On this page you will find all the major improvements that are made to Stitch. This page is updated regularly, so check in again soon for the latest developments.
Most of these improvements have been at the request of our members, so please keep sending your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep improving Stitch for you.
Moderation of negative behaviour in Discussions
Stitch has long given members the ability to upvote positive comments and downvote negative ones in the online forums. In July 2020 we revealed that members must now select a reason when upvoting or downvoting another member’s comment.
Now, if a member receives multiple downvotes they will be locked out of individual forums or even locked out of the forums altogether.
The new rules work like this:
- Once a member has received downvotes from 3 different members in a discussion forum, they will receive a warning notice
- Once a member receives downvotes from 6 different members, across 3 separate comments, they will be locked out of that topic for one week
- Once a member receives downvotes from 9 different members across 4 separate comments, they will be locked out of that topic permanently
- Once a member is locked out of 3 topics, they will be locked of the Discussion forums permanently
Discover the rules around online and in-person behavior in the Stitch Community here.
Changes to virtual events
Virtual events have been a great success for the Stitch Community, allowing members to connect in a variety of new ways with other members across the community, which has been particularly important during COVID-19.
After listening to feedback from members about things that have worked well, and things that could be improved, we've rolled out some changes to virtual events. Improvements can be seen in areas including security, marking attendance, how names appear on videos, and supported video providers.
If you're a virtual event organizer, or a member who attends virtual events, please make sure to read our article about these recent changes here.
Limits to private messaging for Limited members
Feedback from Community Champions has revealed that while they are happy to respond to private messages and answer questions from Limited members, they want to control whether they have a permanent connection to them or not.
Upon receiving this feedback, we introduced restrictions for Limited members who wish to communicate via private messages, to give more power to Full members.
Discover what restrictions have been enforced for Limited members here.
Group Video Chat removed from Stitch Groups
As part of Stitch's response to the COVID-19 crisis, a number of features were designed to help members create and sustain social connections while physical distancing. One of those features was the Group Video Chat feature for Stitch Groups. See image below.
This feature allowed group organizers and co-organizers to ‘open’ the Video Chat Room as a way of connecting with group members.
The Group Video Chat feature was a great first step to test out the concept, but overwhelming feedback from members was they wanted the ability to schedule virtual events rather than open them via a chat room.
We took on board this feedback to create Virtual Activities on Stitch which feature the Stitch Video Chat capability. Virtual Activities can be scheduled at a predetermined time, show on the Stitch Activities page, and are now a very core part of Stitch.
The success of Virtual Activities has meant the original version of the feature is now no longer used or required, so we are removing it from the Group page.
Finding members with common interests
Finding members who share your specific interests has taken a big step forward with the introduction of the search bar on the Members page.
Simply type your interest in the search bar and you will be shown members who have specified that interest on their Stitch profile, provided they are new members or members who live close to you.
Take for example the below image. When searching for “camping”, a member will be shown everyone who has identified camping as an interest.
This is particularly important for Community Champions and event organisers as they now have the ability to search, find and invite members with common interests to their group and activities, helping to supercharge their community building efforts.
Learn more about the Members page here.
More messaging capabilities for Full members
The Members page plays an important role for many Full members. Community Champions use this page to find and reach out to new members, welcoming them to the community. Event organizers use this page to search for people they can invite to their upcoming activities, and individual members use this page to connect with other members for one-on-one conversations.
To further support our members who positively contribute to Stitch through community-building initiatives, we have now boosted the number of profiles they can view and message from the Members page.
Members who have achieved either Gold, Platinum or Diamond status, are a Community Champion or have an upcoming event on Stitch will notice the most number of increases to the profiles they can view and people they can message.
Discover what your membership plan entitles you to on the Members page here.
Changes to upvoting & downvoting comments in Discussions
The goal of Stitch is to build a community where everyone can feel safe, supported, and welcomed, and where they can engage on the online discussion forums without being worried about online abuse.
