1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Social Networking in SharePoint Online Has Its Advantages

How to Take Advantage of Newsfeeds in SharePoint Online


Microsoft Corporation

Crowther & Carter/Getty Images

Giving Birth Brings Harmony to the Workplace:

Microsoft has made a timely step to advance social networking in SharePoint Online, since the upgrade of Office 365 and SharePoint Online services (See also: Microsoft Next-Generation 365).

From project teams to entire organizations, connecting people and sharing information are vital elements that can nurture a collaborative culture. If you’re a user, you may already see more choices to have interactive conversations in newsfeeds and team discussion boards.

Where team and group activities occur online, social networking in SharePoint Online has its advantages. Company announcements, team kudos, and an employee giving birth can bring harmony to the workplace.

Although conversations online may seem like extra work to log in to your company’s intranet, such as using SharePoint Online to do so--closely knit teams, spending many hours online, co-authoring documents and submitting project status updates on team sites are more likely to reap immediate benefits.

See also: Sharing Documents in SharePoint Online

Newsfeeds Expand Social Networks:

The newsfeed is a microblog to post and reply to others (see expanded description further on). The three types of newsfeeds in SharePoint Online are:

1. Company-wide Newsfeed - The company-wide newsfeed enables anyone in your company to post messages and comment.

2. Yammer Social Network - used in place of the company-wide newsfeed, Yammer is offered if your organization prefers to use it. Separate account credentials will be required to use Yammer until a future date in which Microsoft will provide single sign-on authentication. (For further information, see Pick Your Enterprise Social Network - Yammer or Newsfeed.)

Review also: Yammer for Enterprise Social Networking

3. Sites Newsfeed - post and comment on any number of sites, including team sites.

Here are some ways to utilize newsfeeds.

Newsfeeds Will Connect Users and Prompt Sharing:

Using newsfeeds for interactive conversations depends on your workflow. You will have suggested implementation notes that you will also want to consider.


Posts to the newsfeed are for inside your company. From the Newsfeed (on the top or left sidebar navigation), you can share with everyone or sites you’re following.

Actions You Can Perform on the Newsfeed

Step through this checklist to become familiar how to use the newsfeed:

[ ] Add people to a conversation using @mentions.

[ ] Include hash tags to start conversations and points of view; for example #Carpool. You can then filter a view of tagged conversations.

[ ] “Like” the posts, so you can follow up later on (via filtering, see below), and people can see your interests.

[ ] Copy and share links to conversations into other posts, in an email, or Word document to carry over to another conversation or to provide a frame of reference.

[ ] Follow up a conversation will automatically add it to a task.

[ ] Attach documents, pictures, or links elsewhere in SharePoint Online, like announcements.

Suggested implementation: It is probably best to establish a company-wide policy as to the types of information that may be posted in the newsfeed. For example, you may want to keep confidential topics in the Sites area where permissions can be created for specific groups, depending on your organization’s policies.

Sites Newsfeed

You can post the same kinds of information on various Sites newsfeeds, as described above (Newsfeed - Actions You Can Perform). First, access Sites from link at the top of the page.

Let’s assume you started a new team, department, or special purpose site like Company Suggestion Box.

You will want to share the site (from the top of the page) with others to contribute to the site. Share with all users, members of a specific access group, or individuals, and include an email message.

Note: You can also share the site with external users by default, but they will be required to have a Microsoft account (any other products like Outlook.com or Xbox Live) or Office 365 user ID (or this can be disabled in Service Settings).

People you’ve invited will follow the new site and receive updates of posts ongoing in their newsfeed (see above, Filter your Personal Newsfeed View).

You will be able to include people in your organization using @mention. For example, @JaneDoe will receive an email (and she can see in Mentions filter) containing a link reference to the conversation.

From your personal newsfeed, you can post to a team site you are following that contains a newsfeed. Note: The team sites newsfeed page is a different page than the personal newsfeed page.

Suggested implementation: Get familiar to set up your team site, and add customized features like apps that will add interest and support your team or group site needs.

How to Filter Your Personal Newsfeed Page View:

Get familiar with how to filter the view (display) of your personal newsfeed to show specific activity:

  • Following - people and sites you are following; for example, coworkers and sites
  • Everyone - posts in the newsfeed to everyone in your organization’s subscription plan
  • Mentions - @mentions when someone has included you in a conversation (take note!)
  • Activities - your activities in SharePoint Online; to help keep track of what you’ve done, similar to an audit trail
  • Likes - any likes you have acknowledged in conversations in the newsfeed, site discussions and blogs
  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. Collaboration Tools
  4. Group Collaboration
  5. Enterprise Social Networks
  6. Social Networking in SharePoint Online Has Its Advantages

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.