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Feedback on the New Message System



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    Thank you for your professionally written comments in answer to the message from italki support.

    You and I, and most likely every other user, teacher, tutor and student are in complete sync with what you've written.

    "Our Product Team has made this decision some time ago and tested it with success."
    -  Microsoft also tested Windows 8 and Vista, ignored the horrendous problems, launched it and then lost a lot of customers.
    -  Beta testing should never be done by the producers of the product - they cannot help but be biased as well as having a totally different view of how the product will be used by the end-user.

    "Like most changes, it just takes time getting used to."
    -  Right... let's ignore the numerous deficiencies and mal-functioning features and after some time we will "get used to using" the substandard, problematic, frustrating, system.
    - "getting used to it" is synonymous with accepting the problems and shutting up. How disrespectful.

    It appears this has turned into a contest of wills.
    I thank italki for providing this section for us to post our honest, helpful, well-intentioned feedback and comments.
    It also appears that italki has no interest in reverting to the previously satisfactory system.
    I now have very little faith that italki will act on our recommendations.
    As a result, I will stop participating in this feedback space which is meant primarily to placate those of us disappointed by italki's intransigence regarding their new Message/Notification system.

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    Eliaquim Sousa 易尚明 (Edited )

    Well, I guess that's it.

    If the old system is not coming back, how about at least adding a search box feature to the message center? We could at least rummage for specific keywords in the morass that those cluttered messages turned into with all those pointless notifications.

    I am having a hard time finding messages from prospective customers, and now I have gotten into the habit of writing down a note each time I receive a message so I don't forget to reply to them. A message gets lost so easily in that new tested-with-success system.

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    Andrew B

    My second comment on this post as I feel the need to vent.

    Agreed Eliaquim. It looks like that's it. It's another case of the famous Facebook revamp: like it or lump it.  

    Well, it's been almost TWO WEEKS now since the update, and STILL no email notifications about new messages. I almost missed another potential student today because of that. I'm now thinking: what the hell are we paying this 15% for?!?! 

    ITALKI: If you're not going to change the system back, fair enough, but you can at least:

    1) Ensure that us teachers receive email notifications for new messages from students. This is really annoying my students and I right now: to the point that I would have no problem going to another platform, who respects it customers, and I would not hesitate in directing my students there. I'm sure that many other teachers would gladly do the same right now. We are many teachers on italki, and with many student contacts. It would make a big dent in italki, I'm sure. You have LOADS of competetitors now, who are striving to be bigger and better. Surely you know that.

    2) Get rid of the ridiculous stream of notifications: do we really need to know if a lesson has been completed. I'm pretty sure that if we just did the lesson, we would know that is was completed. As other have mentioned: it's a disaster, and trying to find a message from a student is like something out of Mission Impossible. Even Tom Cruise would struggle, and he's been doing these missions for years now.

    3) If you value us just a little bit, give us all some form of compensation for lessons/potential students we have lost because of this mess. For a lot us, this is our full-time job and we have commitments. You're effectively messing with a lot of people's lives and livelihoods. 

    This is the last polite message italki: SHOW US SOME RESPECT AND SORT IT OUT OR YOUR BUSINESS WILL CONTINUE TO DECLINE. Maybe you should actually listen to us, the teachers, who know first-hand what works and what doesn't work instead of thinking YOU know best when clearly you don't. 

    One last thought: it's kind of ironic that we get email notifications notifying us that somebody has commented on this post!!! :D

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    You're right. It's a waste of time writing here when everything has been pointed out so clearly and so many times. Well, one would expect this from language (aka) communication experts. :) All of the feedback is negative yet constructive. For me, this brought up the idea of a teacher forum... anyway... I'll devote my time to other things now, like researching alternatives, as many of us do right now... I guess...

    @Andrew B

    Well said - the question is: do we stay with the sinking ship or not - this is really like a macabre comedy...a successful business killing itself - And, should we teachers be compensated for killing our livelihood and the need to build up all over again somewhere else?

    So, let's hope some sense might descend on the italki business owners. May this be so.

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    "Our Product Team has made this decision some time ago and tested it with success."

    Italki, may I ask if your "crown jewel" was tested on humans?


    I believe the core problem is that italki team don't use italki as much as we users do, therefore

    they don't count the consequences of their scary updates. It feels as if they want things to look

    better even if they don't function properly any more. Whenever there is an update, I put my hand 

    on my heart and say a little prayer that it doesn't come up as bad as the one before it.


    I really love italki, and this is why I'm extremely disappointed. Also I found their recent reply that

    was shared by Dave extremely disrespectful and cold.


