With the release of BuddyPress 8.0, your BuddyPress community can grow organically by referral, attracting new members with personalized invitations from existing members. This feature is deactivated by default but can easily be enabled by visiting the BuddyPress Options screen at WP Admin > Settings > BuddyPress > Options. Enable membership invitations by ticking the checkbox labeled “Allow registered members to invite people to join this network.”
When invitations are enabled, users can accept an invitation and register for your site even if “Anyone can register” is disabled. This means you can disable public registration and enable invitations to create a site with membership by invitation only. Or, enable public registration and use invitations as just another way to spread the word about your community.
Once invitations are enabled, your members will have access to an Invitations tab in their member profiles. Simply enter a valid email address and optionally add a personalized message to send an invitation to the new potential member via email.
Once invitations are sent, a member can view a list of pending invitations and resend the email or cancel the invitation.
The invitee receives an email that includes a link to the registration form (with a customized acceptance key that allows access even if public registration is disabled). The message also includes the personalized message from the inviting user and an unsubscribe link which allows the invitee to opt out from future invitations from your site. The email’s content is customizable via the BuddyPress Emails admin interface.
If the invitee chooses to accept the invitation, he or she can follow the customized link to the registration form.
When a new membership is the result of an invitation, the activity item will be expanded to include the name of the inviter.
BuddyPress site admins can also view a list of all invitations and opt-outs from the WP Admin dashboard. The new screens are available at Tools > BuddyPress.
On the “Manage Invitations” screen, site admins can view pending and accepted invitations and choose to resend the email or cancel the invitation.
On the “Manage Opt-outs” screen, site admins can see opt-out requests, with a record of what type of email resulted in the opt-out request, and who sent the email. This screen can be used to see if any particular component or plugin or user is abusing the system to send unwanted emails that result in many opt-outs. It is also possible find a specific opt-out by searching for an email address, which is useful, for example, in the case where a user who has previously opted out changes his or her mind and would like to have the opt-out request deleted. Note that the email addresses associated with an opt-out request are hashed before being stored in the database.
We hope this new feature enriches your BuddyPress commmunity by attracting new, engaged members!