Add Participants to Teams Group Chats with @Mentions

A new feature allows people to add participants to Teams group chats through @mentions in the compose box. It’s a nice feature that should have been there a long time ago. Microsoft says that adding new group chat participants this way saves a whole two clicks over the old way. Will those two clicks make any difference to you?

Teams Feedback Policy Controls the Suggest a Feature Option

A new setting in the Teams feedback policy controls the display of the Suggest a Feature option in the Teams help menu. It’s up to an organization to decide how they want users to communicate with Microsoft. The Teams feedback policy gives that control, if you want to use it.

How to Use (and Disable) the Teams Games for Work App

Microsoft has released the Teams Games for Work app to enterprise and education tenants. The intention is to bring people together through game play. The technology in the game isn’t very different to anything we’ve seen before and the games are OK, even if it’s slightly weird to play them in a Teams meeting. The question is, is an app like Games for Work needed? If not, it’s easy to block the app.

Teams Allows Users to Delete Chats

The Teams Delete chat option allows people to remove chats from their chat list. It’s a nice way to restore some order to a list that can be very cluttered with long-dead chats. Some subtle differences exist between leaving a chat and deleting a chat that you might need to explain to users before deploying the feature, which is controlled by a setting in the Teams messaging policy.

Creating a Teams Directory with PowerShell

Microsoft Teams doesn’t come with a Teams Directory, so it’s hard to know if a suitable team already exists when people ask for a new team. This fact contributions to teams sprawl where multiple teams exist to serve the same purpose. Teams sprawl creates an obstacle to effective collaboration and runs the danger that some important information is tucked away inside teams that no one ever goes near. Creating a Teams Directory helps team owners and users know what teams already exist inside a tenant. It’s an idea that just makes sense.

Microsoft Launching New Teams Webinars Experience

Message center notification MC454809 announces that Microsoft will deploy a new Teams Webinars experience to tenants at the end of November with worldwide availability complete in early December. The new Teams Webinars experience is based on customer feedback and addresses issues like branding, registration control, and scalability. A new Teams events policy is available to control who can create webinars.

Upgrade of Teams Policy Cmdlets Enables Use in Azure Automation

This article explains how to make Teams policy assignments using an Azure Automation runbook and some of the modernized cmdlets available in the Teams PowerShell module. Not everything worked as smoothly as we’d like, but like most PowerShell scenarios, there’s usually a workaround available to get the job done. It just needs to be found.

Outlook and Teams Premium Both Claim Sensitivity Label and Meeting Recap Features

The new Teams Premium product ($10/.user/month) and Outlook both claim that they will support sensitivity labels and a meeting recap. That’s confusing, especially if Outlook delivers the features at no cost. However, when you look into the matter a little deeper, it’s obvious that what Teams Premium will deliver is very different to what you can expect to see in Outlook. All of which proves why it’s important to read announcements carefully and put them into context with what you already know about how products work.

Assigning Permissions to Azure AD Apps to Use the Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module

Before an app or an Azure Automation account can use the Teams PowerShell cmdlets in a script or runbook, it must have the permission to act as an administrator. In this article, we cover how to assign the necessary role to a service principal.

Unread Only Toggle Available for Teams Activity Feed

Teams clients now have an unread only toggle for the activity feed. The toggle hides previously read notifications to highlight messages awaiting attention by the user. Apart from hiding work you’ve already done, the toggle might just surface some items you haven’t yet taken care of.

Sharing Excel Workbooks in Teams Meetings

Teams meeting participants can open Excel workbooks through the Share Tray and collaborate with everyone in the meeting through Excel Live. The new feature builds on several existing capabilities, including co-authoring and autosave for Office documents and it’s a useful addition to how people can work together during online meetings. The only thing to remember is that all the workbooks used by Excel Live need to be in OneDrive for Business, but that shouldn’t be a big issue.

Teams Adds Video Messages to Chats

Teams video messages are clips of up to 1 minute in length that can be sent in 1:1, group, and meeting chats. They’re a powerful way to deliver a message to chat participants, but they come with a downside in that support for eDiscovery is poor. But that’s not a reason to eschew their usage. Who doesn’t like receiving video messages from their closest friends?

