This is regarding the feature where we can chat regarding a question on SO. There is an automated process for creating the room from comments. It's a very useful feature in case the OP is not able to understand an answer and needs more clarification.

What I don't see is a notification system for chats where there has been an extended period of time between communication.

Let's say someone replied to my chat after a few days, in that case I do not receive any notification.

This happened to me only a few hours ago, where in I had replied to one question but the OP was not available at that point and he replied to me after some days. As I didn't check that chat I had no way of noticing if someone replied to my message and the 48h window after my last activity in that chat, during which I would have received the @ convention ping notification, had already expired.

We receive notification on posts, upvotes that we receive, so why not the chat rooms?

Should there be a notification center like the one for posts (or may be include this in the same center as posts)?

  • something like specifically tagging a user? Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 16:23
  • @log_file Exactly. @log_file in a chat would notify you. Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 17:45
  • @DavidPostill - It will not always notify you.
    – Travis J
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 19:47
  • @davidism - He didn't say activity though, he started with the premise "Let's say if someone replied to my chat after a few days, I do not receive any notification." which negates your point about using @ to ping.
    – Travis J
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 19:48
  • @davidism - I attempted to clarify the scenario while still allowing the other answer to be topical. Please correct it if I missed anything.
    – Travis J
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 19:59
  • 1
    @accolade the window for chat ping is 7 days, what makes you think it's 48 hours only? Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 11:10
  • @ShadowWizard, thanks for pointing that out! My source is the Accepted Answer right hereunder. What's yours? Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 13:32
  • 1
    @accolade I see. Left a comment, hope the answer author will fix it soon. My source is personal experience, plus official answer where it's mentioned. (i.e. someone called "Marc" who was in the room during the past seven days) Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


There are several ways to receive notifications from chat.

If the chat window is not focused when a message would ping you then a notification will show up in your inbox within roughly 15 minutes.

Otherwise, a message will ping you if you are currently in the room.

Triggering a ping in chat can be done several ways which are

  • Replying directly to a chat message by using the reply feature (clicking on the message options arrow shows a menu, or there is a directly reply link to the right of the message)

  • Using @Skywalker for a user named Skywalker within 7 days1 of that user entering the room or being active (sending a message, interacting with the room)

  • Using @Sky (chat pings use partial matches) for a user named Skywalker within 48 hours1 of that user entering the room or being active.

1 - Unless the user is a room owner or a moderator.

Also related is a post by balpha https://scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/a/939 (who is the main dev for chat).

  • Which two users would be added as owners if there are more users in the comments? The user who clicked the "move to chat" link and the user with the most recent post? Or should it add all the users as owners?
    – davidism
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 20:02
  • @davidism - That is a good point. I was thinking that it was probably the source of two users that generated the "move comments to chat" but probably it would make sense to include every user whose comment was migrated in the room owner list.
    – Travis J
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 20:03
  • @davidism - Hm, I mean that is good point. However, maybe this would also be an opportunity to include new users in chat for very specific instances. If they are room owners, they can use the chat. On the other hand, that may be used as an exploit so perhaps it would be a bad idea. I think that has probably been discussed at length somewhere here. Probably best to just default to not allowing them to be included in the list.
    – Travis J
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 20:14
  • Sorry, deleted that comment because I figured it was implied that the process would continue to act the same overall. If they don't have the privilege, probably not worth it to create a loophole just for this.
    – davidism
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 20:20
  • 1
    Thanks Travis. In my case, points 1 was not done and points 2 were true and I think that's why I didn't see any notification for that. Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 3:19
  • 1
    The answer is technically wrong and missing. First, it's 7 days not 48 hours, as officially mentioned here (and tested myself many times, it's surely 7 days) and second, you missed a direct reply to existing message which will always send notification regardless when the user was last active. (even if a user posted in chat 5 years ago and never visited again, replying to that message will cause a full ping). Last but not least, "active" might be misleading. Enough to visit a room you once posted in for a second and leave, and you'll be pingable Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 13:47
  • @ShadowWizard, more precisely, it can be either 7d or 48h, in cases of exact matches @ShadowWizard and partial matches @shadow/ @shad respectively (unless an explicit reply (with the mouse) is made anyway). That's my understanding of the post that's linked in your link. Thank you for engaging with this! Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 18:25

This already exists. Chat pings like:

@enderland you are the best moderator EVER!

result in a notification.

I believe this notification is delayed 15 minutes before appearing in your inbox (it is instant if you are on chat, even if in a different chat room).

You can only ping someone who has been in the room recently, however.

  • 4
    I see your subtle attempts to influence us...
    – Andy
    Commented Oct 16, 2015 at 20:00

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