A month ago, CrossFit, Inc. posted a scathing blog entry outlining why they made the decision to quit Facebook and Instagram.
I first came across CrossFit back in early 2007 when I was looking for new ways to improve my fitness. Their fitness programming was a breath of fresh air. Most workouts were based around either long cardio workouts such as running or traditional gym workouts with weights and machines.
CrossFit successfully combined the two into a short intense workout which gained popularity very quickly.
I was a fan immediately and followed the WODs (workout of the day) as closely as possible and watched the early CrossFit stars emerge.
CrossFit, Inc. is very strong-minded. Their press release cites several reasons for their abandonment of the Facebook platform.
They also expand on this and believe that "Facebook collaborates with government security agencies on massive citizen surveillance programs such as PRISM", "Facebook, as a matter of business and principle, has weak intellectual property protections and is slow to close down IP theft accounts." and "Facebook has poor security protocols and has been subject to the largest security breaches of user data in history."
It's certainly a bold move.
CrossFit does have a legacy forum system which dates back from its early days which gets some use still.
I think that investing in that community platform through modernisation along with a solid community building strategy could pay dividends in them taking back control of their conversation without fear of falling foul of any heavy-handed moderation beyond their control.
Modern community platforms like ours have plenty of tools to automate basic moderation, encourage more engagement and work well on mobile devices.
CrossFit, Inc join Lush Cosmetics as high profile brands that have taken themselves off Facebook completely.
Do you think we'll see a resurgence of owned-communities?
Cue the music; switch on the dramatic lighting, we've got fantastic news!
We're now running Invision Community 4.3 on here for some advanced testing before we unleash the first beta release.
There's a subtle hint above
If you need a recap of what was added, take a look at our product updates blog which takes you through the highlights.
As this is a pre-beta release, expect some funkiness as we scurry around and tidy up our custom theme wrapper and other areas as we spot them.
If you you find a bug, we'd love for you to report it with as much detail as you can muster in the bug report area.
We'd love to know what you think, let us know below.
We made our own card this year.
I know, it's hard to believe with our youthful looks and energetic personalities, but it's true. Charles and I have known each other longer than I've known my own children and we still make each other laugh on a daily basis.
Over the past 16 years we've seen a lot of trends come and go.
When we started, AOL dial-up was the preferred method of choice (and probably the only method of choice). Compuserve were flying high and I think I'll stop this walk down memory lane before I turn into my own grandfather and start talking about how things were better in my day.
A lot has changed. We've seen the rise of social media and how it disrupted habits. We've seen MP3 players become iPods, and iPods become iPhones and iPhones become iPads (other digital devices are also available).
It's crazy to think that our company pre-dates Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
Click on this image to see it unless you have excellent eyesight
We're still here because we are always innovating and adapting. The software we're working on right now is vastly different from the one we started out with. And that is how it should be. We listen to our customers and we implement the great ideas.
Of course, we'd not have lasted a year without our customers. We're genuinely thrilled to still be doing a job we love and serving customers who have trusted their community with us.
Thank you all for choosing us and we're looking forward to the next 16 years.
We are happy to announce the new Invision Community 4.3 is available!
Some highlights in Invision Community 4.3 include...
We now support Elasticsearch for scalable and accurate searching that MySQL alone cannot provided. There are also enhancements to the overall search interfaces based on your feedback.
Express yourself with native emoji support in all editors. You can also keep your custom emoticons as you have now.
The AdminCP interface to manage your members is all new allowing you easier control and management of your membership.
Automatic Community Moderation
You as the administrator set up rules to define how many unique member reports a piece of content needs to receive before it's automatically hidden from view and moderators notified.
The new Clubs feature has been a huge hit with Invision Community users and we are expanding it to include invite-only options, notifications, exposure on the main community pages, paid memberships, and more.
Custom Email Footers
Your community generates a lot of email and you can now include dynamic content in the footer to help drive engagement and content discovery.
New Gallery Interface
We have reworked our Gallery system with a simplified upload process and more streamlined image viewing.
The full list follows. Enjoy!
We now support Elasticsearch which is a search utility that allows for much faster and more reliable searching.
The REST API now supports search functions.
Both MySQL and Elasticsearch have new settings for the admin to use to set search-defaults and default content weighting to better customize search logic to your community.
Visitors can now search for Content Pages and Commerce Products.
When entering a search term, members now see a more clear interface so they know what areas they are searching in and the method of search.
Commerce can now send a customizable account welcome email after checkout.
You can whitelist emails in the spam service to stop false-positives.
REST API has many enhancements to mange members.
Ability to join any OAuth service for login management.
Invision Community can now be an OAuth endpoint.
