The new online Messages feature - A better way to connect with other members
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I'd like to introduce the new online Messages feature that we added to the Ancestry.com site today. It is a great new way to connect with other members you come across on the site and replaces the email-based Ancestry Connection Service. messages-blog-mock.png First, if you haven't ever connected with other Ancestry members I hope you find the opportunity to do so. Ancestry.com has the world's largest online community dedicated to family history and members help each other make new discoveries every day. The further you follow your family story back in time, the more likely you are to find other members who have ancestors in common with you. You can learn from and share with these members, and you may even find a relative you didn't know you had. Previously the tool available to contact other members was the email-based Ancestry Connection Service, but there were some challenges with this tool. First, it was hard to see who you were communicating with because there was no connection to their public profile on the site or other information about them. Second, the messages would come mixed in with your other emails which made it easy to miss them and hard to organize them. They may have even ended up in a junk folder without you ever seeing them. The new online Messages feature overcomes these problems and is hopefully a more enriching way to connect with other members. When you send or receive a message from another member you now just do it on the Ancestry.com website. When you find another member that you are interested in contacting there will be a Contact link available on their public profile that lets you send them a message right away. All members registered with Ancestry.com can view and reply to messages received from others, whether they have a paid membership or not. Paid members can also click on the Contact link for other members they find throughout the site and initiate contact with them. You can get easy access to messages you've received from others just by clicking the Messages' link at the top of any page. And if there are messages waiting for you that you haven't read yet, we'll include a number at the end of the link indicating how many new messages you have. (You'll also get an email notification about new messages from other members to make sure that you don't miss them.) When reading a message you can see information from the public profile of the person who contacted you, in addition to reading the message they sent. This makes it a lot easier to learn more about them and see what areas of family history research you might have in common. When you're replying back and forth with another member we'll also keep all messages in the thread together so that you can more easily follow the conversation. Since your past messages are all together on the Ancestry.com site it helps make sure that you don't lose track of any of them. You can even create personalized folders to organize your messages however you'd like to. I hope that by using the new Messages feature you'll be able to more easily connect and work with other Ancestry members.