In our 2021.015 release, we released an enhanced Category Following & Notifications feature that replaced the previous Advanced Notifications option. With this new feature, all users (not just Admins or Mods) can now subscribe to any category and choose from 3 types of notifications.
Before getting started
To use the new notifications feature, you must first enable category following by going to your dashboard settings under Categories. Click on the slider icon and toggle on the feature. Don’t forget to click Save!
Your options under the bell icon
Clicking the bell and selecting Follow will make a category appear under Followed Categories on your preferences page, but will not check any boxes. This will simply allow you to filter for this category on the /categories page, but does not affect notifications at all.
Read more about this here.
Clicking Discussions will not only list the category under Followed Categories, but will also check the Popup notification box within your notification preferences.
Discussions and Comments
Same as clicking Discussions above, clicking Discussions and Comments will list the category under Followed Categories and check the Popup notification box within your notification preferences. If you'd like to also receive Email notifications, you can optionally check the Email notification box.
Note: This will send a separate email for each new discussion and comment, as email digests are not a feature at this time. This option can become quite noisy.
By default, if you haven’t followed a category and you click on the bell icon, your selection will show Unfollow. If you’re already following a category, you can come back and select Unfollow in order to disable all notifications and remove it from the Followed Categories list within your notification preferences.
In your notification preferences
With this feature enabled, you can now expect to see a heading labeled Followed Categories on your profile’s Notification Preferences page, after your General Preferences. To get there, go to Profile > Edit > Notification Preferences and scroll down.
Under this heading, you will see any category you’ve opted to follow using the new bell icon directly from a category page. You will be given the option to subscribe to Email notifications or just Popups. By default, only popup notifications are selected. You can manually check the boxes to receive Email notifications on the categories of your choosing.
Reminder: This will send a separate email for each new discussion and comment, as email digests are not a feature at this time. This option can become quite noisy.
Advanced Notifications (Legacy feature)
Categories you were following prior to the launch of Followed Categories (when they were referred to as Advanced Notifications) should remain on your profile, but we do recommend double checking your selections in your notification preferences.
If you notice any discrepancies, please reach out to Vanilla Support.
Your advanced notification settings were imported when Vanilla switched over to the new feature, so you may notice some Popup checkboxes grayed out. This is because popup notifications are mandatory, but email notifications can be toggled on/off for those previously followed categories.
If you go back to a previously followed category and select Unfollow, this will not only clear the checkboxes but will also remove the category entirely from your Followed Categories.