PM Tweaks and Notes

29 Aug

We currently have a policy of cleaning up stale PM messages that have not had any activity for more than 1 year. One year expiration limit is a good balance as PM feature is intended only to be a short-term messaging system.

The next version of the PM system (v3.0), is currently under development and will be introduced later this year will resolve some of the issues with the current system.


  • Unread message subjects are now in bold type to distinguish from read messages. Our last update broke this feature.
  • Removed “Delete” option from outbox since it does not work as intended.

Posted by on 08/29/2012 in pm



46 responses to “PM Tweaks and Notes

  1. tiquatue

    08/29/2012 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks fo much for keeping us informed through the blog and the twitter feed. Knowing what’s going on is really helpful.

  2. Amy

    08/29/2012 at 11:11 pm

    Are you my momma?

  3. Stolloss

    08/29/2012 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you for informing us. The bold will be nice to have back. 🙂

    In the new PM system, will there be an option to export selected PMs as a file? It would allow users to easily save message chains they want to keep while the PM system is kept clean of old messages.

  4. Random Ipsy

    08/29/2012 at 11:26 pm

    So, I go to my PMs and see the changes you made and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t look very “pretty”. The font’s just a midge too small and everything looks scrunched together, making it harder to distinguish between each individual message. I liked when the lines separated each individual message into its own rectangle. Can that please be brought back? And I’d like it if the title or subject part of the message was underlined too. It appears more professional and makes it easier to know where to click. Sorry, but I’m just not impressed with the extra tweaks.

    • yemi hikari

      08/30/2012 at 1:15 am

      I agree that the removal of the line between PMs makes it hard to read.

  5. UltronMaximus

    08/29/2012 at 11:32 pm

    Thanks, I don’t mind the new look of the pm feature (I couldn’t care less if it had flowers dancing in the background as long as it is functional), but I really must thank you for making it so unread pms are bolded, that is really helpful!

  6. Unyielding Wish

    08/29/2012 at 11:37 pm

    I like it now, but the text seems a bit cramped…The lines are too close to each other. Maybe space them out next time? (Not sure if anyone gets what I’m talking about; I’m sorry…)

    • Prentiss-be-mine

      08/29/2012 at 11:54 pm

      It’s really not attractive. It looks like a jumbled mess, no offense. Some things don’t need to be fixed since they are not broken. Just saying.

    • yemi hikari

      08/30/2012 at 1:16 am

      I do and I think a lot of other people get it.

  7. Aubrey

    08/30/2012 at 1:23 am

    With all due respect, I hate the new PM style. It’s not attractive at all. As an earlier commenter said, it looks like a jumbled mess. There aren’t any dividers between the messages anymore, and it just looks very clunky.

    I don’t understand why you ‘fixed’ the PM system. It wasn’t broken. It worked just fine. It looked fine and was easy to look at and navigate. Now it’s clunky and all squished together and tiny. It just looks bad.

    I do appreciate that you’re keeping us informed, and I hope that you will take into consideration the wishes of your users.

    • Amatrice

      08/30/2012 at 2:08 am

      Aubrey, on some browsers the old system didn’t work well at all – the messages were all squashed to the side of the screen

      The fix has solved that problem, although it seems to have introduced others. I’m sure Xing and the team will be happy to keep tweaking until it’s satisfactory for as many users of possible, but for the sake of my sanity, please don’t ask them to bring back the old system…

  8. Lord Kelvin

    08/30/2012 at 4:04 am

    Random users of certain older forums reported being banned from posting even though none of the moderators banned them. The administrators can’t fix it because the management window bugs out. Everything works fine with forums that are less than two years old.

    PMs of users that have blocked you are impossible to view if you don’t have email notifications (those truncate, though). If it is now possible to see PMs from people that disabled the option, maybe it’s also possible to do so with blocks?

    Being unable to review a story shows a notification only after a review is written and submitted. Would be useful to see a disabled review window, so the review text isn’t wasted.

    The new PM look looks silly. It’s good for mobile, but it’s so tiny and basic if you have a PC. You’re speeding things up 24/7. Kudos for that. How about give users a choice of UI? People with slow computers or low bandwidth may want a basic interface, but there could be a choice in graphical fidelity.

    • coledragonknight

      08/30/2012 at 11:26 am

      I agree. I have been banned from a loved forum of mine. And the Admin is just as confussed as me…I hope this get’s fixed soon. He get’s a Type 2 error oddly enough.

  9. LorettaCancun

    08/30/2012 at 4:29 am

    As mentioned by an earlier commenter, is there or will there be a way to save or export PM threads as a file?

    I agree with the statements that the new layout is a bit cramped and harder to read.

  10. harrypotterencyclopedia24

    08/30/2012 at 4:46 am

    I actually agree with other people: the new PM layout isn’t good. My eyes get easily tired after looking at the headings. It’s good that when typing messages the page automatically goes down to the message box, since I had to scroll down for a long time before. But I don’t like the cramped heading, and turning bold whenever there’s a message, so I wish you’d just make the message boxes farther away from each other, and highlight when there’s a new PM.

