How to use question and answer comments to improve your site's content.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Applies to: All Stack Overflow for Teams


Comments allow users to discuss questions and answers without posting an actual answer. Comments are useful for asking for clarification, suggesting corrections, and providing additional information about posts.

You can also make comments more targeted by using the @username syntax anywhere in your comment to prompt the attention of a specific user.

To add a comment, click Add a comment at the bottom of a question or answer.

About comments

Anyone can leave a comment on any post, though some sites may enforce a minimum reputation threshold for commenting. Admins and moderators can leave comments on any post regardless of their reputation.

Comments are meant to be temporary, existing primarily to encourage the revision of the relevant question or answer. For this reason, regular deletion of obsolete comments is a good way to keep content relevant and current.

Any user can edit or delete their own comment, though only within five minutes of when they first posted the comment. Post authors, moderators, admins, and other privileged users can delete comments without warning, often in response to flags. Admins and moderators have the ability to edit or delete the comments of other users at any time.

Other characteristics of comments

  • Comments are short by design (600 characters max).

  • Comments allow limited formatting.

  • Unlike posts, comments have no revision history.

  • URLs in comments automatically become hyperlinks.

  • A user may post no more than one comment every 15 seconds.

Notify users in a comment

Stack Overflow for Teams allows you to alert one or more users in a comment, creating a notification in the users' inbox. You create the alert by typing the user's name preceded by the "@" symbol while entering or editing a comment.

Typing "@" will display a list of users you can notify (for example: typing "@bre" brings up a list of users including BrendanClay and BreGoman).

Click a username from the suggestion list to select it and automatically fill out the @username tag. When you save the comment, Stack Overflow for Teams will alert specified users with a link to the comment.

NOTE: The author of a post will receive a notification for any comment activity on their post, regardless of the use of @username.

Ask vs. @username

When posting a question, you can use the Ask feature to ask specific users or user groups to read (and hopefully answer) your question. The @username notification feature may seem similar to Ask, but the Ask feature is preferred in most cases. Ask allows you to identify user groups as well as individual users, and the Ask request is not attached to a temporary comment.

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