I like the numbers that appear on the tabs in my profile. But it seems that they don't always work, at least for the favorites tab. More than once (many times really), I've clicked the tab to find highlighted activity, yet there was no number on the tab. The number isn't very helpful if I can't depend on it. I'm now in the habit of clicking on every tab every time I check my profile.

Has anyone else noticed this? I'm not sure if this happens on a particular site or not. I haven't noticed a pattern.

Is this feature implemented across all sites? Is the number only calculated at certain intervals? Is there a bug?

Note: I searched before posting. I found several posts explaining what the number means, and several posts explaining how the number is calculated. But I didn't find anything about its random appearance.

To Clarify
I already know what the number means. But it doesn't always appear even when there is new activity. Sometimes, I click on the tab and notice that several of the entries have a different background color, indicating that there is new activity. Yet the tab has no number. If I hadn't clicked the tab, I would have never known there was new activity. Next time it happens I will post a screenshot.

  • Please clarify which tab are you talking about. If you are talking about reputation tab, it may not show any number even when there is some activity. E.g. CW upvotes etc. – hims056 Mar 18 '14 at 11:43
  • @hims056 The tab where I've noticed it happening repeatedly is the favorites tab. – toxalot Mar 18 '14 at 11:47
  • This might be simple case of caching. It takes times between the action (new answer or new edit of existing answer) and the number to update so if you click the tab too often, you'll indeed not see the number appear. Can you please confirm by waiting 5-10 minutes before clicking? – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 18 '14 at 11:56
  • Lately I've been noticing that if the only rep change is downvotes I've cast (that have a -1 penalty), the tab doesn't show that change but it's highlighted if I go there. – Monica Cellio Mar 18 '14 at 14:06
  • @ShadowWizard I'm not clicking that often. Often the highlighted favorites show last change as 2 days ago. – toxalot Mar 18 '14 at 16:44
  • Right, same happened to me now. Will mark this as a bug then and let's wait for the team to check it out. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 18 '14 at 17:27
  • I can confirm the bug. When I visit favorites more often, I think the number starts to display correctly. But on sites I use less often, changes never trigger display of the number (even if they are just several hours old). I’m not 100% sure about that but it seems so to me. – Palec Sep 8 '14 at 9:23

The number appears if you've got some new activity to view in corresponding tab. By new activity I mean that something changed in this tab since you viewed it last time. For example I've got a bit of a new reputation and didn't open the tab since then: enter image description here

The number on tab will also disappear if you'll find out what changed from other place in a site. In my example if I'll open the notification in a top area the number from tab will also disappear.

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  • 2
    Non free hand green rectangle?! – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 18 '14 at 11:31
  • I already know what it means. But it doesn't always appear even when there is new activity. – toxalot Mar 18 '14 at 11:36
  • @ShadowWizard sorry for the confusion. I added it manually to highlight the tab. – Denys Denysenko Mar 18 '14 at 11:36
  • @toxalot are you sure that you don't view the new activity in a top bar? For example if I'll view it there screencast.com/t/l7vl4XrlM the number will disappear from the tab. – Denys Denysenko Mar 18 '14 at 11:38
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    @DenysDenysenko in Meta there's long time habit of using free hand red circles. Of course it's mostly for fun, but it's rooted deep in the history of Meta by now. :) – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Mar 18 '14 at 11:39
  • BTW, I have found that the number does NOT disappear when I find out about the new activity through the notification inbox. Many times, I've read about rep changes and responses in the notification area, yet the number is still showing on the tab in my profile. Also, activity on favorites does not go to notification inbox. – toxalot Mar 18 '14 at 11:40
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    @ShadowWizard, but he uses a ´DropShadowEffect´! That combined with a free hand circle would be amazing – Jehof Mar 18 '14 at 11:45
  • Viewing in the topbar is not supposed to cancel the notification on the individual profile page. – Monica Cellio Mar 18 '14 at 14:07

I have observed the same thing, but from my experience it is clearly because the data on which these numbers are based is outdated. I frequently see new responses/reputation gains signaled in the top bar, and even when I first visit the response before going to my profile page, that activity is not yet shown. A day later, however, I see the blue numbers pop up, signaling the activity that I saw the day before.

I confess, I have just given up on theses blue numbers, much like you have. The only difference is that I'm much too lazy to actually go trough the profile tabs to spot new stuff, instead I solely rely on the red/green numbers on the top bar.

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  • Except notifications of activity on favorites does not go to the top bar. – toxalot Mar 18 '14 at 16:48

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