Minnit Chat – March 2020 Update

Hello everyone!

Today, we are pleased to announce a new update for Minnit Chat thanks to a ton of great feedback from Owners. While this update is a bit smaller than others due to us being hard at work on Organizations (which will support OAuth 2/SAML 2 and many other new stuff), we still wanted to work to make the service even better with some requested functionality and quality-of-life improvements.

First off: “Disable Functions” is a new suite of options to quickly disable various functions of the chat, depending on your payment plan. The options allow you to do the following:

Basic plan or higher can:

  • Disable user photos / avatars.
  • Disable Direct Messages
  • Disable nicknames

Community plan or higher can:

  • Disable the ability to add friends/view your Friends List
  • Disable the “View Profile” links
  • Disable the user list
  • Disable the display of @usernames

Pro plan or higher can:

  • Disable the ability to add users to “ignore”
  • Disable default Minnit emoji, such as (wink) or (dance). Since Pro chats can upload up to 100 JPGs/PNGs/GIFs as emoji, this is a great way to design your very own for use in the chat!
  • Disable any references to logging in/registering.

You can access these toggles here, assuming your chat is on a premium plan.

Next up, chatrooms on Pro plan are now able to change the texts of the chat directly. For instance, if you want to change the button that says “Direct Message” to “Instant Message”, you are able to do that. If you want to change the name of the Manager rank to “Supermod”, you can do that, too. Almost every single English string in the chat can be changed. You can see this by going to the “Custom Texts” section in the Chat Settings menu, assuming you’re on the Pro plan or Trial.

Finally, we’ve made a few smaller changes to other functions, such as clearing messages, so they are stored more efficiently and will result in much faster connections for chats that have lots of old messages. Other minor bug fixes and changes were made, as well.

That’s all for now! As mentioned, this is a relatively minor update, but we hope you enjoy it.

Happy chatting!
Jesse

Minnit Chat – COVID19 / Coronavirus

Hello everyone.

We have seen an increase in churches, schools, and businesses sign up for Minnit Chat to stay in touch with one another, as they are unable to meet face-to-face in wake of the Coronavirus. Many remain on the Free tier as they simply do not have the means to pay anything during this concerning time.

Because of this, we wanted to lend a hand. Our standard Free tier, by default, allows up to 40 users to be in the chat at once for chats created since 2018 — but, starting now, we are more than doubling the limit. All free chats are now able to have 100 users online at once. This is a temporary change that will be in effect for several weeks at minimum, but we do not have a concrete ending date for this increase.

We hope this decision to raise the limit will make it easier for you and your friends, colleagues, or other members of your community to choose to stay in touch virtually, and help prevent further spread of the virus.

Thank you.

Jesse

Handling “non-secure” radio streams

Hello everybody.

Earlier today, we put out this tweet mentioning that non-secure radio streams would not play in the latest version of Google Chrome when used within Minnit Chat. I wanted to take a moment to explain what exactly that means, as we’ve gotten quite a few tickets and inquiries.

First, what is a “non-secure” radio stream? A “non-secure” radio stream is one that is served over a standard HTTP connection. This protocol is incredibly unsecure, and it is very easy for others on your network, your ISP, or even a government (not necessarily your government) to view exactly what you’re doing. Secure content (HTTPS) fixes this by encrypting all data. If you are on a website that has a lock icon, like Minnit Chat, then you are on a secure and encrypted connection. If you are on a website that has the text “Not Secure”, you are on a standard HTTP connection.

What did Google do to break the radios, and why did they do it? The latest update to Google Chrome prevents secure content, like Minnit Chat, from loading non-secure content, like a vast majority of the owners’ radio streams.

The main reason they did that is simple: If you are on a website that says “Secure”, you should trust that everything you do on that page is secure. Having a “secure page” that loads a ton of scripts, assets, and other content from non-secure sources is misleading to the end-user, and, in an increasingly dangerous online world, it is important for users to know what they can trust, and what they can not trust. Google is moving in that direction by saying “If the page is secure, then it is entirely secure”. This is a good move for user privacy and security, but it does come with the sad caveat of non-secure radio streams being prevented from being streamed via the secure chat.

