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I've been using SE for years now (specifically mostly Aviation SE) and still have no idea how to "invite someone to chat".

(Edit: if it matters-- and I'm now realizing that it might-- these questions are really specifically for Aviation Stack Exchange, and any other SE communities where the chat functionality is the same as in ASE.) More general answers are welcome of course, as long as they also address the specific way the chat features function in ASE and other similar communities.

The chat FAQ says:

To get another user's attention, mention them – type @ and then the first part of their name. Your mention will be highlighted on their screen – @someone. This will happen even if they are in a different room. Note that you can only mention @someone who has been in the room at some point. If you need to invite someone to your room, do it from the user's chat profile page or from the user card that pops up when you click on their avatar in a chat room.

What is a "chat profile page"? How do I find it? Do I have one? Could someone use it to invite me to chat?

Regarding: "or from the user card that pops up when you click on their avatar in a chat room", 99.9% of the time, the person I am wishing to invite to chat is not currently showing an avatar in a chat room. But even if they are, I don't see any button on the "user card" that says "invite this person to chat". Specifically, I want to invite them to an existing room, not to create a new room with that person.

Is the thing that pops up when I click on an avatar in a chat room called a "chat profile page"? Or is it called a "user card"? And whichever it is called, how do I see the other thing? The FAQ implies there are two different things. Is this correct, or are they actually the same thing?

Is the FAQ misleading, or am I just missing some things here?

Also, in the case where the person has been in the chat room before and has left a chat message, then if I "reply" to his/her message, does he/she get a notification in his/her inbox even if he/she is not currently in any chat room?

What if s/he's never been in the chat room and is not currently in any chat room, does s/he get a notification if I leave a message starting with "@(username) in the chat room? I'm assuming not...

So basically this question is both 1) asking for some practical help and 2) asking whether some content in the chat FAQ might be misleading.

PS: I reviewed this answer, but this feature seems to no longer be available. (Edit-- the reason for this has now been discovered, see my answer.)

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    I will just remind that unless you're present in some chatroom, the button with "invite user to" will not be shown. In case it is useful, here is a similar FAQ post on Mathematics Meta: How do I invite a user to chat?
    – Martin
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:36
  • This answer meta.stackexchange.com/a/236515/413377 to question cited as duplicate states (re inviting someone to chat): "(This is important; you can't invite someone to a room you're not in.)" Yep, that's a key point. I still say chat FAQ might be revised to include this info, as suggested in my answer. And actually I didn't realize until just now that you have to be in the same room, not just any room. If that is in fact the case. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 19:17
  • (Yes, that does appear to be the case.) Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 19:38

2 Answers 2

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Well - chat profiles are not automatically created, and its entirely plausible that parts of the directions are obsolete. I could have sworn there was a direct link from the user's site profile at some point though.

There's a few conditions to be met - the person needs to have been on chat at least once (to have a chat profile), and you need to find their chat profile. Assuming the user has the same username globally - and is unique enough to recognise, you could try searching for their profile on the user page/tab on chat.stackexchange.com

enter image description here

Clicking on the username will bring you to the right user.

Its worth remembering that not all users are active on chat, and quite a few may prefer not to be randomly invited.

From an existing chat, you can click on an avatar of a user in the room

enter image description here

click user profile.

Both approaches should bring you here

You should see an option to invite a user to a room you're in or start a private chat

enter image description here

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  • Thanks, some helpful points there. Is the chat profile the same as the thing that pops up if they have an avatar showing in a chat room, and I click on it? Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:17
  • But even if I find that chat profile page, how do I use it to invite someone to chat? Specifically, to invite them to an existing room? Because as noted in question, the feature shown here seems to no longer be available-- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/126100/… Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:18
  • meta.stackexchange.com/questions/126100/… says it is . Needs a bit of poking at since the account I use for testing is suspended a lot for testing and that might affect things. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:27
  • Oops sorry, there was more to your answer that I didn't see when typed comment above-- hang on-- Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:27
  • Oh, I've been working through this since I've rarely invited people to rooms, so edits are happening as I go along :D Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:29
  • OK, so it seems to be different in ASE (Aviation Stack Exchange) chat. When I click on an icon in a chat room, I don't get the thing in your second screenshot (that's the "User Card"?), instead I get the thing in your third screenshot (that's the "chat profile page")? And in the third screen shot, in ASE, the "invite this user to" tab is missing. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:31
  • Its the same chat system as super user. I wonder what I'm missing here. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:33
  • Btw I'm not knowledgable enough to know if there may be a different place I should be asking this-- I know ASE doesn't want questions like this in their Meta site-- but I don't know if there's more than one SE Meta site and if so which one I should be addressing-- Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:36
  • Martin's comment under the question has essentially provided the answer. I wasn't in a chat room when I observed that "And in the third screen shot, in ASE, the "invite this user to" tab is missing."" I joined a chat room, and there it is. I still never see the "User Card" thing, but that's ok-- Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:39
  • How about the paragraph in the question that starts "Also, in the case where the person.."? Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:41
  • Yes, if they were in chat recently. I'm thinking 2 weeks but I'm always on chat Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:49
  • Do they have to had been in that particular chat room before, or would not that not matter? (That would obviously not be for a "reply", just a new post with "@username") Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:52
  • They need to be there before within that period of time. Someone who was in a chatroom last say 3 weeks ago wouldn't be pingable. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 13:53
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An answer to one of the questions here has been provided in a comment ( How can I invite someone to chat? ) by user "Martin": regarding a user's "chat profile page": "I will just remind that unless you're present in some chatroom, the button with "invite user to" will not be shown."

That's why I couldn't find it.

It might be helpful to modify the chat FAQ to read "If you need to invite someone to your room, do it from the user's chat profile page or from the user card that pops up when you click on their avatar in a chat room. (Note: you must be in present in some chat room to use either of these methods.)"

Thanks to help in answers and comments, I did just now manage to invite someone (who didn't happen to have an avatar showing in a chat room on the local (ASE) chat room page, and also wasn't even "pingable") to join an existing chat room.

Update: the related answer to a question recently cited as a duplicate, How do I invite a user to chat?, indicates that to invite someone to a chat room, it's not sufficient to be in any chat room, rather, you must have to be in that chat room. I did a quick test that confirms this is true.

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  • Could have sworn I read it. Sorry about that.
    – Joachim
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 18:16
  • @Joachim -- ok no prob-- Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 19:04
  • If one of the FAQs is unclear you can edit it yourself. I see that you've been pointed towards a duplicate in a now deleted comment.
    – Rob
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:09
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    @Rob -- thanks, I didn't realize I could do that. Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 20:57

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