You Should Be Able to Message Anyone

Hi hi! Around the forums I’ve noticed that people are requesting the ability to message anyone on the platform, even if they are not friends or looking for a host.

As well, people want to still be able to message someone they rejected as a guest.

How do you feel about this? What are the developers planning to do?

Personally I see lots of use cases for being able to message anyone. I think when it was originally conceived to be among friends only, we wanted to reduce the likelihood of of spammy personal messages. Curious to hear more ideas!


I’m refactoring messages and requests soon (a few things to finish first).

  • You will be able to message anyone
  • Requests will be part of normal messages
  • In the requests tab, clicking a request will take you to that point in the message history, like a bookmark
  • “Maybe” option will be added for requests

We’re also thinking of forcing a response (yes/no/maybe) before being able to send a message, if you have a waiting request. There was a small problem on CS with people organising stays with messages and not requests, which messes with references etc.

Note that it’s a big job so will take a while!


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Good point! We’ll discuss it and try something one way or another, then we can always change it later :blush:

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I see and hear a lot of discussion about prevention rather than education. And quite honestly a lot of the stuff I read makes me a bit uncomfortable. I am for messaging because I feel like even if I were to get unwanted attention, I always have the choice to not reply or report. It’s impossible to control everything and I always prefer transparency. Education about what the community is, and users standing firm about it is the only way to educate people about appropriate behaviour.

I recently got a few suspicious messages from people on CS, and I followed my gut. I didn’t provide any personal information, but sussed out that it’s something nefarious. I messaged them what they were doing wrong, and reported them. It’s as simple as that.

One of my best friends I’ve made I contacted via a message. We lived in the same city, and I asked her for advice for something she was involved in. I was never hosted by her or her husband, but we ended up being in the same choir and developed a great friendship. This opportunity would have otherwise not allowed me to make friends, or become involved in my community, if messages were not available outside of a request.

This is the same for events and such. When I moved to a new city in France, the way I got involved was via their events and starting to message people in my community. Without these tools that can be monitored/reported, communication can lead to other off-site ways, which is uncontrollable and unmonitored, and lead to other problems.


I just want to amplify this message in relation to this thread. I think that with the appropriate safety /anti-spam measures that are already being discussed in other threads, there is little reason (if any) NOT to allow anyone to message anyone.

For context, the Instagram (IG) model gives you the option to accept or reject a “first message” (assuming it’s not a request for surfing?) before getting notified of future messages.

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I think you should be able to message anyone but the FIRST message should have a minimum number of words in it. However this “limit” should disappear after that.


I would prefer the messaging option should be available even when they are not connected/friends. As @oskyldig mentioned above more priority should be given to educate the users, a warning sign (with a custom message, with what they can do and cannot do when …) when a person is messaging someone who they have not connected previously.

But with that said, I wouldn’t want someone to message me ask random stuff or spam me.

But if we have a point system exclusively for this inbuilt messaging system, I guess users(User A, B C, etc: those who receive messages) can help moderate the other persons(person A: the one who sends) ability to message. For the first few messages limit the control as everyone else mentioned mentioned above, but also give control to user A, B, and C to assign a positive/negative point regarding the message that was sent. When the total positive point of A increases they get lesser the limitation. In-case the total points decreases anytime in the future the limitations will be back on till they accumulate enough points.

I believe if the initial messages are positive between them there is a more chance they’ll be connected rather than they stay as strangers who message.

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I have got today first message and I have to say that the system is extremely bad.
First not allowing an introductory messge, making a drill on the possibility to receive hospitality.
So they sent a request … for today.
so I rejected and i got this scary message:
«You can only message users you have added as your friends. Please make sure you are done chatting before you reject their request».
Think as this case when one cannot accept the request, but one is ready to discuss a different date (as they wrote, in august).
Also quite annoying was the friend request from an unknown person, to be able to send a message, one must before ask to be set as a friend, something a bit oxymorous !
And the final think that makes be very scary of couchers messaging system:
Yo do not get a notification of the message containing all the text of message, no you just get a message telling that you must log in couchers to read the message.
Think -beside all other legal considerations is quite inconvenint for people using a mobile device, since using web access, with all the scripts running behind it, draw a lot battery, while reading an email does not.
So change it !
In any case i have clearly written in ma profile that i will make arrangements only via personal email, and will accept the request on site only after all arrangement has been made, and if i get from you a remint to accept or not, it would mark the timeot for acepting, so it would deny anyone.