In a chat room, what are all the mechanics around being listed as "in the room" or not?

The various states of being "in a room"

I know of at least three states that a chat user can be in:

  1. Never having been in the room before.

  2. The user's avatar is in the box on the right in full colour.

  3. The user's avatar is in the box on the right greyed out.

I suspect there are a couple more, but they may be the same as 3. above:

  1. A user can be @pinged to the room, and when they navigate there, they have to "join this room" to get in.

  2. A user once posted in a room, then used the "leave" button, and hasn't been back recently.


I understand that users can "join this room" by clicking that button.

What other ways are users "joined" to a room?

  • from navigating to the room?

  • from interacting with something particular in the room?

  • from posting a message?

  • from being @pinged

  • from being @@superpinged?

  • from someone manually adding you some other way?

For instance, I've noticed that I get automatically joined (the flying avatar animation) when I click "reply" to a message (not send it, just open a window to reply), but not when I "Star" a message. What other things join users?


I understand that users can "leave" a room by clicking that button.

What really happens when you "leave" a room, as in, which state of "not in the room" is the user in after that?

Which type of "leaving the room" is indicated by the animation of their avatar flying away?

What other ways do users leave a room (all types of "in the room")?

  • from a certain amount of time passing without interaction? If so, how much time, and what actions count as interaction for this purpose?

  • from someone manually removing you?

Practical differences

What are the functional differences among the various states of being in a room? An exhaustive list, if possible.

For example, if a user has been in the room before but isn't currently among the greyed-out avatars, do they get a notification from a @ping?

  • 2
    Clicking the "rejoin all" (on the /?tab=favorite tab) or "rejoin favorite rooms" (when in a room) buttons will make them join all rooms that they have favourited. Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 23:46
  • In the end of (the current revision) of of your post post, you're basically asking which users can be pinged using @username. The answer here says a bit about that: Does ping work in chat with no autocompletion? It is also possible to get the list of all pingable users in a room: example. For details, see here: List of unlinked pages on Stack Exchange sites
    – Martin
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 5:41
  • 1
    @Martin That's not a good summary of my question. I appreciate the links though
    – gotube
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 23:51
  • 1
    From the FAQ: "Every time you talk in a room (and when you enter a room for the first time), your avatar goes to full brightness and sorts to the top of the avatar stack for that room." Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 13:29
  • Thank you @OlegValter. That's just the type of info I'm looking for. It's also a good example of the reason I'm asking this question: that particular piece is incomplete. Beyond those two causes of avatars going to full brightness, my avatar also goes to full brightness 1) when I re-enter a room with the "join this room" button, and 2) when I hit the "reply to this message" button on a post (not send). There may be other times too that I haven't come across. I'd like all this info in one place.
    – gotube
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 22:16
  • 1
    exactly what the comment was intended for :) I do not really have the bandwidth right now to post comprehensive answers, so just dropped the obvious reference here in case anyone wants to expand on it - I realize (and support) you want it to become a FAQ on various user states in chat Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 22:21


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