Teams and “@-Less” Mentions

Type a Name and Teams Will Make it an @Mention

Office 365 Notification MC184810 brings the news that Teams will soon support something called an @-less mention. The text of the notification is terse and you might not quite understand exactly what Microsoft means by an @-less mention. Fortunately, Office 365 Roadmap item 52966 gives more detail:

Get someone’s attention in a channel conversation or a group chat with @-less mentions. Simply start typing a person’s name starting with a capital letter and select the right contact from the list of suggestions. They will receive a notification, which they can click to go directly into the point in the conversation where they were mentioned. “

When someone is @-mentioned, the message appears in their Activity Feed. If they have a busy Activity Feed, they can filter to find just the messages where they are mentioned.

Two Types of Mentions

Today, if you want to draw someone’s attention to a message in a personal chat or channel conversation, you must prefix their name with an @ sign. Teams then finds any matches in the membership list and suggests the people you might want to mention (Figure 1).

An @ mention in Teams
Figure 1: An @ mention in Teams

An @-less mention removes the need to type the @ sign as a prefix to someone’s name. Teams scans text as it is entered into the message box and looks for names (starting with a capital letter) that match names in the membership list. The capital letter is important because it tells Teams to check for a name. If you enter a member’s name in lowercase, Teams won’t suggest them as a mention. Figure 2 shows how things work.

Teams suggests a list of member names for an @-less mention
Figure 2: Teams suggests a list of member names for an @-less mention

In practice, the idea works pretty well. Sometimes the list of suggestions disappears before you have a chance to select a name, but that might be down to typing speed.

Microsoft says that they started to roll @-less mentions out at the start of July 2019 and will complete the deployment by the end of the month. So far, @-less mentions work in the desktop and browser client. The feature hasn’t shown up in a Teams mobile client (yet).

Need more information about how to use and manage Teams? It’s all in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.

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