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 username@fleep.io. 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  :)

Files and messages, united!

Files and messages now linked together, united with pins in Fleep, chat for teams and businessesIn case you haven’t noticed – few weeks ago files and messages got married. Whatever actions you do with a message will apply to the files attached to it as well. So if you edit, delete, pin or copy a message – the files go with it.

We think this enables two new cool use cases:

1. Ability to pin messages together with files attached to it (previously you needed to point in the pinned message to the relevant files by adding name of the files or so)
2. Copy messages together with its files from one conversation to another one (previously you needed to download the file from one conversation and then upload it to another one)

Pinning messages together with files

pin file messageYou can now easily Pin or Unpin messages that are linked to files onto the Pinboard and the message will appear with the files attached to it. To do that, right-click on the message (or click on the little triangle on the top-right corner of the message) and a choose Pin from drop-down menu.

Now the message is added to your Pinboard together with the file. If anyone deletes the file from the File Drawer or conversation flow, it will also be removed from the the pin on the Pinboard.

pinned message fleep

Copy-paste messages together with files

copy message fleepYou can now copy-paste messages and pins that are linked to files from one chat to another one together. No need to post message and files separately or download/upload them in between conversations. Simply right-click on the message or pin that’s linked with the file and choose Copy from the drop-down menu.

Then move to the chat where you wish to post the copied text and files and repeat the action in the message area. This time choose Paste. Here’s a quick overview of the process:

Fleep copy message file

Please note: The more common keyboard shortcuts for Copy-Paste will not give you the same outcome!

In case you have any questions or feedback for us, find us via our social channels (Twitter, Facebook) or ping us in the Fleep Support conversation. We’re always ready to hear your opinions and welcome it with open hands!

Video calling now in Fleep with help from Google Hangouts

Fleep launches Google Hangouts integrationOhjoy, gone are the days when you needed one application for audio-video calls and one for collaborative conversations. Now Fleep is integrated with Google Hangouts and we’re ready for your first test-drive! We’ve quickly realized that it makes sense to include calls into Fleep to simplify the collaborative efforts of the teams that are using Fleep. Also it gives us a chance to test out the concept of having audio-video calls integrated in Fleep.

Google Hangouts integration is one of the free extras Fleep has to offer and is available to all Fleep users starting from today.

Are there any requirements to using Google Hangouts?

Yes, let’s get through the nitty-gritty bits first. To use and create Google Hangouts you will need a Google+ account. Even though Google Hangouts can only be created from the web, on Windows or Mac client you can join and be part of them from all the Fleep supported platforms. To take part in the calls on your mobile you also need to have the Google Hangouts app before you join the calls.

This new integration works flawlessly with the latest versions of Windows ( and Mac (1.4.1) only. Users might experience inconveniences with the Hangout not launching properly if they haven’t updated yet. Therefore, make sure that your application is up to date.

How can I create a Google Hangout?

You can easily create a new Google Hangout session when you click on the little camera icon right below the message entry area. This will open up a new pop-up where you’ll need to click on the Start new video call button.

How to initiate a Google Hangouts video call in FleepThis will initiate a new system message in the conversation flow which includes the Google Hangout video call link. Other members of the conversation can join your video call by clicking on the Join link in the system message.

Notification about a new Google Hangouts in a Fleep conversation

What’s next?

We haven’t decided yet if and when we will create our own voice and video calling functionality in Fleep, but the current Google Hangouts integration gives us a great chance to validate if it’s worth putting our own development team efforts and resources into good use in the future.

If you have any questions about this new integration don’t hesitate to ping us via Fleep Support or via our social channels (Twitter, Facebook). Together we can make things better for all Fleep users!

What’s all the fiddling on the left pane about?

Fleep, caht for teams and businesses, left pane changes with clone, star and snoozeOur last two weeks in Fleep have been a little hectic. We’ve been working on making the left pane more powerful for our users. Our active users might have noticed the changes already last week, but the final round of changes for the time being went out yesterday. For now, we’re done fiddling around with the left pane and would be glad to get some feedback from you as well about the new things that were added and changed on the left pane.

So, what’s new?

Fleep, chat for teams and businesses, application left paneOk, first off we now display your full conversations list on the left pane and the most active ones are now added to the top of the list. We felt that this gives a much better user experience than the previous iteration we had because with the previous one it was quite easy to miss new conversations. Sure, you guys had more power over the left pane – you could remove chats from there that you had already dealt with – but for some the situation was vice versa. By not removing some of the conversations the new ones ended up outside the scrollable view and that made it easy to miss chats. Furthermore, having to go and find some of the old but not so active chats from the All conversation list forced you to do more unnecessary clicks.

Another fairly good reasoning to this change was the fact that we wanted to synchronize the Fleep experience across all devices where Fleep is supported, mobiles and tablets included.

You snooze you lose, or not?


The good news is that we’ve also added some new functionality – the Snooze feature, which allows you to Snooze a conversation that’s not relevant right at this moment for 2 hours by default (or longer if you repeat the action) and will trigger a notification after the time is up by bringing this conversation back into your Left pane view.

Edit [06/05/15]: Snooze feature has been renamed to Mute and combined together with the previous conversation setting to turn off all notifications. Read more here.

You can star your conversations now!

fleep-leftpane-star-unstarIn the previous left pane iteration you were the only one that decided which conversations make it to your left pane and which ones won’t. To continue supporting that approach we’ve added a new option to Star a conversation which keeps it at the top of your list until you decide to Unstar it.

This solves the problem of having to go look for specific chats you’re not always active in and also allows you to favorite a conversation just to remind yourself that you need to deal with something that’s still ongoing in it.

New conversation filter

Fleep, chat for teams and business, left pane quick filterTo avoid spending time in the good old All conversations list we’ve also added a separate Filter for conversations onto the left pane. This will allow you to do quick filtering of conversations in the maze we now call left pane and find a chat that you haven’t lately been so active in or would like to converse in.

What else do we have in store, what’s upcoming?

To avoid any further surprises we’d like to assure you that this is not the last you’ve seen changing on the left pane. We’ll continue to improve the conversations quick access and at the glance overview of the left pane.

As usual, in case you have any questions or feedback for us, find us via our social channels (Twitter, Facebook) or ping us in the Fleep Support conversation.