Stitch has long given members the ability to upvote positive comments in the forums, and downvote negative ones. Now, a reason must be selected when upvoting or downvoting a member’s comment.
Learn more about each of these reasons here.
Badge change for Public members
Members on the “Public” or free membership will now be identifiable on the Stitch web site and app by a green LIMITED badge. (See image below; member faces have been blurred to protect privacy.)
This badge change helps highlight that Public members of Stitch are limited to participating in only the Public parts of the Stitch Community. Public members can attend Public events and activities, join Public Groups, and participate in Public Discussions. They can only attend a limited number of regular Stitch events, however, and can only use Stitch to communicate with Full members of Stitch on a limited basis.
This change is primarily for Full members of Stitch, who asked us lots of questions about what the "Public" badge meant. By highlighting that Public members are actually limited to participating in only some parts of the Stitch Community, we hope this small change makes things clearer for all members.
Learn more about Stitch badges here.
Names changes for two membership plans
Two Full membership plans have had their names changed. These changes better reflect the purpose of each plan, allowing new members to select the plan that best suits how they want to interact with the Community.
Our lowest level Full membership is now called Community Basic.
Our most popular Full membership option is now called Community Standard.
Please note that only the name of these plans have changed, not the features included in each plan.
Learn more about each of the membership plans here.
Salutation now included in messages
When initiating a conversation with a Stitch member, all new conversations will automatically begin with Hi, followed by your recipient's name, as in the image below.
Many Community Champions send multiple messages to new Stitch members every day, welcoming them to the community and offering to help them with anything they may need. Such a small gesture goes a long way in making a new member feel welcome, valued and part of the community.
Having a salutation already pre-filled allows our Community Champions to more easily and quickly paste their pre-crafted message, without having to personalise their message every time.
Duplicating existing events
Event organizers can now duplicate their existing events, giving them the opportunity to post recurring events on Stitch, provided they are their own events. Previously, only events that had already happened could be duplicated.
Recurring events play a crucial role in helping a community grow and flourish, especially a community that’s just getting started. We have seen time and time again that members who attend recurring events such as monthly ‘Mix and Mingles’ begin to feel connected to everyone else and learn how safe and welcoming the Stitch community is. That’s why they are such an important aspect of Stitch.
Learn how to duplicate an event here.
Group members can now suggest group events
Members can now organize events for Stitch Groups they belong to, giving them the ability to play an active role in hosting events for their fellow group members.
Previously, only group owners and organizers could host events for their group.
Learn more about Stitch Groups here.
"Basic" becomes "Public"
Stitch's free membership level will now be called a "Public" membership, instead of a Basic membership. This name change is intended to be simpler to understand, by reflecting more clearly what a free member of Stitch can do, which is attend Public Activities & Events, join Public Groups, and participate in Public Discussions.
Virtual Activities using Stitch Video Chat
Organizers of virtual events no longer need to use a third-party tool such as Zoom to set up their events. Stitch Video Chat is now supported as one of the options when you create a virtual event.
This means event attendees don't need to download or install a separate piece of software to attend virtual events, they can do it just using Stitch.
Learn more about Stitch Video Chat here.
State and country-wide virtual events now available
Members on the Community Plus and Community Manager membership plans now have the ability to open their events to a wider audience.
Community Plus members can now create events for their local area as well as their state or region, while Community Managers are the only members who can create country-wide events.
Learn more about virtual events here.
Public Discussions open to all members
An increasing number of community members are seeking alternate ways to stay socially connected during the coronavirus pandemic and are turning to Discussions, Stitch’s online discussion forum.
Previously, only Full members could participate in these discussion. In an attempt to allow all Stitch members to stay socially connected, we now allow Basic members to participate in the online discussions, specifically the discussions labelled as Public. If you're a Basic member, look for the pink "You're Invited!" tag.
Learn more about Stitch Discussions here.
