Chatting with Yourself Can be a Real Comfort
Announced in message center notification MC390416 (June 9, 2022), the Microsoft Teams chat with self capability is rolling out to tenants and should be fully deployed worldwide by late June. According to MC390416, “users will now be able to chat with themselves. All the same chat functionality that works for chatting with others will work for the individual chatting with themselves.”
Update (July 20): Microsoft says that the deployment of the Chat with Self feature is rolling out but won’t be complete until “late September.”
Microsoft 365 roadmap item 88066 solemnly tells us that the new feature allows users to “send themselves notes, messages, files and images/videos; helping them stay organized.” Microsoft 365 offers a plethora of applications wanting to help users to stay organized, including Tasks in Teams, Planner, To Do, Outlook Tasks, Outlook calendar boards, Project, OneNote, and so on. Chatting with yourself takes self-organization to a different plane.
People have sent messages to themselves as aide memoires for many years using SMS, emails, and just about every other messaging platform (here’s how Slack delivers the same kind of capability). I usually send myself an email using Outlook mobile when the need arises. The idea behind the “chat with self” feature is based on user experience and practice. Microsoft believes that people will use chat with self to make notes, list things they must do, and so on, or maybe just let off some steam about the latest mistake by co-workers/management/anyone else in a one-way conversation.
There have always been situations where someone ended up as the only person in a chat, such as when everyone else left a group chat. Many blogs are available to tell you how to create a chat with yourself by creating a meeting and using its chat. These are workarounds for what became an obvious gap for Microsoft to fill (), which is what they’ve now done.
Starting Chat with Self
To chat with themselves, a user starts a chat by entering their own name as the chat participant. Teams display a screen to recognize the special nature of the chat (Figure 1).
You can’t transform the special chat with self into a regular chat by adding more people to it, but you can create a Loop component in the chat and make it available by sharing the link to the loop file in OneDrive for Business to allow other people to open and interact with the component, which is what I did in with the Loop paragraph shown in Figure 2.
The LinkedIn tab opens your own LinkedIn profile, as you’d imagine. I guess that’s useful if you want to check what appears on your profile.
Other Lonely Chats
There’s not much else to say about chat with self, apart from the important note that you can only have one chat with yourself. You might also have other chats where only you are present, but these chats are different because they started off with multiple people and gradually reduced to just you because the other participants left the conversation in some manner (voluntarily, another participant removed them, or following the deletion of their account).
Teams marks chats with non-existent accounts as “Just me” (Figure 3) while the chat with yourself is marked with your name and (You) – in case you forget who you’re chatting with. Unlike regular chats, you can’t change the name of the chat with self or a Just me chat.
If you don’t want to use Chat with Self, unpin the entry from the Chats list and you won’t see it again unless you want to send yourself something. When you do, start a chat with your email address and Chat with Self will reappear.
Ready to Chat with Self
It’s a fair bet that the Teams chat with self feature will be popular with end users. After all, they can do the same kind of thing with other email and messaging applications, so why not with Teams? I don’t know if I’ll use it, but my self-focused chat is ready and willing to accept my deepest thoughts, so we shall see what happens in the future.
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