Changes to @mentions and names in HipChat

| June 29, 2012

Note: We made changes to this system a few days after this post due to user feedback. Please see @mentions and names, take 2.

As HipChat has grown over the last year, so has the average team size. It’s become clear that HipChat could use some improvements when it comes to how names and @mentions work. Today, we’re starting to roll out a few improvements.

What are the new changes?

  • Each user in a company will have a unique @mention name. The mention names have the format @FirstLast with letters and numbers only. Pete Curley would be @PeteCurley and Mike Cannon-Brookes would be @MikeCannonBrookes
  • Full names are now displayed in chats and tabs instead of First L. This will solve the issue of having multiple John M.’s and not knowing which one is talking.

When is this happening?

You may have already been prompted to update your HipChat client. It will eventually be a required update, but you can update it manually if you can’t wait.

Hey! I want to pick my own @mention name!

We know. You want to pick your own mention name like you can in IRC and other chat programs. We’re not ruling out that we may do this in the future, but for now we’re just trying to solve the things we know are broken (like multiple Johns getting mentioned when someone types @john). We highly value real names in HipChat. We think it’s one of the main things that separates us from consumer chat services. If we add it now and mess up the experience, we’ll have a hell of a time removing the feature. If we keep things simple now we can always add more flexibility in future releases.