user has clicked on. For example, if a user clicks on a topic and loads that page in their browser, this would be considered viewing the topic. Unread Topics will have a blue dot next to them.


A user can only view each topic once, and viewing a topic doesn’t necessarily indicate that all of the posts within the topic have been read.

Posts Read

Posts read will indicate the number of posts that a user had fully read.

Unread posts will have a blue dot next to the timestamp that the post was created at, and once this blue dot disappears Discourse will count that post as “read”.

:thought_balloon: If I open one topic with a lot of replies and zoom down with my scroll wheel, will I have read all the posts in the topic?

The exact time necessary to view a post before Discourse will consider the post “read” changes depending on the length of the post, but typically you’ll need to have a post on screen for at least a few seconds before the post will be consider read.

Reading Time

Discourse also tracks reading time for every post a user views on the screen.

The calculation Discourse uses for tracking reading time is complex, however, there’s a few key points to note about how Discourse tracks reading time:

  • Each time a user looks at a post, Discourse will log a maximum of 6 minutes reading time per post (this will reset if you navigate away and back to the topic).
    • There is no upper limit on read time per post, a post can be read for days by a user if the user returns to a topic.
  • If 3 minutes pass and a user has not scrolled at all, Discourse disables this reading time tracking subsystem until the user scrolls again
  • Discourse will log reading time for up to 5 topics for anonymous users

If you would like to read about the technical details of the current implementation used to track reading time, please see: