Team collaboration and conversation links join hands!

Fleep enables conversation sharing with join URLs, share your conversationsHave you ever noticed that the hardest part of doing any type of group collaboration is getting people together in one place at the same time? Or how much time it takes to make sure all your new team members get added into the correct conversations where they’re needed? Wouldn’t it be great if you could automate it a little bit more? Fleep is now here to ease the pain with a new feature: Conversation link.

Conversation link allows you to make a conversation accessible for people who you yourself have not yet added to the conversation. Once you enable this setting you get a link which you can share with anyone you want to take part in the conversation. Spread it around and shorten the time you’d usually need to add everyone into the conversation one by one. Once you’re done or no longer want anyone extra to join in on a conversation, you can disable the setting. From there on the conversation members themselves can decide who they wish to add into a chat.

In it’s essence the feature works in a very simple way – 1) create a chat (or use a current one you have) 2) enable conversation sharing in the Conversation Settings and 3) share the conversation link with the people you want to have a conversation with.

Getting the right team members into the correct conversations

Ok, you could ask now why would one need it when you’re just having conversation with a few people at a time? Fair question, in those cases you don’t. But imagine this reality…

You have a team of 20 people and are running in parallel 30-40 different conversations, each with a different set of team members, different topics, different discussions. Now, if a new person joins your team, what’s the easiest way of getting him or her into the correct team conversations?

Here’s a solution that we as a team use in Fleep:

  • Step 1: Create the team conversations and enable Sharing in the Conversation Settings tab for all of them.
    Turn conversation sharing on in Fleep and give people the chance to join via URL
  • Step 2: List all the conversation links on a Pinboard which is in a chat where all your team members are always added (let’s call it the Most Important Chat). Alternatively you can create the list in some other shared space as well, but we’re using Pinboards (dogfooding, you know!)
  • Step 3: When a new person joins the team, add him or her only to the Most Important Chat and point him or her to the list of conversation links. Now this person can choose to join whichever conversation is needed.
  • Step 4: Sit back and relax!

Alternative use cases for Conversation links

Another example where conversation links will prove to be useful is in the education field. Imagine that you’re a course lecturer and need a communication channel for all your course students. This could be a place where they can ask questions or share comments or collaborate as a group. For that purpose conversation link works great! You just need to share the link in the beginning of the course and disable the access to the conversation once all the right people are in the conversation. Why not create a QR code out of this link to makes matters easier in the smartphone era and post it on your slides or at the lecture room door.

Is there a limit to how many people can join a Fleep conversation?

Good question! Yes, there is a 200 person limit for a Fleep conversation. Although we have yet to see a conversation this big, we’d imagine that now this could become a reality. We’ll keep a close eye on this and try to adjust that limit in the future if needed.

We hope that these tips and tricks will help you setup your team conversations faster and if you have any tips yourself to share with the community don’t hesitate to share them with us on our social channels (Twitter, Facebook). We’re all ears when it comes to feedback!

Our plans for Q1 and how we did in Q4

Thanks for supporting Fleep in Q4, now onto Q1As promised in October I’ll be posting quarterly updates about our product plans for the next three months ahead of us to keep you informed. So here’s my update on how we did in Q4 against our plans and what’s in the plans for Q1.

First, let’s have a look at what we did in Q4:

Fleep files and messages as one entityManage files & messages as one entity – now I can pin, edit and delete messages and files as one entity. I like the ability to pin messages with files, previously I had to somehow refer in pinned message to a related file, usually by copy pasting file name into pinned message, which wasn’t cute. Sometimes I also use message edit to add additional files (screenshots or logs) into previously posted message. Just for the background – technically this was quite an effort for us, not only because we needed to rebuild the logic in backend and in apps, but also because we needed to figure out a way how to maintain backwards compatibility for users still using the old apps.