  11. ShikiKira

    08/30/2012 at 6:48 am

    I have agree with a lot of the above comments. The new layout for the inbox and outbox just looks ugly. Please change the layout back to how it was before these last two updates? It wasn’t broken and it was much cleaner than it is now.

    I am happy that I can see some of the my old PMs. One my co-writers were having difficulty remembering what ideas we had written in those, so thank you for bring the old messages back even if it is just temporarily.

    Can we please get the one page list for Favorites and Alerts! I will keep commenting about this until it happens!

    We also need the addition of a second category inserted into Favorites and Alerts for sorting.

    Can we also please bring back the color changes to visited to links? I don’t mean for just the story titled, but also for author profiles, forums, private messages, and the last story chapter.

    There are many things on the websites that do not need to be fixed in the first place, so please change the back. Some of the things you’re updating just makes it worse for the site users than before. If you need examples, look at the ones I listed above.

    • favonilla

      08/30/2012 at 7:05 am

      ShikiKira says about the PM system: ” It wasn’t broken and it was much cleaner than it is now.” I agree it was much cleaner (at least, the message list was), but unfortunately it *was* broken, at least in some browsers; messages didn’t format correctly, to the point where once there were more than 3 messages in one thread it was pretty well unreadable. That glitch seems to have been repaired, and is much more usable than it was. But the message list in its current form is a little wearing on the eyes.

      It would be nice if the message list could go back to how it was, but the actual message threads retain the new format, which is neat and functional, and easy to follow.

    • LaughingPrincess88

      08/30/2012 at 5:01 pm

      I would also like for them to bring the color changes back. It makes finding stories and authors much easier, especially in the case of a story that hasn’t been updated for a while. Not to mention it’s easier to tell what pages you’ve looked at if the page number and last chapter looked at links change color. I really hope they fix this soon.

      • Prentiss-be-mine

        08/31/2012 at 2:33 am

        I honestly miss the old bookmarking feature. I hate when I haven’t read a story in a while and I have to search,and sometimes spoil myself, for my old place. Bookmarking on google chrome is sloppy and I prefer that all of my places in my stories are in the same area, hence the bookmarking feature. PLEASE bring this back!

  12. Estelli

    08/30/2012 at 7:18 am

    Thanks! But It would be nice if you also bolded our tabs again…. I liked it like that, so I can differentiate them from the sub-tabs.

  13. While

    08/30/2012 at 7:22 am

    FF should also give the users the option to moderate online reviews as well. Some reviews can be considered offensive to the writers, and having the option to delete it rather than wait for FF’s reply would make life a lot easier.

    • favonilla

      08/30/2012 at 7:51 am

      @While – this suggestion has already been thoroughly aired in other threads. Offensive, threatening or bullying comments can be removed by the moderators. If authors were given the power to do this themselves, some of the more shallow-minded ones (lots of them, probably) would use it to get rid of all negative comments. That’s not a good thing. Adverse criticism is a useful tool, both for authors, as a guide to improving their craft, and for readers who are seeking honest opinion before embarking on what might be a lengthy piece of writing.

      Anyone who can’t cope with a little negative response is probably too thin-skinned to be posting in a public space anyway. Most reputable writing sites require that feedback remain, unless the moderators remove it.

      I agree that having to wait for removal of genuinely offensive reviews is a problem, however perhaps what we should be asking for is a faster turnaround, rather than putting the power to remove in the hands of authors who may not be impartial.

      • UltronMaximus

        08/30/2012 at 8:48 am

        But favonilla, didn’t you know that telling an author (many of them, though) that, and I quote one of my reviews:

        “Your character is a little bit too perfect, perhaps you should tone her down before she becomes a Mary Sue.”

        Is the equivalent of you killing and eating their pet in front of them while you laugh like an evil maniac that also kidnapped their parents?

        A lot of the users here can’t deal with any review that isn’t a mountain of sugar and praise, I’m afraid.

        I am with you on the offensive reviews thing, though.

      • Anonymous

        08/30/2012 at 10:16 am


        I’m sorry, but I don’t see how that’s a negative review. It looks like constructive criticism to me, in which the reviewer is trying to advise you to avoid the Mary Sue cliche. There’s nothing wrong with a little criticism.

      • MMC

        08/30/2012 at 10:40 am

        @Anonymous: I think that’s the point UltronMaximus is making about some writers who can’t take that kind of concrit. Lol

      • Anonymous

        08/30/2012 at 12:48 pm

        Oh boy, now I feel silly. Recognizing sarcasm is easy enough in real life, but it’s more difficult on the internet.