Changes to membership plans
Over the last few months, we have been asking Stitch Community Champions for their input about ways we can improve the Stitch membership structure to better help them grow the community in their local areas, while at the same time ensuring the community can be sustainable over the long term.
Based on that feedback, we have restructured the plans to help members choose a membership that's better suited to what they want to do as part of the community.
Discover the new membership plans here.
Private Groups now available
Many community members have expressed an interest in being able to form private groups with Stitch members of their choosing, believing that will help cultivate even stronger and more meaningful and intimate relationships.
Based on this feedback, Stitch now offers Community Plus and Community Manager members the ability to create an unlimited number of Private Groups.
Private groups are hidden from the wider Stitch Community, and a member must be invited to one to participate. All events and discussions posted to a Private group can only be seen by members of the group.
Learn more about Private groups here.
Transitioning from “Open” to “Public” events and groups
The term “open” which has been used frequently to refer to certain events and groups (i.e. open events, open groups) will be progressively phased out and replaced with the term “public”.
The definition will still remain the same, and will refer to those events and groups that are available to all members of Stitch -- both Basic and Full.
Public events and groups will be distinguishable by the Pink tag that says Public. See images below.
Unverified member badge gets a new look
The unverified member badge across the Stitch web site and app has been updated.
Previously, when a member created their Stitch profile yet hadn't verified themselves, they were distinguishable by a black badge that said UNVERIFIED. They will now be distinguishable by a light green badge that says BASIC.
Please don't mistake this new badge for the darker green Basic badge. The darker green badge is for verified Basic members. The lighter green badge is for unverified members.
Learn more about member badges here.
Marking attendance at Events & Activities now available
Common feedback from event organizers has been that some members RSVP to events but don’t show up. This can be very frustrating and disheartening for organizers, especially when a person does this repeatedly, without notifying the organizer.
Taking this feedback into consideration, Stitch now allows organizers of events and activities to mark attendance after their event has occurred, telling Stitch who attended the event, and who did not.
We understand that life gets in the way sometimes, so missing an activity occasionally, especially if it was accidental, is not a problem. However, failing to show up to three activities in a row without letting the activity organizer know is not acceptable, and these members will eventually have their accounts suspended.
Learn more about how to mark attendance and why it’s important here.
Making it easier to meet other Stitch members
In October we released one of the biggest updates we have ever made to the Members page on Stitch, designed to improve how Stitch members find and meet like-minded companions for one-to-one connections.
Here is what the new Members page looks like now:
As you can see, the page includes a lot of visual improvements, with some big changes to the design of the members cards to make them easier to see and use. But much more important are the changes under the hood, which make a dramatic difference to how Stitch introduces members to each other to help them meet like-minded companions.
Some of the changes in this update include:
- Massive improvements to the Stitch algorithm to ensure it shows you more members who are likely to share your interests and respond to your messages
- Highlights on the members cards to explain why members are being suggested, including members who consistently respond to messages, share many interests with you, contribute to the community, have been online today, have well-written profiles, or recently joined Stitch
- Greater control over the members you see on the Members page, with better ability to skip or remove the profiles you don't want to see right now
- More profile views for Community and Community Plus members
We have updated all our documentation about how the Members page works, so you can get an overview of how everything works here.
Note for Basic members
It's worth noting that the new update no longer allows free Basic members to send direct messages to other members. We thought it would be worth explaining the reason for this change.
The purpose of the (free) Basic Stitch membership is to let Stitch members enrich their lives by meeting people at activities they enjoy. We recently gave Basic members a very significant increase in the amount they can participate in the community, allowing them to join as many Stitch Groups they want, and attend as many activities they want, and even create and organize activities of their own, all for free. This is in line with the Stitch Community's status as a non-profit community which has the goal of connecting as many people as it can.
