Sometimes selection of a few chat rooms is shown in the sidebar on the right. (If you are not sure what I mean, you can have a look at the screenshots here or here.)

I wonder whether they are shown for all users. Namely are they shown to unregistered? Are they shown if a user which does not have sufficient reputation to use chat views the site?


Yes, the chat rooms are displayed in the sidebar even to users who can't actually chat:

This is consistent with many other things that are visible to the user, even if they can't do it:

  • Add comment
  • Upvote/Downvote
  • ...and more

In my opinion this is not bad, this way the user can learn about the existence of chat, even join the rooms, and when reaching enough reputation, take active part.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks! I'll wait a bit before accepting an answer to see whether somebody says something about unregistered users too. (I have tried to browse the site logged off/in incognito mode. I did not see chat rooms in the side bar in the few attempts I tried. Of course, this is not a definitive proof since they are not always displayed.) – Martin Nov 29 '16 at 7:11
  • @Martin the sidebar is showing the chat rooms widget only when there is lots of scrolling in the page, i.e. question with several answers. I made my test with this question for example. As for unregiered accounts, I'm 99.999% sure they also see it, too lazy to create yet another test account though. :) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Nov 29 '16 at 7:12
  • The scrolling thing is another useful bit of information which I did not know before. I have tried the question you linked in incognito mode (i.e., not being logged in) and the chat rooms were displayed. Re: unregistered accounts and creating test account - maybe I misunderstood something, but I thought that unregistered users are the ones who post a question or an anwer without creating an account. (This is not possible on some big sites, but it is possible on many sites in SE network.) – Martin Nov 29 '16 at 7:18
  • @Martin yeah, the reason is that SE does not want the sidebar to be higher than the contents. Note the amount of "Hot Network Questions" in the side bar also varies, between 5 and 20 depending on the contents of the page. As for unregistered users, it's tricky but when using the same email to post, and as long as you don't clear your cookies, the posts will be associated with the same account, hence it's called unregistered account. But yeah, to "create" it I just need to post answer this way, and too lazy for that. (Plus, reputation is fun to earn in the main account. ;)) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Nov 29 '16 at 7:25

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