Welcome to our regular product update newsletter! It took us a bit longer than expected, but we are excited to announce several important updates that we launched in the past few weeks. Let's dive right in!
1. Direct Messaging is Live!
We've been testing and polishing our direct messaging capabilities, and we're excited to announce that we've finished rolling out messaging to all of our communities today!
It starts with a new module called Direct Chats. We automatically activate this module for all new communities. However, for our existing partners, we wanted to proceed with caution and give them the chance to enable and configure it themselves. To activate it, go to your Admin Panel -> Modules.
The module settings are fairly simple. We wanted to give you control over who can message whom. There are three options: members-to-admins/mods, members-to-members (including admins/mods), and members in specific groups. Some of these options may require upgrading to a higher plan. Additionally, we have an option to apply pre-moderation rules to messages sent by members, allowing you to block messages containing links or specific keywords.
We are starting with a simple "Start a chat" button in member profiles.
If you already have a chat with a person, we show a preview of your last message.
And of course, we also have a chat list. Instead of creating a full separate page, we opted for a more conveniently located inline chat list in our navigation panel, displaying your most recent conversations. We also show unread messages and new conversations first.
In the messaging window itself, we support text input similar to our commenting flow, now with additional text formatting options and support for multiple inline images!
There is still room for improvement, such as the absence of notification emails and sounds. We plan to address these issues in the next few weeks. Additionally, we plan to introduce group messaging support in the next few iterations, likely beginning with admin-initiated group conversations.
Bonus: comment editor revamp
Since we reused our comment editor in the new messaging flow, all of the upgrades mentioned above are now also included in our comment editor, such as the text formatting menu, multi-image support, and more. Enjoy!
2. Simple Embed
In the past, we aimed to make our product work in as many environments as possible through our SDK and plugins for several systems. However, we still felt limited because there are hundreds of other site builders and CMSes.
To solve this problem, we had to answer a difficult question with a lot of technical complexity: How do we run an integrated community with just a simple JS embed? Long story short, we finally managed to make it work. Introducing our new hosting configuration option: True Embed!
Now, you can simply copy the provided JS code and insert your community into any page that supports JS embeds. Although note that it may not work properly if the embed is wrapped in an iframe.
Here's how the option looks for our community if we were to switch:
To use this option, simply copy the provided code and paste it onto your page.
If you care a lot about SEO, it's still preferable to run your community on a custom domain. But if you prioritize a more native placement, we highly recommend Embed option!
3. Make support
If you haven't worked with Make yet, it's worth noting that it's the rebranded version of Integromat, one of the top integration platforms along with Zapier and Integrately. With Make, and thanks to a great cooperation with their team, we have created the most complete set of integration hooks to date!
You can find Make module in our Admin Panel -> Modules page. Additionally, if you're using Zapier, you may find Make to be significantly cheaper.
4. Other thigs
We are constantly exploring various options for better auth integrations between PeerBoard and other tools. This time we are adding an enterprise-grade OpenID Connect module to better integrate PeerBoard with partners' Auth0, Azure, or other identity management systems. Available on enterprise plans only.
Lastly, we have added an Archive page below our spaces list. This serves two purposes: first, to create a way to quickly navigate between post history, and second, for SEO purposes, to increase cross-linking of our content and promote better indexation. The results remain to be seen, but we plan to keep improving our SEO capabilities over time.
Bugfixes and improvements
We completely reworked how our gifs are uploaded and scaled and this led to a few annoying bugs being fixed. We also improved our editor further, fixing a couple glitches there. If you keep seeing any bugs that annoy you, let us know by filing a post in Bugreports space! Thanks to all our reports for this increased stability.
Let us know in the comments if you have any feedback!