Now, what are the options to get the radio working again? If you own the radio station, you can put it on a server that supports the encrypted HTTPS protocol and link that in your chat settings. If you don’t know how to do that, contact your web master or hosting provider and ask about how to upgrade your service to HTTPS and to ensure that it won’t break your existing radio stream setup. Alternatively, if you embed Minnit onto your website, and your website is “Not Secure”, and you want to get the radio working again, you can embed the radio stream directly. Minnit Chat uses the standard HTML5 audio tag to broadcast content. You can put this onto your website yourself by pasting this code snippet:

<audio controls><source src="YOUR_STREAM_URL_HERE" type="audio/ogg"><source src="YOUR_STREAM_URL_HERE" type="audio/mpeg"></audio>

You can put this directly above, or below, your chat’s embed code, and a separate player will appear directly on your website. This, like our chat’s player, requires no plugins, and works great on every modern device.

Is there anything Minnit could do to fix this issue? As this is a policy that is in place by Google Chrome, and likely will be adopted by other browsers in the coming months, there is nothing we can do. The only possible option on the table is for Minnit to abandon the secure, encrypted HTTPS standard and revert back to the non-secure HTTP version, but we will never do that. That will put you, and your users, at risk of having your data viewed and your accounts at risk of being compromised. I have personally been interested in security exploits on websites since I was 11 years old, and so every single decision I make with Minnit is made with security in mind. I know that making Minnit Chat unsecure just for the radio to work is not a trade-off that owners want, and certainly not one I want.

Hopefully all of this is clear. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Support and ask for me directly, and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Have a great weekend, and happy chatting!

Jesse

New server & chat updates!

Hello, everyone.

Minnit is continuously growing every day, and to that, we saw thank you to everyone! From our beginnings in summer of 2017, to now in 2020, things have been chugging along very rapidly. With that, of course, comes a much-needed server upgrade.

For the technologically inclined: Our new server has 3 times as much CPU+memory, as well as improved caching abilities. This means that we can deliver a faster flow from loading the page (embedded or directly) to the chat showing up. As a result, all of the user information is now being delivered upon a successful connection being established, rather than in the HTML itself. Finally, the new server’s websockets setup should result in more stable connections.

For the technologically uninclined: The site runs better. 🙂

While getting things ready for the new hosting provider, we also whipped up a new function for Community plan and higher, due to many requests from owners: Customizable nickname colors! Many users enjoy the existing customizable message colors, so being able to customize your nickname was the next logical step. To set this up in your chat, go to the User Personalization section of the Chat Settings page, and set the minimum rank you want to be able to set a color. Once set, all the user has to do is click their name and click “Change Nickname Color,” and they’re all set!

I hope everyone enjoys the new server! As always, if you have any questions, you can reach out to our support center and we’ll be happy to help out.

Happy chatting!
Jesse

WordPress Plugin – Version 2.0.0 now live!

Hello, everyone! Today I am pleased to announce that Version 2.0.0 of our WordPress Plugin is now live.

The new version greatly overhauls the backend code to make the admin settings run more efficiently. This version also introduces the ability to add a chat to a single post or page using the plug-in, via the new WordPress post editor.

To put the chat on a single post or page, simply create a new Block in the editor, and scroll down to “Embeds”. You will see Minnit Chat available as an option. Click it, enter your chat name or URL, and, once you preview or publish your post, your chat will be viewable by anyone who’s on the post or page. This has been a much-requested feature, thank you to everyone for your feedback.

To get started with Minnit Chat’s all-new plugin, click here.

Happy chatting!
Jesse

Gifting Subscriptions

Users in your chat are now able to gift you a premium subscription on Minnit Chat!

To get started, a non-owner can click the Menu icon above the text box, then click “Gift Subscription”.

Once clicked, a new page will open up where the subscription can be changed.

Once the gift is given, the Chat Creator will receive an email informing them of the thoughtful gift.

Simple as that! If you’re an Owner and your chat receives the gift, you’ll be able to use all of the premium features, such as custom emoji, larger concurrent users, custom chat CSS, and so much more. And if you’re waiting for a long time for a gift and just about ready to give up, there’s no shame in “gifting yourself”… Right?

Note that “Gift Subscription” requires you to be a registered user with Minnit. If the chat already has a subscription plan in place, you will not see the option — if you want to gift an upgrade, the owner will have to cancel their existing subscription and you then issue the gift with your own payment details under your account. For questions regarding gifts, contact us.