At the same time, Stitch needs enough members to upgrade to a Full membership in order to keep the community running. Members who want to get the most out of Stitch, and in particular connect with other members directly through the Members page, need to join as a Full member. A Stitch membership is designed to be very affordable and starts at just a few dollars per month.
If you're a Basic member you get to reply to direct messages from other members, so attending Stitch events and activities is still a great way to expand the number of people you can meet through Stitch, all for free. You only need to become a Full member if you want to initiate new conversations with the other members that Stitch introduces to you on the Members page.
The updated Members page will now let Basic members view five members each and every day, so you can get a good idea of the sorts of members you will be able to meet through Stitch, and you only need to decide to join if you'd like to connect with someone.
We think this is a very fair system which allows Stitch to have a positive impact on the lives of our Basic members (who don't support the community financially), while providing much greater benefits to our Full members (who do). Only a small proportion of Stitch members attend events and activities, so if you want to give yourself the biggest chance of meeting as many members as you can, then we'd strongly encourage you to join as a Full member.
If you do, you'll be doing your bit to help the Stitch Community sustain itself and have a positive impact on the lives of Stitch members all over the world!
Instant notifications in the Stitch Mobile App
Have you ever arrived at a Stitch event and not known how to contact the other attendees? You might have turned up at an outdoor concert, for example, where there are thousands of people and you don't quite know how to find the Stitch members you are meeting. Or you might be the organizer of an event and want to send a message to all attendees to let them know where to meet.
Stitch has always let you post an announcement on the event, or send a direct message to other attendees, but there was no guarantee they would be checking their emails at the time of your event, so they may not get your message.
That's all changed with the introduction of Instant Notifications for the Stitch iOS and Android apps.
Now, any time you post an announcement on a Stitch activity, or send another member a direct message, they will get a push notification on their mobile device (provided they have the Stitch app installed) to let them know.
And if you're attending an activity or an event, you should make sure you have the Stitch app installed so that you can be notified about any late-breaking changes announced by the event organizer.
Improvements to the Stitch Mobile App
After discovering that most of our community uses Stitch on their mobile, we decided it was time to make some important upgrades to the Stitch mobile experience.
After months of hard work from our development team, we can now announce that Stitch is on its way to becoming mobile friendly! Even though there’s still a lot more work to be done, you’ll notice that using Stitch on your mobile is now much easier and smoother than it used to be.
Before the update, if you were to click on a Stitch link on your mobile, you would have been taken to your preferred internet browser and had to use Stitch there, even if you had the Stitch app installed on your phone.
Now, any links you press will take you either straight to the Stitch app, or you’ll be given a choice as to where you’d like to open the link - in your browser or in your app. You now have a choice!
This is just the first step toward a more enjoyable and seamless Stitch experience on mobile - stay tuned for more exciting updates!
Create Activities and Discussions from within your group
You can now create an activity and discussion from within your chosen Stitch Group.
Previously you would have had to visit the Activities and Discussions pages on Stitch to create an Activity or start a new Discussion. Now, you can do these from within the Stitch Group you wish to invite.
This is one small way we have made it easier for our community to connect with their fellow Stitchers. Learn more here.
Stitch now has a video library
Every since Stitch was launched our Help Center has been the go-to place for answers to all your questions about Stitch and the Community, everything from how to change your profile picture to posting an activity on Stitch.
Now, we also have a Stitch video library!
The Stitch video library is where you’ll find a growing number of videos designed to help you understand the Stitch Community.
These include general videos about Stitch and the Stitch Community; interviews with Stitch members; tutorials; and video updates about the latest happenings on Stitch.
We’re adding new videos all the time so please visit the Stitch video library frequently to check out what’s happening.
Helping others complete their Stitch profile
A common request from existing community members has been for the ability to easily help other members set up and complete their profile, especially new members who may have difficulty doing so.
We’ve listened to your requests, and now give Gold, Platinum and Diamond members the ability to help others set up and complete their profile! Learn how to do so here.