Microsoft Brings Scheduled Send to Teams Chat

The Teams scheduled send feature allows users to set a time when Teams will deliver chat messages. The feature works for Teams enterprise and consumer users. It isn’t available for channel conversations. If you’re used to the delayed send feature in OWA and Outlook, you’ll know the value of being able to schedule a message to arrive at the most appropriate time!

End of the Road for Teams Linux Desktop Client

According to notifications sent by Microsoft to customers that have users of the Teams Linux client, Microsoft plans to retire the client in early December and replace it with a progressive web app (PWA). The news is not unexpected. The Teams Linux client has always lagged its Windows and macOS counterparts and was buggy to boot.

Microsoft Launches Expanded Reactions for Teams

Instead of being limited to five emojis to express reactions to Teams chat and channel messages, Microsoft is making over 800 emojis available as expanded reactions. Whether this will make any difference to the way anyone uses Teams is entirely personal. For me, I think I shall remain content by using the limited set available to date because it’s just too much hard work to choose from over 800 options.

Viva Engage Storyline Appears in Preview

Viva Engage Storyline is a new way of posting information to Yammer. Instead of posting to communities, people can post to their personal storyline, with the aim of fostering better communication and creating their personal brand. Storyline works in both the Viva Engage app in Teams and the traditional Yammer browser UI. It’s a nice way to post stuff when you don’t have a good home for the information, but I do have a nagging doubt that storyline is just another way to share information inside Microsoft 365, which is exactly what’s needed.

Teams Reactions Captured in Audit Records

Every time someone reacts to a message in a team chat or channel conversation, Teams captures an audit record and sends it to the Office 365 audit log. The Teams reactions audit records are an interesting source of information. In this article, we show how to use PowerShell to interpret the contents of the reactions, and how to use the data to find the underlying messages.

How to Restrict the Creation of Regular Microsoft Teams Channels

No Teams administration policy controls the creation of regular channels. Policies are there to control the creation of shared and private channels, but not the regular variety. Team owners can restrict creation on a team-by-team basis, but if organizations want to apply central control, they’ll need to do it with PowerShell.

Yammer Powers Viva Engage and Teams Q&A

Some recent announcements have shown Yammer’s new direction. The Communities app is now Viva Engage and Teams Meeting Q&A app is powered by Yammer. That’s all good because it negates some of the tension between Teams and Yammer in terms of positioning within Microsoft 365. The messages that make up Q&A in Teams meetings are captured for compliance purposes, and that’s also a good thing.

Start Teams Group Chats with Distribution Lists, Groups, and Tags

A new feature allows Teams users to start new group chats by adding participants from the membership of distribution lists, Microsoft 365 groups, or mail-enabled security groups. It’s a neat way to add up to 249 participants to a new group chat. And while we’re covering the topic of adding people to group chats, we also mention the oft-overlooked feature that allows Teams tags to be used for this purpose.

Report the Membership of Teams Private Channels

In this article, we explain how to create a report about the Teams private channels found in a tenant together with the members and owners of each channel. The PowerShell script is relatively straightforward and once the data is extracted from Teams, it can be sliced and diced in different ways.

Using the Get-AssociatedTeam Cmdlet to Report Team Memberships

The Get-AssociatedTeam cmdlet is part of V4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module. It reports the membership a user account has in teams, including where the account has direct membership of shared channels. The cmdlet makes it easy to generate a report of teams membership, and the PSWriteHTML module makes it easy to output nice PDF reports.

Populate the Membership of a Teams Shared Channel for All Users

This article explains how to populate the membership of a Teams shared channel using PowerShell. The idea is to create a shared channel that’s used for organization-wide communications, like a HR questions and answers channel. Alternatives like using a dynamic Azure AD group with a filter to find Teams users are also considered.

Using the Get-TeamAllChannel Cmdlet to Report Microsoft Teams Channels

Version 4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module includes the Get-TeamAllChannel cmdlet. As the name implies, the cmdlet returns details of all channels in a team (regular, private, and shared). To see what it does, we wrote a script to report all the channels in teams in a tenant.