Happy gifting!

Minnit Chat: Organizations — More Info

Hello everybody! We hope you’re all having a great new year. This is a general update on what’s going on with Minnit Chat, specifically as it relates to our Organizations feature. As mentioned in our About Page, we are proud of the fact that all of our revenue comes from our chat owners. As such, we feel it’s important to keep all owners in-the-know about ongoing developments.

As we announced in 2019, we are working on a new feature, dubbed “Organizations”. Organizations will allow you to maintain a completely separate account system from the rest of Minnit, including Single Sign-On support, any username you or your users want, and so forth. As stated before, this is not replacing the existing chat configuration, so if you have no interest in any of the advanced features that come with Organizations, you don’t have to read any further.

Since our blog post, we’ve been hard at work ever since to make sure it’s a smooth launch. We really wanted to get it done by late 2019, however, we’ve had significant delays due to one of the two developers not being able to work full time on Minnit due to outside circumstances. But now we’re back on track, with many features done, and we hope to have it out later this Winter.

Here are some details on the features that will be available at launch:

For Basic plan and higher:

  • Unlimited Accounts
  • White label support
  • Additional control over requirements to register, including requiring activated emails or no emails at all, minimum/maximum username lengths, and whether users should fill out a CAPTCHA
  • Ability for owners to edit usernames/emails freely
  • Ability to see the number of Monthly Active Users

For Community plan and higher:

  • All of the features outlined above for Basic
  • Single Sign On support for your existing website or blog — rather than requiring users to sign up via the Minnit page, they can use your existing website setup. Username, profile photos, and emails will automatically be carried over, without requiring them to remember an additional password.
  • Ability to see IP Addresses and geo location information on accounts
  • Ability to customize the chat and page CSS — stylize various pages, like login, profile, changepassword, or accountsettings to your liking.

For Pro plan and higher:

  • All of the features outlined above for Basic / Community
  • The ability for chat staff to view Direct Messages even without users generating a transcript

We’ll have more information to share, including screenshots, in the coming weeks.

Thank you!
Jesse
Minnit Staff

Minnit Chat – August 2019 Update: New Features & Changes

Hello, everyone.

Today, I am pleased to announce the August 2019 update for Minnit Chat is now live. Let’s run through what’s new!

Chats on the Community plan and higher may now Pre-Approve messages

While many chatrooms are designed for instant conversation, some prefer to use it as a way to host live Q&As. For these chats, you are able to set messages to require pre-approval, so they will no longer appear immediately.

Here’s how it works:

As you can see from the GIF, I asked a question, and Gavin was able to respond. However, his message was not put into the public chat until I went to the Unapproved Messages section and clicked Approve.

This will make it much easier to host webinars, Q&A sessions, and use the chatroom to communicate with students. Trolls will give way once they learn that their messages won’t affect the general public.

You are able to enable this feature via Chat Settings, if your chat is on the Community plan or higher. You can also change who is allowed to speak freely without pre-approval, in case you want to make users a Regular if they’re trustworthy, and manually approve Visitors.

You can also change who is allowed to approve messages, in case you want to limit it to Managers or higher.

Making ranks is easier than ever.

Adding additional owners used to only be possible via Chat Settings. This update allows you to manage ranks much more easily just by clicking their name, with a new design:

Note, only the person who created the chat is able to add or remove additional Owners. Furthermore, only the person who created the chat is able to delete the chat.

Those two limitations aside, all other settings are available to your new owners, including full access to the Chat Settings menus. Only grant ownership to users whom you fully trust.

This is available on all chats, regardless of your payment plan.

More perks for plans.

Due to user feedback, we are adding more perks to our payment plans across the board.

Previously, chats on Community plan and higher could upload up to 10 custom emoji. This is now raised to 30 custom emoji.

Chats on the Pro plan could previously upload 30 custom emoji. This is now raised to 100.

Chats on the Community plan used to be allowed 8 CSS Assets. This limit is now 20.

Chats on Pro plan used to be allowed 16 CSS assets, but now it’s raised to 80.

We appreciate everybody who has discussed their chat needs with us, as they help us shape Minnit to be the best possible service it can be.

