Five Applications Pausing Discussion Post

Hello everyone

Here’s your brand new discussion post for the five application pausing feature. This is a bit of a long post, but it’d be great if you could take the time to read it all, as it contains information relevant to application pausing and how it’s unfolded on the Forum.

After receiving some Forum member feedback about how difficult it was to follow the discussion due to the length of the thread, we felt it would be a good idea to start another discussion post, as this would also allow us to share previous updates from the team and also set everyone’s expectations about the purpose of the discussion post.

Application pausing started back in mid-2022, and there’s an update in this post from our Product Manager Ben detailing the conclusion of an application pausing test. He also shared this FAQ to try and answer some concerns.

Another thread was eventually started here and it has served as a discussion post up to the present day.

A year after Ben’s initial post, Carla posted an update, which I would like to share in full, as it clearly sets out our position.

“Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback about the work we’ve done around pausing owner applications, and for waiting while we took your feedback to the Product team.

We understand that any site changes, especially those affecting how some members use the site, need to be communicated transparently. We’ve used this experience as a learning curve to improve our communication and transparency in the future.

As well as giving you an update about pausing owner applications, we also wanted to let you know about when and where we gave advance notice of the change, as we know that some of you were concerned that you were only made aware of it after seeing it here on the Forum.

Here’s the timeline of announcements:

Initial testing was mentioned in June 2022 on a blog posting here

Our Product Manager, Ben, posted about the changes in July 2022 during the testing phase here, and there was also a new blog post update here. This post also contains a document with screenshots showing how it will look on the platform when members log in and what instructions will be given for using the new feature.

We then shared an update on the change in our September 2022 newsletter, that was emailed to all subscribed members, after the initial testing was complete. You can see a copy of the email we sent out by clicking here.”

The Product Team are really grateful to all Forum members who took the time to provide their feedback, whether it was via the recent poll, or in one of the discussion posts on the topic.

They’ve asked us to confirm that there are no plans to change the five pausing feature at the moment, due to the overall success of the function across the platform.

Although we know you’ll most likely be disappointed to hear that we won’t be making any further changes to the feature, we wanted to let you know that as a direct result of your feedback on this update and how it was announced, the Forum will soon have a Product Update section.”

Now that we’re nearly a year on from Carla’s update, we wanted to clarify what the Forum team can and can’t do.

  • The Product team have confirmed that there won’t be any further changes made to the feature.

  • As the feature has now been in place for nearly two years, the Forum team are no longer actively passing feedback to the Product team about this feature.

  • The Forum team understand that many of you are concerned about the update and wants to give you a place to discuss it with other members.

  • The Forum team is happy to provide you with a new discussion post but won’t be able to answer any further questions or pass on any further feedback.

  • The Forum is a place for members to connect and chat about everything to do with Trusted Housesitters rather than a place to submit requests for changes to existing features.

  • While the Forum can pass on feedback for a limited time when a product update is announced, we can’t ever promise that changes will be made as a result of any feedback we share, though we will always advocate for our members to the best of our ability.

  • The best way to have a voice is to sign up for future beta testing opportunities (we’ll advertise them on the Forum) so that you can help the Product team with feedback and suggestions on future features.

You’re welcome to continue to discuss the five pausing feature in this discussion post, with the understanding that the Forum team will not be collecting feedback or answering any further questions, we will only moderate the thread in line with our Community Guidelines. Because there’s a dedicated discussion for this topic, we’ll merge any new posts about the feature with this discussion post.

Thank you for taking the time to read this final update from the team!

The Forum team


I think there will have to be. When it seems that bots are taking over, THS will be forced to adjust.

And in fact, the beta application did make a tiny change in the application interface: it now needs 50 characters at a minimum. That won’t help, because it is easy enough to reprogram a bot. But it shows that THS are aware that the limit of five is creating problems.


Not a lot of point in adding or writing anything further about the five then really. It’s only going to turn into a bun fight again when everyone starts complaining. I personally don’t even see any reason to even start a new thread when there is zero to gain from it. Feels a little condescending to me to be honest. Severely disappointed that this has happened.


Hi @ziggy

I’m sorry you feel that way - as always there’s no need to participate in a discussion if you feel it’s not for you.

We received feedback from other members that it was hard to find previous updates and we also agreed that not everyone can scroll back through over 400 posts, so it felt like a fair option to start a new thread which put all relevant information in one place at the top of the post.

The only other option is to close off any discussion around this subject by closing it to new replies, and that didn’t feel fair, as our members should have a place they can discuss and vent about their feelings on the subject. We don’t want anyone to feel silenced.

Jenny :slightly_smiling_face:

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There is plenty to gain … for THS
Much wiser to let frustrated new members rant their anger in a strictly controlled environment than to allow them to freely express their true opinions on other platforms


Thanks Jenny

I know that our emotions on this subject are high but I would like to thank you for the work that you have done in bringing together all of the threads and links


Hi @RadarInc

All that we ask is that our members stick to the Community Guidelines which everyone agrees to abide by when they sign up. They’re not particularly restrictive, and the only reason we’d remove or edit someone’s post is if they didn’t stick to those guidelines.

