Notifications on iNaturalist - Please Share Your Ideas!

Is there a way to be notified when someone new follows you? I checked the settings but may have overlooked it. I always like to follow back anyone following me, and I often don’t think to check if anyone has added me to his/her list. It just seems polite and encourages community-building, I think.


Myself, I only follow someone if I have had a connection with them (dialog over an obs or ID, etc) or if their activity on iNat is of particular interest to me. I view myself as being “in community” with everyone on iNat, and I use “follow” to help mark them as great people to connect with! I don’t consider “follow” to be like business cards that get exchanged and then never referred to again, rather they are my “business partners” that I would recommend to others… if that analogy makes sense?

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I don’t even use it any more because the notification page that shows followed observers is pretty broken. So i still have people on the list but to be honest, i forgot it existed.

I understand–I wasn’t implying that those who do not follow back are less interested in community. I apologize if anything I wrote suggested that. I certainly assume that people have different approaches. I just like following back–I’m not an expert, so I don’t worry about having to deal with a lot of followers. But, usually for me, followers are in my geographical region, and I can identify common animals and plants in that case. I just want the option of knowing–I would hope such an ability would be something one could opt into or not. One could turn on the option in settings.

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I think it’s a great idea; I would like to know myself when someone is newly following me. It’s not currently possible, but I agree it should be added to the list when the notifications system is revamped (see first post of this topic).


It would also be interesting if there could be a “reminder” feature, where you could mark an observation for review later. I find myself saying that I will review something and then completely forgetting to.


I’ve thought the same thing, including observations of mine where someone has offered an ID that I want to research before accepting.


If you haven’t yet, you might consider voting for the bookmark an observation feature request.

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I came here to request this, but seems several people already mentioned it. :) I’ve also had confirming notifications turned off for a long time…but at the same time,

So I’ve also been missing out on knowing who’s been most helpful in confirming my observations’ IDs. I know I can search for that information, e.g. IDers of my obs in the past month, but there’s something to be said for some sort of indication that these confirming IDs are happening, which would probably spur me to help ID their observations in return.

At the same time, I definitely don’t need 12 separate notifications of 12 people agreeing with my American robin observation :) so some sort of grouping of activity by user or observation would be necessary as indicated above.

Also, while I don’t (think) I care much about people agreeing with my IDs on other people’s observations, that may not be true across the board.


yes, I think a grouping feature like with the notifications here in discourse… where ti says “5 others liked this post” or “5 replies to this topic”, and the ability to drill down to see each one if you want to

Not sure if this would fall under Feature requests or Bug Reports, so I’m sticking it in the General category for now.

Something I’ve noticed on both the web and on the iOS app is that if someone includes a comment when suggesting an ID, the notification only says that they’ve suggested an ID. (In contrast, when someone submits an ID, then writes a comment, the notification list indicates both the ID and the comment.) It seems to me that if someone includes a comment (or question) along with their ID, the notification should indicate that.

What are your thoughts on this?


I agree that it would be nice to see a notification for situations where an ID+comment are posted together. To avoid too much clutter on an observation page I’ve been using an @username if I’m making a comment with an identification so that the user will get a notification for the username reference. Doesn’t help with missing comments people leave for me but it’s a start, anyway.

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Yes, I agree, and others have brought this up, too. I almost never look to see if there’s a comment when someone seconds an ID of mine. I would prefer to get a separate notification.


Thank you @bouteloua for moving my post into this thread. I did a brief search for other notifications-related topics but somehow missed this thread of wonderful ideas (apologies for repeating what others had already said).

I’m excited to see that the notifications system is getting upgraded. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned yet in the notification wish-list is being able to control them by taxon. For example, I like to see notifications for confirming IDs for taxa I’m not as confident on, but I don’t need to see them for the umpteenth western sword fern I’ve identified.


There is a Feature Request to allow not following your own observations (so you wouldn’t get notifications) on a case-by-case basis, if you’re interested in that:


I was referring to identifications done for others, but it’s true, I don’t need those kinds of notifications for my own observations, either. Given how many observations some users have, I can definitely see why the ability to turn them off is appealing

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You can unfollow the observations of others on a case-by-case basis after making an identification.

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Very true, but also kind of onerous. My point is that it’d be nice to have the option in settings do that automatically for certain taxa.

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Sorry–that just didn’t sink in at first. I agree–that’s a good idea.

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if it’s not overly a burden on the servers, then I would appreciate that too. Any fine tuning of alerts received is going to make IDing easier and faster, allowing more to be ID’d. For an expert, I can see the benefit of turnign them off or ignoring them, but for us “learners”, we rely on the alerts to see our “learning opportunities”!

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