direct messaging discontinued?

Update, January 2nd: As promised, I contacted Peter Gray (Pete Linden) at the Lab, and he confirmed profile feed direct messaging has been turned off.

Ciaran Laval brought this to my attention: it appears that direct messaging (DM) on may have been discontinued.

The capability was slipped out by the Lab back in October 2011. Like many things about the profile feeds (and elsewhere in Second Life) there was no announcement about its introduction, and people were left to trip over it for themselves. At the time I noticed it, I offered a short tutorial on using it. The removal of the feature – if that is indeed what has happened – has similarly occurred sans any announcement.

I’m using caution here, as things on the profile feeds have been a little higgledy-piggledy* of late, what with snapshot uploads having been badly broken for many for the past week or more (and still broken for some – I confess, I’ve not tried in the last few days). Therefore, the capability might have been suspended due to problems with the hamsters servers.

However, a comment on a forum thread started on the matter would appear to suggest the option has indeed been removed. Responding to the question “…No more private messages?“, Bondboy Dagger states:

I too noticed this feature being gone. I created a ticket to inquire and have been told this feature has been discontinued. :smileysad:

Certainly, the options to send private messages have now gone. There is no longer a New Message button in the Messages tab of the Inbox, and the option to privately message a friend by clicking the message button on their profile feed has also gone – the only option left is to IM them via the viewer (i.e. in-world).

The New Message button has gone from the Messages tab in profile feeds
Now you see me (top), now you don’t (bottom) the vanishing New Message button for profile feed direct messages

Similarly, sending a message in an existing DM conversation no longer works. While the text input box is still there, together with the Send button, and while you can still enter a message, clicking on the Send button does nothing; your text remains displayed in the test input box.

You can still enter text in an existing private message exchange - but it won't be sent
You can still enter text in an existing private message exchange – but it won’t be sent

I’ve dropped a line to Pete Linden to enquire on the matter – but it is Christmas Eve (actually very early Christmas morning where I am!), and I know Pete is out of the office until January 2nd – so please don’t hold your breath over the holidays waiting to find out!

If the option has been removed, it’s liable to meet with mixed reactions. Many have probably never used it, even if they use the feeds, or may have used it occasionally. On the other hand, those of us who have used it, have found it to be extremely useful. For my part, I can say it has been of major assistance in communicating rapid-fire messages as a part of various collaborative projects. Obviously, whether it will be replaced by something else (assuming it has gone the way of the Dodo), is also up in the air at this point.

More news if / when I hear anything back in the New Year!

*for an explanation of “higgledy-piggledy, a technical term, please refer to the bottom of this page (in the hope it raises a smile or two)

15 thoughts on “ direct messaging discontinued?

  1. Its a bit annoying, i was having good productive conversations with friends using Private off grid messaging. Now that it’s gone i’ve had to resort to other forms of communication off grid. The profiles are a wreck while at the same time becoming an important part of the community tools. I hope 2014 brings improvement.


    1. I completely agree, although tbh, I totally failed to notice they’d gone/stopped working as the last couple of weeks have been manic elsewhere and my own use of DM ground to a halt (things also required much e-mailing of stuff as well).


  2. Hmm. I tried on the 23rd to post a picture from within SL to the Feed, and it didn’t work. I shrugged it off as being a Firestorm limitation of some sort. But maybe it’s related to the many issues you figured out that weren’t working on the Feed.

    Well, we’ll see what happens next year 🙂 Until then, Merry Christmas 😀


    1. It wasn’t a Firestorm issue; something was broken with the SL feeds and uploading snapshots from in-world to the feeds stopped working, regardless of viewer. Now we see that sending private messages (which is something every self-respecting social network service has) went away. If they did away with this, then maybe they should do away with the feeds altogether and rebuild the whole service from scratch.


    2. As Mona said, the snapshots upload has been broken for a while now. Prior to the holidays, Simon Linden had been working on it (and I kept forgetting to include it in my weekly SL updates). Part of the issue is that the problem didn’t affect everyone to start with, and now of those who were affected, some have seen the upload capability working again while others apparently haven’t. I’ve yet to try for myself.

      In the meantime, Merry Christmas!


  3. Instead the waste time on implementing FaceBoo stuff.
    The could better spend the time to make SLfeed better.
    The world is really getting nuts, the think only FaceBoo exists. Sorry FaceBook keeps FaceBoo


    1. I suspect that’s exactly why it was removed. I got nothing but gold-farmers trying to find fertile soil in SL, which, like EVE, is probably the WORST place for those scammers to try their thing.


  4. If this has been changed then I’d suggest the issue is to do with automated messaging, as others have mentioned in the comments. The Bot Policy was recently changed to restrict bots inworld from sending messages too, they are restricted to 5,000 messages a day, which isn’t as many as it sounds when you consider each group recipient is considered one message, so a large group could in theory quickly go over that limit.

    Then there are the spam bots on the forum, maybe the communications system is struggling with abuse of the tools.

    Of course it may all just be a misunderstanding, the Lab is lightly staffed at this time of year.


  5. It was a great way of taking pictures and still got the landmark where they where taken!
    But as soon as Ukando got that option to Flickr i never used the sl feed anymore!


    1. It’s worth pointing out that the Flickr upload capability is available for a number of TPVs, and was originally developed by Katharine Berry (now leading the Exodus team).


  6. The viewers i used before, didn’t’ had that option, so for me Sl feed was the only way to upload pictures with landmarks til i read your post about the viewer i mention on the above post!
    Still the post is not about which viewers have or not, that option (regretful i don’t know if that option exists on the official Linden Lab viewer), but about why Liden Lab just shut down a service they provided, again without giving a F***** to the ones who used it!
    Well, as old Linden move away, this sort of behavior will just increase!


  7. The ability to message using the profiles as great especially when somewhere that you cannot use SL itself, having just the ability to IM using SL ( what we have now), is dumb as why would you use a site to IM when you could just open SL and IM ?

    Being able to message others without having to have SL open is good when say at Work, or wherever !1


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