Let's Chat - Communicating in WA Just Got A Boost!
I hope that you are having a productive and awesome week! Today I'm excited to officially tell you about some WA platform updates that we've released in the past week or so, specifically related to the LIVE CHAT!
Over the years the live chat in WA has been the heartbeat of the community as it streams thousands of messages a day with everything form friendly "Hello's" to extremely helpful "How to's" and answers to all kinds of questions related to building a thriving online biz. Today I'm going to outline 5 updates to the live chat that we released with the intention of improving engagement, message notifications, and the overall efficiency of the platform.
I'll pose this question to you, and I'll give you my answer as well...
When having a conversation with someone (or many people), what is the most important thing that leads to that conversation being GREAT?
My answer: Knowing when others are speaking to you.
It's as simple as that.
When I'm having a conversation on a platform like the WA Live chat, I absolutely NEED to know when a message is for me, so that I have the opportunity to leave a reply. There's nothing more important than having that knowledge and that is the main thing that we set out to accomplish with this latest string of updates.
So, I post that question to you to answer in the comments below...
What is most important to you in a chat platform?
I'm going to get right into explaining the updates.
Update #1: "Carson is chatting..." tool tip
You'll notice that from time to time there is a little tool tip that pops down from the live chat icon in the main menu. Both on Mobile and Desktop versions of the chat, this pop down will read "Kyle is chatting...". This is meant to bring attention to the live chat after a period of inactivity. Sometimes there is a period where there is no chat going on - that is becoming less and less especially after our updates as the chat is 40% more active already...but there are "gaps" in the chat from time to time. The tool tip "Username is chatting..." is meant to bring attention to the live chat after a period of inactivity, and that period is set to 5 minutes.
Update #2: Browser Tab Message Count
If you are in any way like me (and Kyle too), it's normal to have many browser tabs open and a collage of apps that you are working with at any given time. From Google Analytics, to your website back-office, to Training in WA...there are lots of reasons that you may not have the live chat in front of you at all times. In any given tab or window that you are logged into WA with, we now update that browser with the count of how many messages there are that you may not have seen. We'll show them like this:
(1) WA Chat | Wealthy Affiliate <== Where the (1) represents the number of messages that are for you, and may have not been seen.
Update #3: Highlighted "For You" messages
A simple but powerful update so that you can quickly scan for messages in the chat that are for you. We've updated the background and added a label to chat messages that are directed at you. This has made my chat experience so much better being able to quickly find message directed to me, and it improves my ability to reply. Although we have had a notification bubble over top of the main menu chat icon for some time, it was always difficult to find the message, especially if it was a few minutes ago and is further down the message feed.
In the below screenshot I was able to quickly find a message reply from 7 minutes ago in a busy chat with lots of other messages.
Update #4: Animated Live Chat Icon
This is one of my favorites updates and one that has been on my "wish list" for years! The animated live chat icon! When the live chat is active and people are actively typing, the icon changes from its normal state to a colorful animated state! It's subtle, yet it's awesome to be able to know that the chat is active with just a quick glance. Both Desktop and Mobile versions of the live chat display the animated chat bubble. I love knowing when there is a chat going on as I like to pop in, offer help, and sometimes just say a friendly "Hello"!
Update #5 - Real-time typing feedback
This update was by far the biggest update to this roll out, being able to see who is chatting. When I'm interacting with others, it's nice to know when they are typing a message. This enables me to wait for them to finish typing - It's AWESOME to know that they are still present, and are about to send a message.
Bonus Update #6: Class Comments with Real-time Typing and Auto Mesage Update!
Our latest comment platform update made a number of weeks ago, now includes real-time typing feedback similar to the live chat. When commenting in Classes, you will notice that we show who is typing. When a new comment is posted, a message is displayed to load that comment. This enables the Comment platform to work more like a live conversation. Our new comment platform now mimics much of the functionality of the Live Chat.
In the very near future we will be rolling out one of our biggest updates in our history, with an update to the Blog/Question and Profile platforms and this is where the new comment module will really shine. When you post a blog, you'll be able to interact in the comment section in real time, see who's posting messages, and engage in conversation in a much more natural and real-time manner!
Whew...what a post!
With everything we do at WA, we aim to improve the experience in an incremental and consistent way. Each and every week we push updates to the platform Monday - Thursday. Some are noticeable, some are very subtle, and some just make things work better/smoother/faster. We have big interface changes coming to continue improving how folks communicate in WA, changes that we've been working on for many months, and we cannot wait to see these updates make their way to the live platform. Live chat activity has increased 40% overall with the changes mentioned in this post, and on some days even doubling the average activity. Blogs, Questions, Profiles, Live Chat, Dashboard, Training, Website Management...and many more areas will be updated in the near future - stay tuned...
Tell me in the comments below if you've noticed the Live Chat updates? And let me know what's most important to you in a live chat platform! Your feedback helps us move forward and deliver the best experience we can to you :)