New look Stitch Groups
The new Stitch Groups now give group organizers and owners the ability to better organize and manage their communities as they see fit, as they now have full control over their group’s members, activities, discussions and announcements. Learn more here.
Changes to activity & event email notifications
Previously when an activity or event was created in your local community you would receive an email inviting you to this event. In very active communities, where multiple activities may be suggested every day, that meant members could receive multiple emails per day.
Now, rather than receiving a separate email for every single activity or event posted in your city, Stitch gives you more control over which events you want to be notified about.
If you have enabled event & activity notifications on the Notification Settings page, you will now receive:
- An email invitation only for activities which are organized for Groups you have joined, and
- A weekly summary of new activities in your area, based on the distance preferences you have chosen.
Let’s look at the above in detail.
Invitations to activities organized for Stitch Groups you have joined
Stitch now only sends out email invitations for activities and events organized for Stitch Groups you have already joined. This means that you have complete control over which invitations you receive.
If you’re interested in being invited to anything to do with ballroom dancing, for example, you might join a Ballroom Dancing Group in your area. Or if you love the comedy events held in Manhattan, just join the Stitch Manhattan Comedy Group in order to be invited to those events.
You will receive event notifications for all Groups you have joined, regardless where those events are held.
This means that if you sometimes travel between different locations, for example, you can join groups in both locations in order to find out about events you’d like to attend. Or you may be so passionate about bird-watching that you are willing to travel hundreds of miles for a bird-watching expedition, so you join a bird-watching group that is far away from you, but keep the rest of your activities on Stitch local.
It’s totally up to you!
Weekly summary of new activities and events in your area
Being notified about activities for the Stitch Groups you belong to makes sense, but what about all the other activities happening in your area?
As outlined above, in Stitch areas which have a lot of community activity, the number of invitation emails being sent could prove overwhelming. So Stitch no longer sends an invitation for each new event in your area.
But at the same time, you still want to know about those events, as there is often a lot of great stuff going on. You just don’t want to receive dozens of emails every day!
Stitch now addresses this by sending a weekly summary of all the events published during the previous week in your area. Best of all, you get to choose the distance that defines what your “local area” means to you.
For some people, this will mean getting a summary of all the events happening very close to them, for example within 3 miles of where they live. For others, it may mean being willing to drive for an hour or two to get to events in a nearby city.
Once again, the choice is yours.
To control which activities are shown in your weekly summary, visit the Notification Settings page and change your distance preference as shown in the image below:
Changes to Stitch Membership plans
We have now simplified our memberships, offering you two plans to choose from: Basic and Full. Learn more about each membership plan here.
Contacting unverified members
Gold, Platinum and Diamond members now have access to an additional feature that directly helps them build and grow their local community - it’s the ability to communicate with unverified members.
Previously, unverified members could not communicate with the community in any way. They couldn’t initiate conversations with other members, nor can they respond to messages they had been sent (though they could read them).
Now, Gold, Platinum and Diamond members can initiate a two-way conversation with unverified members, opening up a dialogue between existing and possibly nervous new members.
In most cases, unverified members need a little encouragement to get verified, and a welcoming message and an invite to an upcoming event from a trusted member of the community (such as Gold, Platinum and Diamond members) will go a long way in motivating them get verified and join the community!
Learn more about this feature here.
- Members can now invite friends to Stitch events and activities simply by sharing the link to the activity
- Added the ability to add a Stitch event to your calendar
- The Members page now replaces the old Browse Profiles page, to help you connect with members in your area
November and December 2018
- Members can now add interests to Stitch Activities and Groups
- Layout changes to the Stitch homepage, favouring Stitch Groups
- People and conversations now easier to find with the addition of the search bar in Messages.
- Price of Community and Community + memberships reduced
- Community Champions and Partners can now verify members via event pages
- Event creation now easier with auto saving
- Members with incomplete profiles can now attend open events
- Member status levels now clearer through updated member badges
- Recreating past events now possible