    This feedback they asked for is nothing more than a way to absorb our dissatisfaction and



    If the email notifications were taken away because you chose to replace messages with this

    new chat feature and you just can't send us an email notification every time someone sent

    us a one word message, then is it possible you tell me who caused this problem in the first


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    Sara Hamed

    This massage update is very bad. It doesn't help me to find the New massage. I find information that i don't need in the massage. The old version was better. Thank you

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    Well I have to agree with colleagues, the new messaging system is inferior to the previous one. Actually, it's worse! Now we can't leave comments on a certain lesson and it's so easy to miss a message from students now! We appreciate the work Italki does to improve the site, but please take into consideration what real users of the site complain on. Is not it better to ask teachers and students first what kind of changes they need? We all love our site and hope that you will hear us. Thank you very much! 

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    Óscar Sandoval

    Hello, everyone.

    I agree with all the comments I have read until now (like 20), this new system is a huge mess. I have lost several lesson request because of it (the lesson request get lost into a ocean of messages). I know we might look at dashboard to be sure, but the idea of make the important notifications, lesson messages and useless things (like "you have accepted a lesson") share the same space is bad. Im sorry, but the old system use to work perfectly for everyone, Why change it?

    Please, at least, separate the notifications like the lesson request, because if we continue loosing those, our profiles could be close by mistake.

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    Dave Boss

    Please revert to the old communication system.  I am all for change for the better, but there is nothing better about the changes you have recently made.  Thank you for trying to improve things, but in this case, they did not need to be improved.

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    Daniel Wilches

    The new chat system is not being convenient for me:

    • It doesn't easily allow me to put several lines in the same message. That's quite an issue for a language learning site, as I used to write my whole message (several lines) and then I re-read it to correct all my mistakes, now that's not possible. What I've been doing to circumvent this issue is to use a text editor to write my whole messages, and then copy them here when I'm done with them. But it's not convenient having to use a 3rd-party tool in order to use italki's took.
    • I don't receive notifications about other people's messages, I'd like to receive an email every day if I have unread messages or something similar.
    • Also, I'd add the possibility of editing messages, like in Slack, WhatsApp, HipChat, because we are learning languages and we'll make mistakes.

    I think the new chat system should be centered around how to allow me to correct the text of the person I'm talking to, like adding inline comments to what they wrote.


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    Marta (Edited )

    The new system is really confusing. I don't want to get notofications that I sent a lesson request. Besides, now I don't know if the teacher sends me a message short before our class or I get only a reminder that the class will take place in 2 hours. Please change it

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    I think the messages and notifications should be separate again, I have missed messages because of this.

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    Rina E

    The new messaging system is agitating, why is lesson information such was requests popping up in the message thread between myself and my students? 

    Just as how italki tested they're new classroom system that they have going with actual users, you should have tested this new system with users as well. Only people who use it everyday can truly provide authentic feedback. 

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    Sylvia from France

    Je ne trouve pas cette interface très pratique : en effet,

    • le fait de recevoir des confirmations chaque fois que l'on fait une action n'apporte rien et complique la lecture de l'interface
    • quand il y a pour une même personne, plusieurs demandes (de cours par exemple), il est compliqué de voir lesquelles j'ai accepté et lesquelles sont encore sans réponse.

    En résumé, pour simplifier, il me semble qu'il faudrait supprimer les confirmations des actions que nous faisons.


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    The new system and user interface is awful! A lesson expired because of it, then I seem to be "penalized" because of that. It was way better before, and it wasn't even good then. You literally have to remember the name of every student and lesson to retrieve vitals on it. There is no longer a numbered count on notifications yet your notifications show that you just left feedback? Calendar integration is no where to be found. I teach at an Institute in London as well, and this is terrible. None, repeat... none of my students like the italki website. It exposed students passwords on my site! 

    Absolutely dreadful... 

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    Marc Reich

    I agree with most of the comments and complaints above, but did not read all. I hope all can be addressed.

    My very modest complaint is that when I'm in the midst of writing a message and press the 'Enter' key to move down a line to start a new paragraph, the system sends the message. 'Enter' shouldn't be the send key, that's what the 'Submit' or 'Send' key on the page is for. Pretty annoying to me and to the people who receive my chopped up messages but easy to fix. Thanks.

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    I was away for a while and came back to find the system changed and I missed some messages! I didn't realise I had messages because I used to get email's from Italki notifying me and now I don't get them at all! It looks like it isn't just me! I just had a message come through, I checked my email - nothing, there was nothing in junk either. I've checked Italk's settings and it's still on for emails but nothing is coming through.


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    It seems iTalki isn't ready to humbly accept it made a mistake with its website usability, so I'd probably be wasting my time explaining WHY I hate it (everyone else has done that well enough).

    My comment here is just to add another hand-up to the #NewiTalkiMessagingSux campaign.