Teams Native Files Policy Disables SharePoint and OneDrive Access

The Teams Files policy gives a way for administrators to control if users see the Teams Files tab in every channel and Teams chat, and if they can access OneDrive and SharePoint to upload files. The policy exists for organizations that have standardized on other file storage systems such as Box or Dropbox.

Microsoft Forces Backup Vendors and Customers Toward Teams Export API

In a July 12 announcement, Microsoft says that they will restrict the use of Exchange Web Services to access Teams message data from September 30. Microsoft wants customers to use the Teams Export API instead. All that’s fine, but it means that customers have to change their Teams backup product to one that uses the new API – and they’ll be charged for the privilege of using the Export API.

Teams Files Channel Tab Keeps Improving

Microsoft has improved the functionality of the Teams Files channel tab since its introduction. The most recent update adds SharePoint’s Grid View and Details pane, and the net effect is that the Files channel tab is now almost as functional as the SharePoint browser interface.

Teams to Auto-Terminate Stale Meetings After 10 Minutes

Stale Teams meetings have just one participant and last more than 10 minutes past the scheduled end time. Soon, Teams will end these meetings automatically. It’s a small but useful change that will prevent Teams meetings lingering on in cyberspace long after anything useful ceased happening in the gathering.

Viva Topics Stretches to Teams Chat

Two recent and useful enhancements for Viva Topics are rolling out to Microsoft 365 tenants. You can now include topic cards in Teams chat messages and knowledge managers can add external references (website links) to topic cards. Neither might seem terribly important, but both changes make Viva Topics more useful and usable.

Teams and its Unwanted SharePoint Online Channel Folders

Teams likes to control the channel folders it creates in SharePoint Online, which is why it removes the Delete and Move to options from the folder menu. But once Teams removes a channel permanently, shouldn’t it allow the SharePoint folder to be removed?

Disabling Chat Write Access in Teams Meetings for Anonymous Participants

A new feature allows administrators to block the ability of anonymous participants to send chats during Teams meetings. They can still read chats, but can’t send messages. Microsoft calls this write access to chat, which I guess it is. In other news, the new browser interface for Teams meetings is arriving in tenants and it’s much better than the old one.

How the Language for Teams Meeting Invitations is Set by Meeting Policy

A new setting in Teams meeting policies allows administrators to control the languages used to generate Teams meeting invitations. The policy setting takes precedence over the language used by the user who creates a new Teams meeting. You can select up to two languages.

Microsoft Stresses Software Dependencies for Teams Meeting Add-in

Message center notification MC392289 highlights the need to keep the .NET Framework and the Edge WebView2 components updated to make sure that the Teams meeting add-in works with “degradation.” No further information is offered as to why Microsoft needs to sound this warning several years after introducing the Teams meeting add-in.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Teams Meeting Lobby

It’s easy to create a Teams meeting from Outlook, but it’s also easy to create a Teams meeting in the wrong calendar. This can lead to the “message of doom” when you try to connect to the meeting and end up in the Teams meeting lobby with nowhere to go. Apart from being careful about which calendar a meeting is created in, it’s a good idea to add an organization logo to Teams meeting invites so that if you create the meeting when signed into the wrong organization, you’ll get a visual clue.

Microsoft Teams Launches Chat with Self Feature

Microsoft Teams users can use the chat with self feature to create a special chat designed to take notes and capture other information someone might want. It’s similar to features that exist in other messaging platforms, so it’s likely that the Teams chat with self capability will be well-accepted by users, especially those with secrets to share with themselves.

Don’t Give Up on Azure AD Guest Accounts

Despite the advent of shared channels in Teams and the wonders of Azure AD Direct Connect, the chances are that Azure AD B2B Collaboration (Azure AD guest accounts) will remain the predominant method for external collaboration for the immediate future. That’s not so bad, as long as you maintain good guest hygiene!

Microsoft to Close Teams Compliance Gap with Reactions

Microsoft will soon make an update available for Purview Premium eDiscovery to reveal Teams reactions to chats and channel conversations when investigators review the results of searches. The information comes from Teams rather than the compliance records stored in Exchange Online. The new feature isn’t coming to Standard eDiscovery.