Wordpress OAuth login method built in.
Support for Google's Invisible ReCaptcha.
Groups can be excluded from Leaderboard (such as admins or bot groups).
All emails generated by Invision Community can now contain admin-defined extra promotional text in the footer such as Our Picks, and Social Links.
Admins can now define the order of Complete Your Profile to better control user experience.
Option to make a Club visible but invite-only
Admins can set an option so any Club a member is part of will also show in the parent application. So if you are in a Club that has a Gallery tab then those image will show both in the Club and in the main Gallery section of the community.
Club members can now follow an entire Club rather than just each content section.
There is a new option on the Club directory page for a list view which is useful for communities with many Clubs.
If you have Commerce you can now enable paid memberships to Clubs.
Admins can set limits on number of Clubs per group.
If a group has delete permission in their Club, they can now delete empty containers as well.
Members can ignore invitations.
Moderation and Administration
Unrestricted moderator or administrator permission sets in the AdminCP are visually flagged. This prevents administrator confusion when they cannot do something as they will be able to quickly see if their account has restrictions.
You can choose to be notified with a new Club is created.
Moderators can now reply to any content item with a hidden reply.
Download screenshot/watermarks can now be rebuilt if you change settings.
Support for Facebook Pixel to easily track visitors.
Moderators can now delete Gallery albums.
Automatic moderation tools with rules to define when content should auto-hide based on user reports.
Totally new member management view in AdminCP.
More areas are mass-selectable like comments and AdminCP functions for easier management.
Commerce now has full Stripe support including fraud tools, Apple Pay, and other Stripe features.
Commerce packages can now have various custom email events configured (expiring soon, purchased, expired).
Full Emojii support in the editor.
Complete overhaul of the Gallery upload and image views.
Announcements system overhaul. Now global on all pages (not via widget) and new modes including dismissible announcements and top-header floating bar option.
Many new reports on traffic and engagement in the AdminCP.
Blog has new view modes to offer options for a traditional site blog or a community multi-member blog platform.
The content-starter can now leave one reply to Reviews on their item.
Commerce now makes it much easier to do basic account-subscriptions when there is no product attached.
Forums has a new widget where you can filter by tags.
If tags are not required, the tag input box now indicates this so the member knows they do not have to put in tags.
Member cover photos can now be clicked to see the full image.
Any item with a poll now has a symbol on the list view.
Twitch.tv embed support.
You can now update/overwrite media in the Pages Media Manager.
Mapbox as an additional map provider to Google Maps.
Direct support for Sparkpost has been removed. Anyone currently using Sparkpost will automatically have their settings converted to the Sparkpost SMTP mode so your email will still work.
Your cache engines (like Redis) will be checked on upgrade and in the support tool to ensure they are reachable.
Third-party applications will now be visually labeled to distinguish them from Invision Community official applications.
The queued tasks list in the AdminCP is now collapsed by default as queued tasks are not something people need to pay much attention to during normal operations.
When upgrading from version 3 series you must convert your database to UTF8 and the system saves your original data in tables prefixed with orig. The AdminCP now alerts you these are still present and allows you to remove them to reclaim storage space.
On new installs there are now reasonable defaults for upload limits to keep people from eating up storage space.
Categories in all apps (forums, gallery albums, databases, etc.) no longer allow HTML in their titles. This has been a concern both in terms of security and usability so we were forced to restrict it.
Large improvements to the Redis cache engine including use for sessions.
The login with HTTPS option has been removed and those who were using it will be given instructions to convert their entire community to HTTPS.
Images loaded through the proxy system now honor image limits for normal uploads.
We now consider BBCode deprecated. We are not removing support but will not fix any future issues that may come up.
There's a lot to talk about here so we are going to lock this entry to comments so things do not get confusing. Feel free to comment on upcoming feature-specific entries or start a topic in our Feedback forum.
We are well into development on IPS Community Suite 4.2 and are excited to start announcing all the new features and improvements.
Our next big release is focused on engagement with your members. You will see enhancements to our Reputation system, new ways to encourage people to register on your community, and enhancements to existing features to make them more interactive. There are also entirely new capabilities we cannot wait to show you ranging from new ways to organize content to tools to help promote your community.
Version 4.2 also features a refreshed AdminCP and default front-end design. Theme changes in 4.2 are mostly in the CSS framework so your existing themes will either work without issue or require minor changes to work in the new version.
Over the next several weeks we will be posting news entries with previews of upcoming features fairly often. Be sure to follow our News section, our Facebook, or Twitter to stay up to date.
We expect IPS Community Suite 4.2 to be out in mid-2017 with a public preview available sooner.
Everyone at IPS has worked very hard on this update and we think you will love it!