On July 24, Meetup changed the formatting options in event descriptions. No longer do we have an HTML-like view of our descriptions, and many formatting options have been removed (this help post is no longer valid: http://help.meetup.com/customer/portal/articles/868340-html-for-meetup-descriptions). Meetup says they did this so event descriptions look consistent across platforms–desktop to mobile to tablets–but did they have to go so far?
Today I discovered that the system also removes href tags when the destination site appears to compete with Meetup.com. So, if you hyperlink text in your description to Facebook or Google Places, Meetup makes the decision to remove those tags.
I’ve worked hard over the years to differentiate my meetup from others out there. Earlier this year they removed much of the formatting options of the look and feel of my overall site. Display fonts are now exactly the same across all meetups. They reduced the size of the banner graphic.
Now my meetup looks essentially like all other meetups. Not cool.