Messaging & Applications

Thanks everyone for your feedback and ideas.

As stated above we are rebuilding the messaging and applications to improve the scalability and performance of messaging and applications.

With this it gives us an opportunity to update and enhance the user experience and some of the things listed here are great feedback. @Shella_in_the_Forum thanks for your detailed improvement list.

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@Ben-ProductManager out of interest (I haven’t always been a member on the forum), was there ever any initial discussion/poll/request for feedback regarding the EXACT nature of the proposed change to the five rule as in this feedback request? Just interested.


I am sure that the simple answer to this is NO


@Itchyfeet me too.


Can you please stop the “overlap” emails. I have lots of sits where I leave one and arrive at the next on the same day. The emails are unnecessary.



Idea: Messaging- allow all members to “opt-in” to the ability to message each other- even when they do not have an active listing. The default would be no open messaging, so members who do not want to be contacted would not have to do anything. Also, members could revoke their opt-in at any time if they no longer want folks to contact them.

Improvement: This would enhance the community and allow open communication. This would allow a sitter to ask a question prior to applying or a home owner to contact another homeowner, or sitters to reach out to sitters to see why they did not leave a review for a particular sit, or even just to ask advice on things to do when traveling in their area.

Frustration: There is no way for a sitter to contact other members unless they have an active listing and they must apply to do so. It sometimes annoys hosts to have sitters apply and they are not available for the posted dates or they just want to ask about off-street parking options. Sitters are not treated as equals, even though they pay the same membership fee. There is no way for sitters post that they are wanting to travel to a specific area during specific dates. We have to passively wait for a sit to become available. Only hosts can actively post their needs.


My idea would be for the site to suggest a minimum of 5 photos of where pet sitters will sleep not just 20 pics of the pet.

Improvements I want to see
Allow the option that a HO can accept 10 or 5 applications, let it be their choice because the first 5 might not be the best fit.

Top frustration

  1. Put town or beginning of post code in location section, there are similar named areas in the UK especially
  2. An option that lists you will leave space in wardrobe or drawers ; living out of a case for more than 4 days becomes cumbersome .
  3. When sitting as a family for longer than a few days, a little freezer space would be nice.
  4. In addition to dates of the sit approximate times they want you to arrive and leave would be helpful E.g. If they had an early flight they may want you there the night before or early in the morning and if one couldn’t do those times it would save applying
  5. A specific section on medication and number of walks and how long pet can be left alone, for E.g. A dog that requires 3 walks, wee and poo runs and cannot be left for long than 2 or so hours leaves absolutely no time to explore the area, check out a restaurant, museum etc
  6. Welcome guides should be completed and ready to be submitted automatically a week before a sit, it should not be the pet sitter chasing for it.
  7. Not happened to me (yet) but if cameras are in the house, please specify
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:bulb: Would love to be able to search by duration and location differently, such a slider that allows for 20 days or 25 days or 45 days, etc.; would love to be able to group locations together in search, such as multiple U.S. states, parts of entire countries, or search by a defined box or shape (e.g. everything east of Toronto and north of North Carolina and west of Newfoundland in North America, for example!)

:ladder: The #1 improvement has to be building an actual native Android app. Please please please do this. Using WebView and putting everything in a container is so damn annoying as it never remembers the state of the app and has to reload everything, the notifications are regularly broken when you select them (many times it doesn’t even open the app, or when it does it opens the wrong page and then eventually starts loading the next page like a webpage), and basically every time I open the app it feels like I’d be better off just loading the web page in a browser instead. I get that you can cut a ton of corners of development time by using WebView instead of an actual native app, but it just feels overall like a second rate experience. I’m on the Beta channel too, so I always hope that one day it’ll be overhauled. Also: maybe do not force the mobile web version to go to the app? Sometimes the messaging in the mobile web version is just fine and fast, and easier than opening the app!

:person_facepalming: My main frustration is the inconsistency of saved alerts. Out of sync between email and app, notifications are sometimes very late, and editing them is a chore. Sometimes I just carve out as a project to delete all of my saved searches and rebuild them.

