Switch User Focus to the New SharePoint-Powered Stream

Update the App Tile to Point to the New Stream

Message center notification MC381948 appeared on May 18, but I confess to not having paid much attention to it due to other more important topics. In any case, the notification informs tenants that they can configure the target for the Stream tile in the Office 365 app launcher to direct users to Stream powered by SharePoint rather than the classic Stream. Targeted release tenants should have the update now, with standard release tenants getting it in early July. By late August, all tenants should be able to update the app tile.

Classic Stream stores its video files in Azure blob storage. The plan of record is to move everything to SharePoint-based storage. Personal videos will be in OneDrive for Business while shared (group videos) will be in the document libraries of the SharePoint Online team sites belonging to Microsoft 365 groups (teams). Progression is already obvious as all newly-created Teams meeting recordings are now in the new location. Using SharePoint-based storage means that many features become available for videos, like the application of expiry dates for meeting recordings. In addition, OneDrive for Business offers a lot more storage quota for videos.

Migration a Work in Progress

The big piece of work remaining for Microsoft to do is the migration of old video content from classic Stream. The latest information is that Microsoft has the migration tool in private preview with some customers. Dates for when the migration tool will become generally available are unavailable.

Diverting the App Tile to the New Stream

In the interim, tenants might find it useful to divert users away from the old Stream and have them upload any new video content into OneDrive for Business. And that’s where MC381948 comes in. A new setting is available in the SharePoint admin center to control the behavior of the app tile for Stream. Three values are available

  • The default option is to Automatically switch to Stream (on SharePoint). Microsoft controls this option and will set it after the migration of existing Stream content is complete.
  • Stream (on SharePoint) directs users to the preview GUI for the new Stream. The user can switch to the classic Stream GUI if they want.
  • Stream (Classic) forces people to use the classic Stream GUI.

In Figure 1, I chose to switch to the new Stream. After saving the choice, it takes about ten minutes for the option to ripple across the tenant (and maybe a browser refresh, just in case).

Switching the Stream App Tile to use the New Stream
Figure 1: Switching the Stream App Tile to use the New Stream

In effect, the target URI for the app tile changes from https://web.microsoftstream.com/ to https://www.office.com/launch/stream. The new GUI (Figure 2) displays any video files found in the user’s OneDrive for Business plus any video attachments for Outlook messages. This ability to highlight video attachments leverages the new messages search vertical and highlights the role of the new Stream in managing video content stored anywhere in Microsoft 365 instead of just in a dedicated repository.

The New Stream UI
Figure 2: The New Stream UI

Feel the Power of an Updated App Tile

There’s not much more to say about the new option (nor any nuggets to glean from the Microsoft documentation). On the one hand, it makes sense to begin using the new video storage and management platform for new content. On the other hand, you can argue that it’s best to keep all video content in one place until the migration is ready. The fatal flaw in that argument is the storage of Teams meeting recordings in OneDrive for Business. I switched to embrace change. What will you do with your app tile?


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