Let users subscribe to replies-only in Replyable 2.2

The newest version of Replyable is available now and brings with it a few new modes for powering comment subscriptions.

How Replyable has always handled active conversations

By default Replyable uses two systems to make sure nobody gets too much email.

First, it judges if a comment is worthy by performing length, relevance, and reading level. Those that don’t make the cut won’t be sent to subscribers.

Second, Replyable is smart about how much email it is sending. If a post gets too chatty it will either pause subscriptions (in the free version) or switch to a daily digest mode (on paying plans) that sends only 1 email every 24 hours with all new comment activity.*

This system works great for small and mid-sized sites but what if you are subscribed to 15 active conversations on the same site? That means on a good day you’re still going to get 15 emails from Replyable. Eh. Not so good on large sites.

* When one of these modes is active direct replies are still sent immediately to the person being replied to. Nifty.

Switch things up and send replies only

New in Replyable 2.2 is the ability to enable replies-only mode. You’ll find it in the plugin settings. Once enabled, subscribers will receive only direct replies to their comments via email. No other chatter. No daily digests.

Once enabled all legacy comment subscriptions will switch to replies-only and the tooltip on your comment form will change to let users know what’s up.

The risk of going replies-only

For most small to medium sized sites we don’t think replies-only is a good fit. It has been the #1 request of larger sites though. The reason we’re cautious is because of fragmentation within the conversation.

Danny Brown says it best in a comment on our Spring Postmatic Update:

I’m not too keen on the Direct Replies Only option – for me, it’s essentially reverting blog conversations to siloed conversations, which benefits no-one. A number of times I’ve had extra conversations spring up after a comment digest has gone out shows the value of open conversations.

That is a fair word of warning, but which brought us to our next idea…

Replies-only + Daily Digest mode!

As a kind of middle ground between replies-only mode and the default behaviour we’ve made it possible to send direct replies to comment subscribers, but also keep them in the loop at the end of the day with everything else they missed in the conversation. We’ll probably make a tidy checkbox to enable this in the future, but for now all you need to do is set the trigger for Comment Digests to 1. That will do the trick.

By setting Comment digests to 1 you can send replies-only but also deliver a daily digest of new comment activity to each subscriber.

We hope these three possibilities let you find a comment subscription setup that works for your community. As always, reach out if you need any help, ideas, or have an idea for a feature.

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