Chat Pinning Now Available
Due in tenants just about now (according to MC272167, published July 22), Teams users can pin a selected chat message to the top of a chat. According to Microsoft 365 roadmap item 82584, this capability will “drive awareness and provide the chat members with quick access to important content.” Given that many chats are filled with not-so-important content, pinning is a good way to highlight the most important issue in a conversation.
Teams supports pinning of important elements in other areas, such as pinning important chats in the chat list or channels in the channel list. This feature takes pinning down to the level of individual messages.
Update: Somewhat confusingly, Microsoft issued MC317764 on January 25 to say that they will begin to roll out chat pinning in mid-February 2022 with the aim of completing deployment at the end of February. As far as I can tell, the functionality described in MC317764 is the same as reported here. The same roadmap item (82584) applies.
Pinning a Chat
Any chat participant can pin a message to the top of the chat or unpin the pinned message if they don’t like it. Pinning works in chats with guests and external participants, but only a single message can be pinned. You can pin messages which include emoticons or GIFs but it’s best to restrict pinning to text-only messages as these messages display best. As you can see in Figure 1, a pinned chat appears at the top of the conversation. This example shows how to use pinning to remind chat participants about the purpose of the chat.
My personal use case for pinning is to remind myself and other chat participants when a conversation is under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). In other words, the information discussed in the chat can’t be revealed to others without permission. This often happens when I chat with Microsoft engineering contacts, as is the case in Figure 2. You can also see that I have given this chat a name, which helps to find the chat in the chat list.
Pinning works in meeting chats. However, you can’t pin a meeting recording or transcript. This is because these are meeting resources and not chat messages.
Anyone can Pin a Chat
The egalitarian nature of chats means that no one “owns” a chat, even the person who starts the conversation. Everyone in a chat has equal rights, so everyone can pin and unpin merrily and there’s no way to lock a pinned chat to stop someone else deciding that it’s not so important and unpinning the message.
Different Pinning in Meetings
Channel conversations also support pinning. However, unlike a chat, a channel contains multiple conversations (threads) composed of base topics and replies (messages). You can pin a base topic or a reply. In either case, Teams shows the pinned status of the message with an icon (Figure 3). Any team member (including guests) can pin as many messages as they want in a channel.
Unlike pinned chats, Teams doesn’t display pinned conversations at the top of the channel. Instead, pinned conversations appear in the channel’s information pane (Figure 4). Limited room is available to display pinned conversations, so the information pane features the two most recently pinned conversations.
nor is there any indication shown of who pinned or unpinned a message. Everything’s done on trust and hopefully people won’t fall out when someone unwittingly unpins a message someone else thinks is important. Teams doesn’t write events to the Office 365 audit log when users pin or unpin messages.
To Pin or Not to Pin
Some will never pin a chat or channel conversation. Others see great value in the feature. It all comes down to your personal Teams habits. I’ve found a way to use pinning for chats to highlight NDA discussions, but I’ve never used pinning for channel conversations. I guess I shall have to look harder.
This kind of information warrants just a few words in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. It’s still interesting, so that’s why we cover it here. Learn more about how Teams works by subscribing to Office 365 for IT Pros today!