      • MMC

        08/30/2012 at 1:03 pm

        True; not going to argue with that. It’s happened to me before too, so I don’t blame you. 🙂

      • Andie

        08/30/2012 at 6:07 pm

        I can guarantee you that if the site enables authors the ability to rid their stories of any kind of signed review the author deems “offensive”, the site then loses its purpose of posting on here for honest feedback because every single writer whose little feelings get hurt by simple concrit will remove any negative feedback. Granted, something that is truly offensive and potentially threatening should be removed by the site moderators, but anything that’s criticism, even harsh criticism, shouldn’t be given that option. I review in several fandoms and I admit I do get critical at times, but not because I’m trying to be mean or cruel to anyone, I’m just trying to get them to understand the problems in their work that may be putting other readers off of their stories. But I know 99.9% of the people I review for, if given the option of removing any signed reviews that they disagree with, they WILL do it, simply because they don’t want any negativity posted to their review section, all they want is that ego-stroking praise. So no, don’t enact the option of deleting signed reviews, it’ll ruin the site’s purpose for writers to get feedback to improve their works.

      • yemi hikari

        09/01/2012 at 3:59 am

        Pretty much what everyone else has said. There are people who don’t know the difference between critique and a flame. That also said, allowing people to delete signed reviews means they have no reason to report reviews that really do break site rules to the site admins and thus the site admins will not be able to remove people like the should be able to when someone is a serial flamer.

  14. Suzie

    08/30/2012 at 9:25 am

    I HATE this new PM format! It’s so confusing, go back to the old format!

    • bienfait

      09/01/2012 at 5:48 am

      What’s confusing about it? It seems clear enough to me.

  15. ~Cherry!~

    08/30/2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hope we could get an update on reported actions next.

  16. Dioniclei

    08/31/2012 at 4:35 pm

    New PM format doesn’t look all that great. Granted, having which message colored depending on which was sent by which person is still there, but I liked the previous format of your own message aligned on one side and the other person’s on the other side (like in text messaging).

    • favonilla

      08/31/2012 at 6:30 pm

      @Dioniclei – as has already been explained, the format with the text on either side of the screen was completely dysfunctional on some browsers. Basically it put one word on each line, so reading a long exchange became almost impossible.

      If the admins can come up with a way to reintroduce that facility without the glitch, I’m sure they will do so. But it was a problem for quite a lot of users (there was a long discussion on the forum in my fandom about how unusable it had become for them) so I think they’re right to go with something that may not look quite as nice, but is actually functional for everyone.

  17. Darklord990

    09/02/2012 at 10:49 pm

    What I want to know, is why is there a 300th pm limit. That’s not fair in my opinion.

  18. Reisfriend

    09/03/2012 at 5:40 am

    Put the delete option back to outbox. It was nicer to be able to clear the outbox of any messages that weren’t needed.

  19. The Imaginatrix

    09/08/2012 at 3:00 am

    They said in the blog post that this is basically an interrum thing, and the new version of the PM feature would be activated later in the year.
    I personally miss how they used to show the exact time each message came in with PMs older than three days, not just the date the way they do now. They show the exact times for messages within the last three days, but not for older ones. If this could be brought back when the next version is activated, I would be very happy.

    • Prentiss-be-mine

      09/08/2012 at 4:34 am

      I mean, why does it matter what time someone messaged you. You know they messaged you, and you know the date. Do you want to when they thought about messaging you, too?

  20. The Lobster's Claw

    09/14/2012 at 11:14 pm

    Why’d you get rid of the “Delete” option? It worked just fine for me!

    And yeah, the PM format and system just looks clunky and garbled. I liked when each message was its own big rectangle. It was clean and easy to look at. Now, were it not for the bold, i would barely be able to find all of my PMs! Give us the old Pm formatting and system back, because i actually liked it!

    • Prentiss-be-mine

      09/15/2012 at 8:31 pm

      @ Lobster’s claw the new delete is the ‘-‘ sign on the right.

  21. 2good2betrue

    11/10/2012 at 2:57 am

    I have a few outbox messages that have been “stale” for a year. Why haven’t they been removed?
    I hope this new PM version lets you delete outbox messages… I know I’d like it.

  22. ilkar

    03/11/2013 at 11:48 pm

    I suddenly got a very unpleasant flame from Someone’s husband! Where can i report this? She apparently asked him to come and harrass me what a bitch. I was being polite that i am not keen to talk to her and he blames me for her getting bipolar. Pls reply me soon!

  23. Lord Divestre Croft

    03/30/2013 at 1:53 am

    I have a question that’s been bothering me. If you send a PM to someone, and they post it on their profile without your permission, is that against the rules?

  24. Tigrissa18

    06/06/2013 at 9:38 pm

    I really need to delete my Outbox messages! How can i do that now? 😦

  25. celiarickerby

    07/20/2013 at 3:19 pm

    Are you going to put delete back in the outbox? My list is getting long and I would like to get rid of them.

  26. celiarickerby

    07/20/2013 at 3:21 pm

    Is the delete going to return to the outbox? My list is getting rather long and I would like to get rid of them.


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