Reddit Chat and native apps


Well-known member
Reddit has now implemented and is testing Reddit Chat through their mobile app.

Real time private chat is important for members of any community. Especially on mobile when out and about, arranging meet ups, or just having the ability to be notified and reply to a conversation in real time.

I feel forums are missing the boat natively here. Tapatalk is bridging the gap while simultaneously drawing traffic and users away from your site by allowing them to create their own communities in their ecosystem.

When will Forums catch up?

Native apps and chat. Are these not basic software requirements for a growing and active cross platform global community in 2017?

What do you guys think?

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Well-known member
Isn’t the popularity of Discord integration add ons simply a signal of user demand and desire to have this kind of feature natively?

Why encourage them to register and use a 3rd party product, a product which you have zero control over and no way to reliably funnel them back to your core website?

Real time chat fosters community. It allows members to talk to other members about things they may not post publicly on the forums and develops friendships they willl associate with the community that brought them together in the first place.

They want to chat, and they will find ways to chat. If you don’t offer it they will use another platform or service that allow them to do just that.

Why not have it native so you can monetise, and have a say over the experience?

And keep the data within your community.


Well-known member
I've just seen the Reddit chat toolbar roll out for me on the desktop website. Very similar to facebook chat.

I would love something native and truly live like this in XF that follows you around as you're reading threads and composing replies. The Conversation system is too clunky for general fast moving private chit chat and keeps driving me and other people I'm chatting with off the forums and back to Facebook Messenger, Discord and What'sApp web messenger



Well-known member
No, not in the old school sense. A chat box type of function is something that about half of the forum owners like to have, while the other half do not want it.

But in the modern sense its a popular function: a chat messenger similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google talk, and now Reddit. Its basically live conversations.

Such function bring the conversations to the forefront in a handy popup and live refreshes.
It also could show you which of your friends are currently active on the site. The latter is a feature that my members really liked on vbulletin.


Well-known member
One of the reasons why some admins do not want chat is that it will draw discussions away from public threads and into one-on-one chats. The core of the forum has been discussion threads where everyone can participate.
Reddit is known for those discussions. I'm not entirely sure the reasons they want chat. Maybe to compete with FB and the like.


Well-known member
To better complete the ecosystem and satisfy the users needs, because on many sites users to want to chat, and they will find ways to chat.

It keeps the user within the Reddit ecosystem for their chat needs. This means longer amounts of time spent on the website, inside the app, and therefore more advertising data collection opportunities on those users, so they can better monetise.

I see many members on some forums sharing phone numbers so that they can SMS/iMessage/What'sApp each other to arrange BST deals and meet each other at events. Why? Because it's a better and more instant form of mobile communication for many of them than using the built in private conversations and they're guaranteed to get pinged on their phone when someone is trying to send them a direct message. And that's only in pubic, I know in my private conversations I'm often agreeing to take the conversation off the forums to a live chat platform instead.

For many communities, members want to share particular things with individuals or small groups of users instead of the entire community.

They want to be able to organise events and have a way to chat in real time in private with a small group of people to organise meeting up at these events, attend the event and then afterward take part in public discussion on the forum afterwords and share text, images and video from the events. Or they may just want to shoot the breeze in private with the friends they've made through the forum for an hour or two every evening. Or hit them up for a 15 minute live catchup once a week. It feels easier and more fluid doing this in live chat as opposed to private conversations, which feel more formal and like email.

I've got one of the live chat plugin's for conversations installed on my forum and it's mediocre, it's not truly live and is a bit of a bandaid, it quickly becomes frustrating and is a far inferior experience to using a proper chat interface.

What do we do? We nearly always end up leaving the site and taking the conversation elsewhere, to Facebook Messenger, What'sApp, Discord, Steam - now potentially even Reddit Chat, especially now that it's built into the App and we can live chat on mobile. And now we're back spending our time in the ecosystem of some other community platform of some for or another, and not where we started.

The requirements to build a truly all encompassing community platform that an admin can buy and launch and have all the features that many users want these days is changing. IMO it seems forums are lacking in a few important areas if they're to be true community platforms in 2018 and not just message boards.

Having a high quality native mobile app interface. Who cares if it doesn't look fancy or can't be styled, it's the functionality and ease of use for the user to digest and supply content on their phone that matter, along with push of course - Users want it and will use it, TT is evidence of this.

Having the ability to upload video to any post - Users want this, so so so many video posts in many of the Facebook and reddit communities I visit. No one wants to faff around with uploading to a 3rd party site and embedding. The upload button needs to be part of the reply box, offload the heavy lifting to a video hosting service or AWS and embed the result automatically.

Having a live chat/conversation interface on desktop that also integrates with the mobile app - Users want this, because PCs feel clunky compared to the plethora of well made chat solutions available, and are therefore using these other solutions instead.

An events system - for some sites, obviously not all, but it's a pretty basic requirement for many communities that have any kind of connection offline.

Admins will want all of these too if they were done right and they realised how much extra time users might spend on their site if it was all integrated. And if it presented them with additional and increased monetisation paths due the extra site engagement, features for user upgrades and new content types to advertise over (eg. pre-roll ads on video uploads).

By not having live chat, forums are driving their users away to other platforms to get the private chat experience that isn't available or is quite poorly implemented in comparison to what's available elsewhere.

By not having all of these, many users are tending towards using other social networks that do have all of these in one place and even starting their own communities on these platforms themselves.

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
Reddit creates better content BY DESIGN.
Add in the fact that is where the users are.
Forums never took content seriously.


Well-known member
Chatbox has to integrated into forum threads somehow.
There used to be something like that on vB that we used.
But it was clunky.
If its a gaming forum and you are on the Far Cry forum and posting in the chat box for that forum all of your posts should magically appear in a Live Chat or General Discussion thread. When folks post on the thread it should also magically show up in the chat box for the users not looking in the thread but only posting in the chat box.


Well-known member
I don't think you're in the minority, I'm a heavy reddit lurker and consumer, so I don't use it on either. But I can understand why the added it.

Especially when all the top subreddits with active contributors divide much of their time between reddit and discord, because discord gives them the live community experience. I like having the option to live chat on any community that I actively contribute to.


Active member
I agree that making user to user style chat is central to the future success of most forums. The user’s wall (user to many) is also a big feature thoughout China, and other Asian countries.

So on a related note, are there any good examples of Xenforo where chatting on a user’s wall (profile page) is a central feature? It certainly would provide a different way to surf a Xenforo site (popular feeds, updated feeds, etc).

For both of these, the tools are mostly in place already. Let’s move this forward while Xenforo software is still a hot commodity!

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
It looks to me that Reddit is surpassing the interface of traditional forums. One thing they have got right is the ability to post multiple content types from the same place.
Reddit takes content seriously. Forums do not.

Xenforo uses a non-integrated gallery even ... reminds of mistakes photopost made in the early 2000s.