Zen Testing Blogger Private Messaging Service

A messenger has appeared in Yandex.Zen. Now you can communicate with Zen authors not only in the comments: any Zen user will be able to write private messages to them – with the consent of the Zen author.

Zen announced this new feature via their blog.

Zen authors who are open to receiving private messages will have a visible messenger icon in both their profile and article headers. If an author however does not wish to receive private messages, this can be turned off.

Yandex Zen has said that the new functionality comes with a number of benefits to both authors and channel readers, these including:

  • The messenger will help to more actively communicate with your audiences.
  • You can develop a community around the channel, encouraging the audience to share interesting ideas and send them “in PM”.
  • It will be more convenient for bloggers to discuss joint projects with other bloggers.
  • And of course, get feedback from viewers and readers.

To use this function, a verified phone number must be associated with the accounts involved.

You’re also able to limit who can send you messages, as well as block specific users.


The new private messaging feature has been greeted with a mixed reception from Zen authors, and direct comments on the announcement article including calls for Zen to fix the current algorithm that tends to reward clickbait titles (that get large numbers of clicks and interaction, due to being clickbait), and that the preference is for user interaction to remain in the comments section (again to boost article interaction and therefore coverage – from the algorithm).

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Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.