Other Minor Improvements

A few other changes are included in this update: The guest photos are more randomized and won’t lean so heavily towards green; the Support System now allows file uploads; User Lookup is improved and will always return proper rank; better anti-spammer detection; Chat Settings now contains more information on your chat, including your Maximum Simultaneous User count; and various server updates, both major & minor, to improve stability and ensure Minnit operates as smoothly as possible.

What’s Next?

We’re still hard at work on Organizations, revamping the Emoji, and making other improvements to the service. We take our time to make sure that updates are able to be fully tested, and include many changes in a single update, to ensure minimal interruptions to the service. Thank you for your patience & understanding.

And, until next time… Happy chatting!

Jesse

I Love You 30,000

Hello everyone, and happy June! My name is Jesse, one of the founders, developers, and administrators of Minnit Chat, here to share some good news.

I am pleased to announce that earlier today, Minnit Chat officially hit 30,000 registered accounts. This is an amazing milestone, and I wanted to say thank you to everyone. Whether you’re brand new, or you’ve been with us since 2017, we’ve been so grateful to have such valuable feedback, and so many people enjoy the service.

Since June marks the 30,000 milestone, as well as later in the month marking the 2 year anniversary of Minnit LTD being incorporated, I figured it’d be nice to update you all on what’s new behind-the-scenes with Minnit — especially since things have been a bit quiet on our social media.

2019 has been amazing year for Minnit. We hit about 800,000 unique visitors in the past month. Our Alexa Site Ranking puts us in the top 400,000 sites worldwide — in 2018, we weren’t even in the first million. And through it all, our goal has been the same: to provide a great chat experience, provide fast and friendly customer support, and work on awesome new features, in that order.

That in mind, we would like to say that new features are still underway. They take time, and lots of testing, to get right. And of course, with things like database upgrades, discussing new server structures, and ensuring that questions are answered in a timely fashion, these things can sometimes take longer than anticipated. But rest assured, we’re still working hard — for instance, I myself am working on an update which contains several improvements, bug fixes, and new features. One of the features is the ability for chatroom owners to require messages to be pre-approved before they show up publicly. This feature will be great for radio stations that want to hold quick Q&As, webinars that want only relevant messages to appear, and teachers who want a way to quickly take questions for their online courses.

I’ll have more to share about this update in another week or two, once it’s finished the testing stages. Stay tuned to our Twitter or Facebook pages for details.

And, as always… happy chatting! 🙂
Jesse @brk

Minnit Chat – March 2019 update

We are pleased to announce a new update to Minnit Chat has just released.

Here is a list of new features, bug fixes, and other changes that are included in this update:

  • When banning a user, if you have the “Delete Messages” permission for your rank, you’ll see a new checkbox to “Delete Messages by User”. So if someobdy spams your chat, you’re able to immediately erase all of their messages at once, and only those with the proper rank will be allowed to view them. This will help save time cleaning up spam or other unwanted content.

  • When receiving new DMs, a “New Message” indicator will appear above the new messages, so you can immediately tell which ones are new, and which ones you’ve already seen. The indicator will go away when you begin typing, or when you switch to another conversation, to avoid confusion.

  • The maximum length for a message can now be adjusted by the owners, instead of always at 1,000 characters. Owners can change this by going into “Edit Chat” -> “General Settings”. Free chats can set their maximum message length anywhere from 250-1,000 characters. If you’re on the Basic plan, you’re able to go to 2,000 characters per message. Community plan is 4,000 characters per message. Pro plan can be set up to 10,000 characters per message.

  • If you’re on the Community chat tier or higher, you’re able to enable Invisible mode. Click your name and click “Enable Invisible” to hide in the user list. You’re still able to talk and moderate the chatroom. By default, this is only available to Owners, but you can configure this to Managers/Moderators in the Chat Settings->Rank Permissions and Bans.

  • Friends List will now always show the current username/nickname/photo that the friend is using, instead of what they were using when you added them.

  • Bot Commands are no longer case sensitive. You can now type !8BALL, for instance, instead of just !8ball

  • Custom links now work if there are punctuation marks afterwards. For instance, if you have “website” set as a custom link, you can type “Who likes my website?”, and the question mark won’t interfere with the link.

  • More words for the Guest Nickname generator, to reduce the possibility of duplicates.

  • Various backend changes to make Minnit run more efficiently.

Enjoy!

Jesse @brk