While there are no plans to review this particular update, that may change in future, and by making sure our members have a space to vent we can ensure that if an opportunity comes up to make everyone’s voices heard then we’ve got all the feedback we need right here.

I also wanted to mention that our Forum team is made up of sitters and pet owners just like our members, so what matters to you also matters to us.

@Itchyfeet you’re welcome - we do want to do as much as we can for you - even though in this instance we couldn’t give everyone the response they’d hoped for.


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@Jenny at the end of the day, THS belongs to THS and they are free to do whatever they choose to and make whatever changes they choose to make, I understand that. I just feel that opening a new discussion on a topic that is never going to change and is only going to cause problems is just asking for trouble. You and Carla are going to be spending a lot of time moderating the hundreds of unnecessary and argumentative posts that are about to come your way. But that’s your job and I appreciate that also.

I am not shooting the messenger here, you have been very kind and diplomatic in all your dealings on the Forum and are only doing your job, I respect that. I will definitely be opting out of any interaction on the topic as it will achieve nothing but grief. I’ll stick to productive topics :laughing:


I think it always makes sense to keep on demanding your right and appropriate changes. Otherwise, it is easy to say that the community is happy - althought this is not the case.


Interesting thought. I personally will explore possibilities on other platforms anyhow. They might have improved in the meantime and offer features that were unique to THS but that are now neglected. Althought I would prefer to stick with THS and continue with this site.

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Hello, @ziggy Thank you for your kind words and understanding :smiling_face:

Discussions about the 5 pausings are going to continue on the forum whether we open a new post or not, but the current posts are getting too long for members to follow and some members are sharing suggestions that have already been passed on or at this point won’t get passed on by the forum team.

So it is always helpful to keep everything together and manage expectations so people don’t think we can do more than we can.

Thank you again for your concerns, it’s what we are here for and we want to make sure people have a place to discuss, vent and share about the 5 pausing and it does not get lost in other threads.

But as you have quite rightly pointed out members are welcome to opt out of this thread/topic and talk about other things as there is lots of other great stuff happening on the forum!

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Hello @Carla and @Jenny … does this comment mean that the “what features” thread is in the vacuum of the forum only?

If so, what is the most effective means to share the type of content of the " what features" to TPTB as paying members providing input and /or feedback about our membership?

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Define “success of the feature“. All I’ve seen is negative comment.

It is what it is and we’re not changing it but here’s a place you can vent about it.

Too bad the effort in forum organizing is not matched by actual tweaking of the platform functions. :frowning:

I suppose the mods are caught in the middle in the unenviable position of having to report what management says while fielding the grumbling.


Hello, @HelloOutThere Great questions!

I don’t want to get too off-topic, but to help reassure you What Features Would You Like to See on THS? thread is checked in on by the Product team, for example, they used it when building the new inbox. The Forum team also share feedback from there in internal channels.

Membership Services also collects suggestions so that is another avenue to share feedback and suggestions.

I think what Jenny is referring to with features such as 5 pausing where a business decision has been made outside of sharing the feedback to the wider teams, there is not much the Forum team can do that will guarantee an outcome that maybe some members are hoping for. I hope that helps and feel free to submit any suggestions to the above thread or Membership Services :smiling_face:

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As ABGM asked, What is the success of this feature."


An obvious improvement should be that a larger proportion of applications get accepted now.

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Could somebody explain what are the benefits of the 5 pause? I missed the sense.

When I am publishing my listing I look about 20 times a day in my applications and immediately delete the sitters I feel they are not the right match, just to immediately unpause my listing after 5 applications.

a) it is stressful, b) sometimes I delete probably too fast.


The ‘benefit’ as THS has admitted in a response to a user (which can be read in another thread on this topic) is that frequent sitters now get less of a chance to do the sits they prefer. Meaning that new(er) sitters stand a greater chance to secure a sit if they’re fast enough to make it in before the ‘oldies’ do. In other words, it is aimed at deliberately reducing the number of sits regular, experienced sitters manage to secure.


Boosting acceptance percentages sounds like a real corporate office decision.
More are accepted because fewer are allowed.
With that reasoning, let’s allow only two applications. 50% acceptance rate, yay!


I had to think about that for a while to get my brain around it… But OK… It’s nice to encourage new sitters to get started, but it seems like there would be a detriment to HO‘s in that they would not be able to get as-experienced sitters.

I imagine lots of us got started before this rule and had to compete as newbies with zero reviews against more experienced applicants. I know I did, and I eventually got a first sit. Just have to be persistent.

I learned a fun new term here – “bun fight“. Pretty much what this is now I guess. :laughing: