Saturday, June 15, 2013

Disqus new private profiles feature is coming soon

On the Disqus blog post about the new profile views that has recently been added to the embed, many users have complained and begged Disqus for a feature that would allow users to restrict who gets to follow them, block users, and allow them to set their profiles to private entirely.

I was visiting one of my favorite sites, AVC, today and I looked at some of the top comments, like I usually do. Another thing I usually do is keep tabs on the folks who I follow, usually by using the network tab in "My Disqus" in the comment embed or by looking at their profiles.

One of the folks I follow is Mat Mullen, who is a product manager at Disqus. When his profile popped up I was greeted by a nice surprise:
It appears that the folks at Disqus are indeed building a private profile system, like their engineers and managers said in the comments.

As soon as I saw this I instantly went on a research spree, gathering up as much information as I could about the new private profiles, and the progress it has gathered so far. From this demo above, I have drawn a few conclusions from my research:
  1. All of the tabs in the new profile view are marked as private, despite that I was following him.
  2. Hovering or clicking the "Private" button does absolutely nothing.
  3. In the old classic view of his profile, trying to access his activity would give a "This person's activity is still being updated" message. This means that the private function works but the actual fact that the user is private is not reflecting in the classic Disqus.

  4. I can still follow and unfollow Mat despite that he is listed as private, from the classic profile view and the hover card in the Disqus embed.
So, these are just some of my pre-observations. I'm not aware of how much progress they are actually making, but I can say that they are obviously making progress because the Disqus team is doing it's own testing, without letting MVC members know.