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Welcome to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for the Notifications tool! (formerly code-named Echo)
- 1 What is this notifications tool?
- 2 How do notifications work?
- 3 What kinds of notifications can I get?
- 4 How can I change my notifications?
- 5 How can I view earlier notifications?
- 6 Who is this for?
- 7 When will this be released on my site?
- 8 Why are you building this?
- 9 How can I give feedback?
- 10 What other features are being planned?
What is this notifications tool?
The Notifications tool (formerly code-named Echo) gives users of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites quick updates about actions that affect them. These notifications can help users become more aware of events that relate to them and take quick action if they want to.
This software was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation's editor engagement team, to encourage people to participate more actively on Wikimedia sites. Notifications were designed to replace or augment existing notification systems on these sites, as well as provide significantly more control to users.
To learn more about Notifications, visit this project hub on MediaWiki.org.
How do notifications work?
When someone takes an action that affects you on a Wikimedia site, a red or blue badge will appear next to your user name, in the top right corner of any page. These badges will show the number of new notifications you've received. Clicking on the badges will display a flyout listing the most recent notifications (see screenshot). You can then click on the notification of your choice to find out more about it. To see more, can click on "All notifications" to go to the notifications archive. The first badge ("alerts") contains most notification types; the second badge ("messages") contains notifications about your user talk page messages - feedback is requested on potentially moving other notification types here.
What kinds of notifications can I get?
Here are the first categories of notifications for this tool:
- Talk page messages: when a message is left on your user talk page (this replaces the orange bar that used to appear);
- Mentions: when your user name is mentioned on a talk page;
- Page links: when a new link is made to a page you created;
- Edit reverts: when your edits are undone or rolled back;
- Thanks: when someone thanks you for your edit;
- User rights: when your user rights change;
- Welcome: when you create a new account;
For the first release of this product, some of these notifications will be turned off by default for both current and new users. If you would like to enable any of these notifications (or disable them), you can do so in your preferences, as described below.
How can I change my notifications?
You can control what kinds of notifications you get (and how often) by updating your notifications preferences. To check your settings, click on "Preferences" in the flyout (shown above) -- or in the "All notifications" archive page. (You can also click on "Preferences" in the top right of any page, then select the "Notifications" tab.)
To turn notifications on or off for any category, simply check (or uncheck) the box next to it. You can enable (or disable) notifications on the web or by email for most categories. (Some notifications cannot be disabled, such as changes to your user rights or new talk page messages: these notifications are too important to be dismissed.) You can also control how often to receive email notifications, from single emails for each event to daily or weekly digests. When you're done, be sure to click the "Save" button at the bottom of the page to update your preferences.
How can I view earlier notifications?
To find all your recent notifications, click on "All notifications" in the flyout to go to the notifications archive page. Your most recent notifications are listed first on this archive page. To see older notifications, click on the "More..." button at the bottom of that page.
Who is this for?
Notifications are for all registered users of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites. Special notifications are sent to new users right after they sign up, and to all registered users when their rights change. Unregistered users cannot get notifications (except for talk page notifications, which are still shown to anonymous users in an orange bar).
When will this be released on my site?
Notifications was enabled on most Wikimedia wikis, between April and October 2013.
Why are you building this?
At the moment, the only notifications that the MediaWiki software provides are given through the watchlist. The watchlist is quite helpful, but its format is limited. It works well for changes related to pages, but not so well for changes related to users. At the same time, there's no granularity: if a page is watchlisted, you are informed about every change that happens to it. If a change is not watchlisted, you receive none. Watchlists are useful, and they work well for the job they were designed for, but they don't encompass the whole scope of on-wiki activity. Our hope is that this new notifications feature, in conjunction with watchlists, can provide a better user experience. Users will be able to learn about more events, far more easily, and have greater control over what kind of information they receive.
How can I give feedback?
We'd love to hear what you think of notifications. To discuss your suggestions with other users, visit this project talk page.
If you find a bug, you are welcome to report it here on Phabricator. However, we appreciate that Phabricator isn't exactly the easiest system to use; you can also drop the report on the project talkpage, with a screenshot and information on your browser and operating system :).
What other features are being planned?
Feature development is now over for this year's first release. We are considering more features for future releases, based on community feedback. If you have any suggestions for improving this tool, please let us know :)