Fleep adds copy-paste feature in the appCopy messages between conversations – In the past my main problem was how to forward files from one conversation to another one. Now I just copy original message in one conversation and paste it into another one without the need to download files in between onto my computer. There’s still some confusion on how Fleep internal copy & paste works with clipboard copy & paste, but we will continue improving there.

Fleep adds Google Hangouts to enable audio-video callingVideo calling & screen sharing with the help of Google Hangouts – By now we have migrated all our internal meetings from Skype to Google Hangouts. I like the ease of joining a video call from Fleep conversations and the screen sharing works quite well too. For short term we don’t have any further plans with video calls, we have ideas and thoughts on how we could build an even better experience on our own, but this has to wait a little longer as we are currently focused on text based communications.

Fleep enables Premium conversationsPremium conversations – after the initial launch of Fleep Premium subscriptions we quickly understood that we need a solution for conversations where the Premium user is working with Free users. For example a freelance designer (Premium user) working with a client (Free user). Premium Conversation is a solution for this – if there is at least one Premium user in the conversation then the whole conversation history is accessible to all members, including the Free users. It works like a charm and has helped me to stay Free so far :)

Fleep adds disclose conversation history featureDisclose message history – we now have two ways how one can disclose message history and I use them both. When someone joins the team, I add him into a team chat and disclose him the whole conversation history. And sometimes I also include someone into ongoing conversations and then just disclose the last few messages as an intro to why I added him.

Fleep has now a better picture previewerPicture previewer – previously it was a pain to download pictures to view them which isn’t an issue any more. Also scrolling between pictures in a conversation is useful, I use it in our design chats quite often.

Fleep is now testing Tasks feature in the appTasks – as planned we built them but for internal use only. Our current plan is to use tasks internally for our task management and release this feature into public use once we are happy with them :)

You can now get notified about new messages in Fleep web versionBrowser notifications – in addition to Mac and Windows apps we now (finally) also have an option for those who don’t want to install an app but would like to get desktop notifications whenever new messages are posted.

Moving on to Q1 plans

If you compare the list of features I already described to the initial Q4 plan then you’ll notice that not everything was delivered, some items are already in development just haven’t been released yet and some didn’t even get started on… which is fine from my perspective as long as things that are up in the backlog were delivered and those in the end didn’t make it.

This leads us to the 2015 Q1 plans – as usual, our first candidates that were added into the list were items from the Q4 which were not delivered and in addition to them we added some more and came to the following:

  • Integrations – we will continue adding integrations based on our users’ requests. Currently, these are the ones in the pipeline: Trello, Pivotal Tracker, New Relic, Bitbucket, Confluence, IFTTT, Zapier, Twitter and Asana. (If you’re favorite missing from the list then please let me know :) )
  • URL inline preview – this feature is already rolling into live as I’m writing this post, but essentially this will be a preview of imagery and metadata from posted links.
  • Shared conversations – when enabled, anyone with the link can join a Fleep conversation (regardless if they are a Fleep user or not). One scenario where I can see this becoming useful are the countless teacher – student conversations or any other user case where the creator of the conversation doesn’t know who wants to join. By default, conversations will stay private as they are today, but this will definitely make it easier to create and maintain bigger group conversations.
  • @mentions – well… this is kind of embarrassing that we still don’t have it, isn’t it?
  • Fleep address – yep, we are introducing Fleep’s own identity, which is It will be email compatible, so anyone from email world or from Fleep world can reach out to you using it. It will be huge, believe me :)
  • Email integration improvements – we’ve got a handful of things that we’ll improve there, from the logic how we group Fleep messages to outgoing emails to how we map incoming emails to conversations. It works well already but we’re aiming to make it great.
  • Conversation labels – those who have more conversations will be happy to hear that we will soon roll out labels. You’ll be able to search by them, group on the left pane, create them yourself etc.
  • Conversation’s bulk actions – add / remove members, add / remove labels etc actions to all selected conversations in one go instead of doing this one by one to each conversation. Wouldn’t it be nice?

Hopefully we can deliver most of it by the end of March, we’ll see, as usual I’m optimistic  :)