Pull Requests now with Reviewers and Smarter Notifications

By on February 25, 2013

Pull requests provide an easy way for developers to review changes on a branch, discuss changes, and merge the branch into the main development branch. The goal is to be fast and simple. Today we are adding two new capabilities to pull requests that will make your workflow faster and simpler:

Adding Reviewers

You can now explicitly add reviewers when creating or editing a pull request. This will notify your reviewers that you have created a pull request and you would like them to review your code – this is a good way to request that key stake holders look over your change before it gets pulled in.

Select your pull request reviewers

“Reviewers” will be listed out next to the pull request author, along with anyone else who has commented or approved the pull requests. From there, with a single click, a reviewer can “Approve” the proposed changes. Think of this as a light-weight approval process.

Reviewers and approvers

On the Bitbucket team, once two developers have approved a pull request, anyone on our team can accept and merge the pull request.

Smarter Notifications

Bitbucket has probably been sending you too many notifications. Starting today, you will only receive pull request notifications for repositories you have write access to and are following, a small change with a potentially big impact on how many emails you receive.

You can also start and stop watching individual pull requests, which will subscribe or unsubscribe you to future email updates when a new comment or commit occurs.

Stop watching a pull request

Commenting on, or approving a pull request will automatically add you as a watcher. We’ve also made it simple to stop following a pull request directly from your email notification – all pull request emails now include a single click “stop watching” link to help you declutter your inbox.

For existing pull requests we did not want to assume notification preferences. For any pull request created before today Bitbucket will follow the old notification rules, though you can now start or stop watching individually.

More to Come

This is the first major release in an ongoing project to overhaul notifications in Bitbucket. Over the coming weeks keep your eye out for HTML emails, a notification preference center, and other goodies to improve the way you interact with your team.


  • Posted February 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Really awesome addition to the site. Keep these great updates coming!

  • Posted February 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Reviewers is a G.R.E.A.T. addition. as the previous commented said – Keep those features rolling guys!

  • Panayiotis Lipiridis
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Pretty awesome regarding the notifications..!!! Next thing.. update your site icons to use a font icon instead.. 😉

  • Joby Walker
    Posted February 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Reviewers is a nice addition but it would be better if we could assign by team groups.

    • Hatem Nassrat
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      This would be really useful team:group … would be really really useful.

  • Rudolf Olah
    Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Cool stuff, definitely going to use it 😀

  • Anonymous
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Whatever you did, my inbox went from no pull request notifications to full of pull request notifications on repos I have only followed. Looking at the history, a ton of people are unfollowing tons of repos today as a result. I’m not sure this worked as you expected.

    • aroscoe
      Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Same here. I’m about to unfollow every repo.

  • Sasha Aickin
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    For my part, it would be much more pleasing if we could choose to only send PRs to named reviewers. Everyone in my org has write access to our main repo, so it seems like there’s no way to open a PR and not send it to everyone on the dev team.

  • Gergely Kurucz
    Posted March 27, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Nice additions! I think this caused a slight problem with services, they are not receiving pull request notifications at all. Ideally, there would a per repo notifications settings panel, where services would have their own section.

    Our use case is that we would love to use HipChat, IF the BitBucket integration would send every notification, not only commit related ones (as it is doing now).

  • Rajeevan Kumarathasan
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    This is really useful; Would be nice to limit the users to those do have access when we making pull request to private repo’s?

  • Hatem Nassrat
    Posted December 6, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Is there a way to add default reviewers to a repo?

  • Danny R
    Posted July 25, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    How to enforce approvals before merge PR, is there any setting in Bitbucket?