But overall, just want to add that I overall have enjoyed the experience and have made the platform work for me despite the way I would optimally want it to work to my preferences. :slight_smile: Thank you for your efforts and for soliciting the feedback!

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There are two very different kinds of Saved searches:

  • the ones created in the app (max 10 for a Basic sitter) - these generate notifications in the mobile phone with delays of up to an hour (at least for part of the members)
  • the ones created using the web interface (max 3 for a Basic sitter) - these generate alerts in the daily email (at least for part of the members)

No, the total limit is not 13 - those different beasts are on the same list. Yes :person_facepalming:

In the web interface it is easy to create a square on the app over the area that one is interested in.

I agree with you that the two searches are separate, which is in part why I brought it up as something that should be fixed. I do not believe it should function that way. I believe you should have your saved searches synced regardless of what platform you create them on, and then choose for each saved search if you want a push notification, an email, or both (or none).

What you brought up that is new to me is that “…in the web interface it is easy to create a square on the app over the area that one is interested in.” I do not see where this functionality exists for a saved search. And either way, if this does function somewhere, I would like an immediate push alert if a new sit is available within the boundary that is set. The email alerts are worthless to me because they are too delayed. All said, can you point me to where this functionality exists to create “a square on the app over hte area that one is interested in”?

Thank you,

@s4xton I wrote about that in this answer: Map is much harder to navigate on - #4 by pietkuip

Here is a screenshot on the web interface on desktop:

So that will only generate the daily emails. I do not know if this can be done in the app, I have not tried. My problem is that also those notifications are often for sits that are already blocked by the rule of five.

This is one of my three Saved searches now:

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This is fascinating, honestly. I just tested it – creating a search area based on how the map is framed in my browser’s window – and sure enough, it works. Wow.

I hope they create a more user-friendly and obvious version of that, as well as a way for it to sync and work across platforms (web, mobile).


Hi Ben! I’m not quite sure what you mean by “Messaging and Applications”. Do you mean how THS communicates with us, how easy it is to use the web site or mobile apps, is it the policies of THS and how they are messaged to us, how we communicate / message with THS, how THS handles feedback from members, etc.

I’m not trying to be a smart aleck - I literally am not sure what you mean by “Messaging and Applications”.

So, I thought this is probably not that important so I’d just delete it. But I couldn’t find a way to delete it. I guess that would be one “messaging” thing I;d like fixed.

Any update on this please @Ben-ProductManager ?

I’d like photo captions to show on both the mobile app and the online webs site. (Mmebers have bee asking for this for a very, very long time.

And, I’d like enforcement of required photos for listings. They should always have:
exterior of home
living area/room sitter will be able to use
sitter’s bedroom
sitter’s bathroom
Anything else is nice but those are must haves

@Twitcher The team are currently looking at how the inbox can be improved and using feedback from this thread to help (which is much appreciated)
It’s early days just yet, but any updates about the inbox will be shared in the new Product category so watch this space! :grin:

My inbox on the webpage has several pages of message threads.

If I click through to page 3 - click to read a specific message thread and then want to go back to where I was on page 3 .
I click “back” and it takes me back to page 1 . Quite infuriating and time wasting. Not at all user friendly.

:bulb: So on the inbox on the webpage I would like a function the allows me to go back 1 step to the page I was previously on ( not page 1 and have to start all over again.)


I would like to be able to contact sitters more easily, without having to invite for a sit. Also for sitters to be able to contact me, we could opt in or out of this option.
I would also like sitters to be able to put a short note when they save my listing, not an application but perhaps something on the lines of " we hope to travel to your country June 2024 or we prefer short/long sits"
An improvement for me would be to be able to have some control over who has saved my listing, currently 50% of sitters who have saved my listing are not suitable because of something I specifically mention in my listing. A pointless notification for them and clogs up my list.


Top Frustration: Sitters not keeping a current calendar of available dates.

Is this thread being monitored? @Ben-ProductManager started it to collect info and feedback but @Jenny said he’s not part of the forum any more on a thread yesterday. Be good to know please team THS :+1:t3:

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