# [Feature Request] Ability to message other users

This is just a suggestion but I think it would be awesome if we were able to message other users. I see people who are from my home town, who go to my school, and who have been in the same contests that I have been in, and I just want to reach out and say hi. I want to meet some of these other really smart people who would do math for fun in their free time -- especially those who are smarter than I am ;)

Note by Ethan Berl
5 years, 10 months ago

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It is apparent to us from this post, and other posts, that many of you would like the ability to interact with each other more directly. You should all know, that while we make no promises of ever implementing a messaging feature, it is under strong consideration.

Cheating is a concern we have with implementing a messaging feature, but it would not be prohibitive. As Ethan has said, Brilliant becoming “chatty” would not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact it might be very cool.

A major obstacle that we see to a direct messaging feature, is that most of you are strangers to each other. The only shared experience you have with each other is solving problems alone. While this does give you a lot in common, it does not provide much of a means to introduce you to each other. We are concerned that even if you could message each other, there is nothing structurally about the current website that gives you a reason to message each other. Do you guy's need us to provide you a reason or would you just reach out?

Ethan and Rafid have said that reaching out and saying hi, is a good enough reason to message someone. Ethan has implied that this could likely lead to more substantive correspondence and even friendship. Ethan is most certainly right, but not everybody is the sort of person who either wants to, or can, reach out to a complete stranger in person or on the web.

I am going to post two questions in two separate comments. We think about these questions a lot, but would be curious what your opinions are. It would help a lot if you responded directly to these questions. Please voice your desires, vote on comments you agree with, and converse about what you would like your experience on this site to be like. This will help us gauge public opinion. The thoughts in this post will guide us in deciding if and how, we should or should not, make a messaging feature.

Thanks

Staff - 5 years, 10 months ago

some kind of anti cheat detector would solve it?

- 5 years, 10 months ago

You can make that only we both become friends we will be able to message each other

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Would you be comfortable sending and receiving messages to and from strangers? Would you want to? What could Brilliant change to make introductions and starting a correspondence feel natural and non-invasive?

Staff - 5 years, 10 months ago

I will not at all feel uncomfortable if a person even though a complete stranger sends me messages.If the person is in brilliant then he/she would obviously love maths...so considering this,I'd not mind people messaging me.Brilliant could help us finding people from a specific country,state or city.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I would not feel uncomfortable getting a message from a stranger since the worst that could happen is I ignore it -- as long as I don't get emailed about it too which would just be annoying. The messages should of course be completely contained in the site brilliant and not give anyone email addresses but I don't think that was ever an issue. It would be very helpful to see a listing or some sample problems of things that both of you had solved and had in common. For example: a user named George contacting me would show 15 problems in common we had both solved so I would see he is into number theory and combinatorics, it would show we had both done the USACO so I know he is into computer science too, and if we had any additional listed interests that would be useful to see. I imagine that in his message, George would point to some other commonalities which was why he was contacting me in the first place like "hey I think we both go to the same school", or "what year did you do IMO, do you know Alex Zhai" (for example).

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Please describe what kind of correspondence you would like to have through the ability to message other users? E.g. Do you want advice, collaboration, friendship, networking, or small talk etc...

Staff - 5 years, 10 months ago

Well there's nothing specific,i can't really categorize a discussion between two curious minds. :P

- 5 years, 10 months ago

"can't really categorize a discussion between two curious minds. :P"

Well said. That is actually a pretty specific sentiment that is useful to us.

Staff - 5 years, 10 months ago

I don't think brilliant is gonna give us that ability... because if the give us that ability, brilliant will turn into a chat room... But I wanna say 'hello' others too :) :)

- 5 years, 10 months ago

But I would imagine most of the chat would be about math related topics... I'm sure the people on this site know a lot of interesting problems and areas of math that I should study. The best part of finding a community of like minded people is what you get from the discussions which right now are limited to the discussion boards.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I think other websites, like math.stackexchange, fulfill the function you're looking for.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

But some could abuse it and message each other the answers, thus effectively gaining points.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I think that's the only reason Brilliant doesn't want to implement it.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

brilliant can keep an eye on all the messages and if they find anything suspicious they can deduct the partricipants' points

- 5 years, 10 months ago

and ya no exchanging email ids so that they cant cheat

- 5 years, 10 months ago