Teams Everyone Mention Notifies All Chat Participants About Important Messages
Following on from the feature to allow users to add people to Teams group chats with an @mention (a feature due to appear in late December that seems to be delayed), Microsoft plans to add the @Everyone mention to allow participants in group and meeting chats to notify all participants about a message. According to message center notification MC485628 (15 December 2022, Microsoft 365 roadmap item 101573), Microsoft expects to roll out the feature in late January 2023 with completion due in late February. The feature will support desktop, iOS, and Android clients. There’s no mention about browser clients.
Using @Everyone is very simple. Type @ in the message compose box and Teams shows the list of people in the conversation plus the ability to use @Everyone or add someone to the chat (Figure 1).
Messages sent using @Everyone are flagged in the activity feed of all chat participants as “(User first name) mentioned Everyone” and show up in the chat with an Everyone: prefix and icon (Figure 2).
Users can control how Teams notifies them about @Everyone mentions through the Notifications section of Teams settings (Figure 3). The default is banner (pop-up notification) and (activity) feed, but you can turn the notifications off completely. I personally choose “only show in feed” for most Teams notifications.
Team and Channel Mentions
It’s surprising that Teams has taken so long to add the ability to notify all chat participants about important messages. After all, channel conversations can use both the special @Team and @Channel mentions to highlight messages to all team members and in a channel. In fact, for standard channels an @channel mention works the same as an @team mention because all team members can access any standard channel in a team.
Mentioning the channel rather than a team might be useful to highlight a subset of users who communicate through a specific channel, but all team members receive the notification in their activity feed if their team list exposes the channel. Teams suppresses notifications in the activity feed from teams in a user’s hidden list. Mentions for @team and @channel aren’t available in private channels but they are in shared channels.
Things to Understand About @Everyone Mentions
Logically, an @Everyone mention is useful only when more than two people are in a chat, so it’s unavailable for personal 1:1 chats. If more than fifty participants are in a chat, Teams alerts the sender that using @Everyone will generate many notifications. This is a gentle hint that maybe a more focused notification to a smaller set of people might work better.
Speaking of focus, if you include a specific mention of an individual in a message along with an @Everyone mention, Teams ignores the notification for @Everyone and only displays the individual mention in that user’s activity feed.
Not an Earthshattering Change
Like many Teams updates, being able to notify chat participants with a @Everyone mention won’t have much effect on how people work. It’s functionality that should have been available years ago, so from that perspective it’s good to see it show up now. I suspect that those who needed to highlight messages to co-workers in Teams chats figured out how to do this with specific @mentions by now. Having @Everyone makes it just a tad easier.
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