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A few months ago we rolled out a new feature called “Conversation Mode,” which gave anyone sending email through TeamSnap the ability to have email replies get distributed back to all the recipients. Think of it as a kind of mailing list feature built in to TeamSnap email.
In theory, this could be very handy. In practice, it hasn’t worked so well. So today we are putting Conversation Mode on hiatus until we can come up with a better solution.
There have been two main problems:
First, we learned from some of our customers that Microsoft Outlook was displaying a blank message for our Conversation Mode emails. Despite a lot of effort on our part, we were never able to reproduce or diagnose this on our end. (If you Google for “Microsoft Outlook” and “Unable to diagnose” you may get a few results.)
Second, there were occasions where someone’s mail server (completely external to TeamSnap) would have a vacation responder go crazy and start bombing messages back to TeamSnap. Our system would then re-distribute these out to everyone on the list, creating dozens or more of unwanted repeat messages. Ugh. While this wasn’t a problem with our system, creating a way to protect our customers against this while not blocking legitimate mail proved to be quite complex. We never want to send unwanted messages, as it impacts deliverability for all the emails our customers receive.
At last count, fewer than 5% of our customers were using Conversation Mode, so while we think it’s a potentially great feature, we also think our resources are better spent making the rest of TeamSnap awesome. Simply put, this feature hasn’t lived up to our standards, or the standards of our customers.
We know the people who have been using this feature love it, and we are sorry we’re taking it away for now. It’s never an easy decision to remove a feature, and we definitely didn’t make this decision lightly. In the meantime, there are a couple of ways to accomplish something similar: You can use our Posts feature to broadcast messages for people to reply to in an online message thread. Or you can use your team email address to send and reply to messages.
We’re hard at work on creating better and easier ways for our customers to communicate among their teams by email, web and mobile, and we look forward to making TeamSnap even better for two-way communications. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, concerns or comments on this decision, don’t hesitate to post a comment or email us. We very much value all of your feedback and support.
Vice President, Product Management