Easily add highly engaging social cues into your application

What is "presence"? #

The concept of "presence" is a all about people being able to connect with other people. When you walk into the office in the morning, if you see a cup of coffee steaming on your coworkers desk, you know that they are there, even if you haven't see them yet. You feel connected and together -- based on a tiny hint like a cup of coffee.

However, in the applications we build for people, we almost always leave the social cues out. This means your users don't know if they're alone or not. They don't know when their teammate last saw the data dashboard. They don't know if someone is with them on the same page right this moment. Without presence cues, applications face a big loss in user engagement.

When you make it easy for one of your users to know who else on their team has been in the same tool with them -- even on the same page with them, you bring your application to life in a very visceral, human way. At Cord, we've seen again and again how simple social cues -- like showing when a user's teammates were last on the same page they're currently on -- make a big difference in how much those users engage with the application.

What does "presence" look like within Cord? #

Our presence library contains tools for tracking where in your application your users are, and which users are in a particular location.

Cord tracks two types of presence: ephemeral and durable.

Ephemeral presence is where a user is located at the current instant. You would use this to track online status in a chat application or where a user's cursor is in a realtime editing application. In this library, we sometimes refer to ephemeral presence records as the user's location.

A user can be present in multiple locations at the same time (such as if they have multiple browser tabs open). An ephemeral presence record expires after 30 seconds, and it can also be cleared explicitly when the user leaves a location. Ephemeral presence is comparatively cheap to track and can be updated frequently.

Durable presence is where a user has been located historically. You would typically use this to show which pages in your application a user has visited.

Durable presence is tracked for each location independently. Durable presence is comparatively expensive to track. It should generally be updated at most once a minute for each location.

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