Etsy is launching a new platform for hosting its discussion forums and "Teams." The two biggest points to take note of: the forums will be read-only during a nearly 2-week period this month; and once the new platform is rolled out, posts older than 3 years old will be deleted unless they have had recent comments.
In addition, only Etsy Teams with at least one discussion since November 2016 will be available.
An Etsy spokesperson reached out to EcommerceBytes with the reminder and a link to the original announcement
made in November. (Thankfully the company held off until after the holidays before making the transition.)
She said the new platform will make it easier for sellers to connect with each other and grow their creative businesses, and highlighted the following features:
- Making it easier to interact with enhanced comment functionality that lets sellers @ mention and “like” posts, along with increased character limits and formatting options.
- Helping sellers stay in the loop with new notification options, accepted solution functionality, and Etsy announcements section.
- Supporting Team Captains and Leaders with a dedicated team leaders resource page and improved tools for communicating with team members.
An Etsy seller who wrote about the transition
on her blog pointed out that on January 10th, the forums and Teams will be closed to new comments. However, she pointed out that Etsy updated the announcement to inform sellers that Etsy would keep the "Bugs" forum open for both reading and posting new threads and comments.
Members will have access to "improved tools and features in the Teams and Forums spaces starting January 22, 2019," according to the Etsy spokesperson.
The seller told us there are rumors from beta participants that the space for Teams will not be as "warm and fuzzy" as they are now. Etsy provided a screenshot of the new forum design in its announcement, but it's hard to get a full sense of the look-and-feel of the new interface.
The seller also said there are concerns about the impact on Teams, which are a vibrant and helpful resource for Etsy sellers. (Some Teams are public and some are closed groups.) The seller said there were 10,000 Teams. But that number is likely to go down since Etsy is deleting inactive Teams, as noted above.
According to her blog post, the new forums and Teams will be powered by Lithium - we've got a question in to Etsy asking them to confirm this and other questions about the new platform.
Etsy sellers were also discussing the changes under the announcement post and in this thread
, where you can read their concerns.
Many sellers reacted positively. Some hoped the changes would include an improved search engine for searching the forums, and one seller wrote, "I hope the format stays the same, like nesting responses under the post that you are commenting on." Numerous sellers said they liked the feature that would allow them to "like" comments, and some liked the ability to "@mention" other members' posts.
One seller who serves as a leader on a local team with 1,000 members said she would like to see Etsy offer the ability to see all of a team's listings at once, which would help members with marketing.
If you have any favorite and/or helpful threads on the Etsy boards, you might want to copy them to keep for your records. Etsy advised, "If you have older Forums threads saved, you'll want to jot down any pertinent tips or resources prior to the read-only period."
Sadly, that likely means that many posts written by Etsy founder Rob Kalin will disappear forever along with other threads that provide insight into Etsy's development.