How Lyra works

Lyra is a space for rich conversations with people you care about.


A conversation is a space for discussion and comment. Conversations are either public or private.
  • Public conversations can be viewed by anyone.
  • Private conversations can only be viewed by a specific audience (set by the conversation owner). No one else will ever be able to access a private conversation.

Each conversation starts with a message. When you participate in a conversation, you can post a reply to any message. This means that messages are organised like a tree, rather than in a line.

Traditional forums display messages in a line:

Conv 02

Lyra displays messages as a tree, which is much more versatile and makes for better conversations.

Conv 03

When messages are displayed as a tree,

  • You can reply to any message.
  • It is always obvious who is being replied to.
  • The conversation can branch and explore different angles.


On Lyra, you can set up groups of people. This is one of Lyra's most important features; groups allow you great power in controlling your news feed and the audience of your posts.

You use groups in two ways: to control your news feed, and to control the audience of your conversations.

  • When you read your news, you can select one, some or all of your groups to read news from. This allows you fine control over your news feed.
  • When you make a new conversation, you can select one, some or all of your groups as the audience. If you set the conversation to private, only people in the audience can see or comment on it.

Your groups are always private. No one else can ever see what your groups are called, or who is in them. However, when you create a conversation, participants can see who else is in the audience (but never the name of any of your groups).

Lyra is designed to allow you to express a full range of human emotions. Friendships are not always two-way. Sometimes we want to talk to people, but not hear their messages. Sometimes we want to read someone’s messages, but don’t want them to see ours.

Clicking a button to confirm two people as friends is a poor imitation of the depth and range of human interaction. Lyra does not keep track of who your friends are; that is up to you.


Wherever you see a person's name above their message in a conversation, you can click on the name to reach their profile. (This menu also allows you to add them to your groups).

Your Lyra profile is not limited to a small set of details (age, gender, location, etc) chosen by the designers. You are free to enter any information you like, under any heading you like: from music preferences to foods you can't stand.

This is because your Lyra profile is designed to show information about you to your friends and acquaintances: not to organise your personal information for a social network's own internal purposes, such as targeting advertising.

Lyra's Philosophy

These are the principles which guide Lyra's design.

  • Conversation and discourse are important.
  • The written word is the best way to have conversations on the Web.
  • Your social experience should be controlled by you, not by an algorithm.
  • A trustworthy service does not aim to maximise the amount of time its users spend using it.
  • A conversation platform should do one thing, do it consistently, and do it well.
  • Advertising is harmful to discourse.
  • Profit is not the best motivation.

Lyra's Charter

This is our agreement with you.

  1. We will never sell or give away any data concerning you. Not one single bit.
    (Except where required by UK law. Like many other popular sites, we are using Google Fonts, which allows Google to see certain request headers - but none of your personal data.)
  2. We will never require you to view advertising.
  3. Lyra does not assume copyright over any messages you write. Copyright remains with you.
  4. We will always remain committed to supporting meaningful conversations.
  5. We will provide a stable, permanent platform which will always work more or less as it does now. We will not sell out or give up control of our platform.
  6. We are a non-profit. We will never charge you more than is necessary to cover our running costs and pay our engineers.
  7. We will never discriminate against any group on the basis of race, gender or anything else.

Contact information

  • General enquiries:
  • Media:


Lyra Communications Ltd
UK reg. 10534260

71-75 Shelton Street
Covent Garden