[Product] New Vanilla Feature - Category Following

Posted by Adrian Speyer on Apr 18, 2018 8:18:00 AM
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vanilla product feature category following

Recently we released version 2.6 of our platform. Not only were there a few improvements and fixes that were included, but also a cool little feature we call Category Following, of which I shall go in more detail in this blog post.

What is Category Following?

When online communities grow, you begin to have numerous categories or a category can become so distinct, it becomes a community of its own. How can we solve this? This is where Category Following can become helpful.  Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Allow members to cut through the noise of a large community  by having a filtered view of content for the categories that interest them.
  • Moderators can create a view of the categories they are responsible for.
  • Allow community owners to create a tailored experience using SSO and the new Category Following API. When a member logins in or signs up they can start with some categories already pre-selected for them.

If you are a Vanilla for Business customer, this feature is available to you now.

How do you enable Category Following?

To turn the feature on, it is as simple as heading to your Vanilla dashboard in the category management page and turn on the Category Following toggle.

vanilla forums category following dashboard


Once it’s turned on, you will notice that all category headings will have a Follow icon. Now your members can click to Follow or unclick to stop Following the categories that interest them.

following categories discussions

When a couple of followed categories are selected,  members can now go to the community homepage and select the view they choose.


As an example, selecting “Following” from the home page will filter the homepage view to only show the categories selected. This doesn’t mean a member can’t change their mind later. They can always view all categories, or modify the categories they wish to follow with a simple click of the button.

We hope you enjoy this feature and where you want to encourage category segmentation this will be a useful feature.

Topics: Product

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