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Here’s a guide to the channel feature you will probably be using the most—messaging in the Posts tab.
The Microsoft Teams Chat is the one on the left sidebar of your Teams workspace. You can have one-on-one private chats or create group chats here, but the big drawback is that you’re pretty limited in what apps you can use, and the content of your group chat isn’t accessible to the whole team.
With channel messaging in Posts, however, you can add functions that make the workspace your own, and everything you share and collaborate on will be visible and accessible to the whole team whenever they need it. So you won’t have to endlessly forward messages and files from your private chats to other users.
|“Open forum” conversations||Structured conversations|
|Unthreaded, group chat format||Threaded, topic-based format|
|Reply in the general chat space only||Reply to an existing post or start a new thread|
Each channel’s message space is a focused group chat that everyone in the channel (and everyone on the team!) can use to:
There are 2 ways to create messages in the Posts tabs of your channels:
When you reply directly to a post made in your channel’s messages, you create a thread—a continuous conversation on a focused topic. As an admin, you want to make sure this is how your team members are using the Posts tab. By replying to an existing post instead of creating a new one, you and your employees can easily keep track of the conversation and any files shared in the thread.
The bottom toolbar of your post in progress has a lofty “Format” option that lets you customize your message and make it stand out in the group chat.
The “Format” function lets you:
If you want to make an announcement, you will get a banner and title for the post like the one above. Everyone in the channel will be notified when you post it (so we say save announcements for the really important group-wide notices).
And did you know that you can modify who can respond to a post right from the post itself? Hit “Everyone can reply” on the top toolbar of your compose box, and you can choose between:
The “Messaging extensions” menu in your compose box opens up a whole world of apps and tools that you can add to your message toolbar.
Want to send YouTube videos to your channel members? Add YouTube as an extension in seconds, and you can search for and embed full videos without leaving the group chat to search for them in your browser.
The app options are pretty extensive, and can really allow you to complete a ton of collaborative tasks right in the channel group chat. You can add tools that will:
Apps developed by Microsoft will have a “Microsoft Corporation” label, are included in your Microsoft 365 subscription, and do not require any extra sign-in actions. Simply hit “Add” and it will appear in your toolbar!
If you and your team use third-party productivity apps and you want to use it with your channel mates, you will all have to sign in to that app. Your channel members will get a prompt from that app in their private inbox, and once they sign in they can interact with the extension in the channel group chat.
The great thing about Perfect Wiki is that you and your members don’t have to sign in before using it. All you have to do is add it as a tab to any channel of your choice (yep, private channels too) and you can start collaborating with your team instantly.
To catch the attention of a specific person or a few people in a channel, type “@” and then their name as it’s displayed in Teams. They will get a notification regardless of whether they have that channel hidden or if they have notifications turned off.
If you have an announcement that you want to make to more than one channel, but not to EVERYONE on the team?
You can make a post to multiple channels at once. Here’s how:
All the channels that receive the post will be able to interact with it and respond.
FYI, you can also do this retroactively. Here’s how:
And after that, follow the same steps we outlined above for doing this from the compose box.
When you make a post to multiple channels, the responses don’t transfer. So you can really only cross-post a message or announcement on its own, but the response thread that comes from it stays bound to whatever channel it’s happening in.
Sometimes you end up working with a client or external user that can’t (or won’t) communicate with you in Microsoft Teams, and mostly uses email. But if most of your workflow happens in channels, it doesn’t make sense to forward emails to your team members and have them switch around between workspaces.
You can bridge that digital gap by getting a channel’s email. All you have to do is:
Using a channel’s email is also handy when you yourself have a thread or message in your email that you want a channel group to see.
The channel members will be able to respond to the email in the Posts tab of the channel, but those responses won’t be sent out as emails back to the sender. So it’s really just a way to get emails to your channel group since that’s where all the work is happening.
We hope you learned something new from this post! Share it with a colleague or on your social media platform if you know someone who uses Microsoft Teams channels.
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