NOTE: This feature, provided by Discourse, is still in BETA. Some functionality may be missing or buggy.
Discourse started bundling a chat plugin into their latest updates. Previously, users were only able to send private messages that were done in somewhat of an asynchronous fashion, and included restrictions of a typical forum post, such as minimum character limits. To overcome this, I have enabled the “Chat” feature which can be used to send short form direct messages to users in a live manor*. For you Reddit users out there, this is similar to the Chat functionality as opposed to sending the user a traditional message.
Currently, I’ve restricted the amount of users able to be in a chat to 5 - This is to reduce unnecessary spam groups.
Users are able to leave groups if desired, chats can be muted, and users can be blocked.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility: Users who abuse the chat function are subject to moderation actions, including a complete ban from the forum.
* Requires at least Trust Level 1 to access to avoid risk of spam bots.