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    Andrew B

    Hi all,

    On behalf of us all, I've been in touch with Kevin Zhu at italki (someone a bit higher up the chain allegedly) and got the below response. Needless to say, I responded saying that it's all very well looking at rectifying the issues, but something needs to be DONE and NOW, as we are a growing number of people who are becoming more and more p'd off by the minute. We shall see what happens, but why don't I feel confident that something positive will happen soon??? :D

    "Dear Andrew,  

    Thank you for reaching out to me and explaining in detail. 
    I can assure you that we are looking at rectifying said issues, user satisfaction is our priority in spite of what may be perceived. It's clear we've made mistakes and I have forwarded your email to senior management. Again I wish to say that your email is much appreciated.


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    Hi, I have to agree with most of the previous messages. It is a very bad new system for teachers and students. It is confusing for me as I received so many messages daily. It is wrong to put on the same level confirmation /reminding of lessons and the messages of cancellation/new requests.  I missed so of them also because I have to check the all list of my students to make sure none sent me a message. The previous system was much more efficient. 

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    Maureen M.

    The new message system is awful. I no longer get an email to tell me I have a message and when I log in, messages are hidden amongst all the lesson notifications. Terrible system.

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    I’d like to voice my agreement with all the other teachers here on this subject. Today alone, I’ve discovered I missed a student’s reschedule request (no email notification to tell me I had the request, although ironically I did get an email telling me the request had expired), and I’ve had to send a message to a student about their lesson today that they haven’t replied to, most likely because they have no way of knowing that I’ve messaged them. If nothing else, could we please get the email notifications for messages back?

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    The old version should be added better and all messages should be selected at one time

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    Edwina Ingrouille

    I prefer the old system. Everything concerning a particular lesson was on the same page. It was clear and easy to access by the teacher, the student and the italki support team.

    Now when I send a message via the app for a particular lesson, the student either does not receive it, or it is delayed and they end up receiving the same message twice.

    Regrettably I now have to resend messages and repeatedly apologise to my students for missing their messages (I no longer receive email notifications telling me that I have a new lesson message),

    I am worried that the new system will have a negative impact on my teaching statistics and that it will affect my ability to attract new students and to keep my current students.

    Is there somewhere I can go to learn about current and upcoming italki system improvements?



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    The new messaging system is terrible! I don't receive emails when a teacher sends a message, and my teacher didn't notice that I had submitted 3 lesson requests so two of them expired. It's also difficult to see messages because they're hidden in the details about the lesson. I much prefer having the messages and the lesson details on separate pages. This has become much worse to use. Please fix it as soon as possible! Thank you.

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    English with Brian (Edited )

    Not a fan of the new messaging system. There was a previous thread here about possible improvements and many people were making mention of adding things to help teachers keep track of students. For example, having session-specific messages as well as student-specific messages that could be used to keep general notes/records about the student that wouldn't be visible. I need session-specific messaging because if a student books a 5 lesson package, I will send links to 5 different homework assignments for each specific date. Since I am no longer able to do that, it makes delivering materials for specific classes in advance a real hassle. I have to continually login to send each assignment because I don't want to confuse the student by sending 5 links all together before his course has begun or have them be lost between notifications.

    I think this kind of messaging system would be suited for Language Partners or maybe some kind of "see who is online, start a chat"-feature. But for teachers, we need to have a more sophisticated messaging system.

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    Omari Jeremiah

    I am having a lot of problems with this new message system as well.  Are email notifications still sent out when a student leaves a message for you?  If not, that I think that feature should be restored. 

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    Ibrahim Salman

    very bad and confusing. notification was better. 

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    Several of my students missed their lessons and/or my messages in the last few weeks because of the messaging system that is clearly not transparent. Unfortunately, the new system is preventing me from providing the high quality and standard of service I am used to providing to my students. I do not like this situation at all and from what I have understood from the reply that italki has posted in this thread, a change for the better is not to be expected.

    It seems that the italki team does not realise one thing. If the teachers stop finding the teaching environment convenient, they can easily leave for elsewhere. So can their students. They will not stay here forever especially if they have already found some regular teachers they enjoy having their lessons with.

    After the previous update I reduced my lessons here to minimum. I do not accept any new students anymore. Luckily, I am not dependent on italki financially. I also used to recommend italki to anyone and everyone I met. Now I do not know.

    All in all, yes, you are right. Every new system takes time getting used to. It is just a question of whether there will be people around wanting to see it through if these are the sort of responses they are to get if problems crop up. I do not think so but I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

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    The new message system is extremely annoying and functionally challenged.

    Amongst others, I almost missed some lesson requests. And I am also getting messages that tell me that I just did what I did. How useful is that? How nice to write oneliners only... So, here you go with my oneliner:

    Please, bring back the old system !!!

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