More than 300 editors used the Reply tool at these four Wikipedias. They posted more than 7,400 replies during the study period.
Of the people who posted a comment with the Reply tool, about 70% of them used the tool multiple times. About 60% of them used it on multiple days.
Comments from Wikipedia editors are positive. One said, أعتقد أن الأداة تقدم فائدة ملحوظة؛ فهي تختصر الوقت لتقديم رد بدلًا من التنقل بالفأرة إلى وصلة تعديل القسم أو الصفحة، التي تكون بعيدة عن التعليق الأخير في الغالب، ويصل المساهم لصندوق التعديل بسرعة باستخدام الأداة. ("I think the tool has a significant impact; it saves time to reply while the classic way is to move with a mouse to the Edit link to edit the section or the page which is generally far away from the comment. And the user reaches to the edit box so quickly to use the Reply tool.")
The Editing team released the Reply tool as a Beta Feature at eight other Wikipedias in early August. Those Wikipedias are in the Chinese, Czech, Georgian, Serbian, Sorani Kurdish, Swedish, Catalan, and Korean languages. If you would like to use the Reply tool at your wiki, please tell User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF).
The Reply tool is still in active development. Per request from the Dutch Wikipedia and other editors, you will be able to customize the edit summary. (The default edit summary is "Reply".) A "ping" feature is available in the Reply tool's visual editing mode. This feature searches for usernames. Per request from the Arabic Wikipedia, each wiki will be able to set its own preferred symbol for pinging editors. Per request from editors at the Japanese and Hungarian Wikipedias, each wiki can define a preferred signature prefix in the page MediaWiki:Discussiontools-signature-prefix. For example, some languages omit spaces before signatures. Other communities want to add a dash or a non-breaking space.
Existing custom signatures that do not meet the new requirements will be unaffected temporarily. Eventually, all custom signatures will need to meet the new requirements. You can check your signature and see lists of active editors whose custom signatures need to be corrected. Volunteers have been contacting editors who need to change their custom signatures. If you need to change your custom signature, then please read the help page.
Next, the team will be working on a tool for quickly and easily starting a new discussion section to a talk page. To follow the development of this new tool, please put the New Discussion Tool project page on your watchlist.
The Reply tool has been deployed as an opt-out preference to all editors at the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedias.
It is also available as a Beta Feature at almost all Wikipedias except for the English, Russian, and German-language Wikipedias. If it is not available at your wiki, you can request it by following these simple instructions.
As of January 2021, more than 3,500 editors have used the Reply tool to post about 70,000 comments.
We have preliminary data from the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedia on the Reply tool. Junior Contributors who use the Reply tool are more likely to publish the comments they start writing than those who use full-page wikitext editing.
The Editing and Parsing teams have significantly reduced the number of edits that affect other parts of the page. About 0.3% of edits did this during the last month. Some of the remaining changes are automatic corrections for Special:LintErrors.
A large A/B test will start soon. This is part of the process to offer the Reply tool to everyone. During this test, half of all editors at 24 Wikipedias will have the Reply tool automatically enabled, and half will not. You can still turn it on or off for your own account in Special:Preferences.
During Talk pages consultation 2019, editors said that it should be easier to know about new activity in conversations they are interested in. The Notifications project is just beginning. What would help you become aware of new comments? What's working with the current system? Which pages at your wiki should the team look at? Please post your advice at notifications-talk.
Earlier this year, the Editing team ran a large study of the Reply Tool. The main goal was to find out whether the Reply Tool helped newer editors communicate on wiki. The second goal was to see whether the comments that newer editors made using the tool needed to be reverted more frequently than comments newer editors made with the existing wikitext page editor.
The key results were:
Newer editors who had automatic ("default on") access to the Reply tool were more likely to post a comment on a talk page.
The comments that newer editors made with the Reply Tool were also less likely to be reverted than the comments that newer editors made with page editing.
These results give the Editing team confidence that the tool is helpful.
The team is planning to make the Reply tool available to everyone as an opt-out preference in the coming months. This has already happened at the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedias.