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SharePoint Online Public News Feed Ending in June

Microsoft is planning to narrow options in June for Office 365 tenancies by effectively ending the "native" SharePoint Online public newsfeed that they may use.

The change will affect the "public newsfeed" used by organizations, which is also known as the "company feed." In June, the public newsfeed will become "read only" for organizations using it, which presumably means that it can be read, but not modified or updated. Instead, Microsoft wants organizations to use Team News, Communication Sites or Yammer feeds as their main means for company posts.

Team News should be used for broadcasting "key events and accomplishments" with members of a team, according to Microsoft. A Communication Site is for sharing "news, reports, statuses and other information." Yammer is a chat-based service for improving "engagement with everyone in your organization," according to Microsoft.

Here's how Bill Baer, senior product marketing manager for SharePoint, described the coming change in a Friday announcement:

Beginning in June 2018, the company feed will be set to read-only for existing Tenants and the option to implement the Newsfeed capability will be removed for new Office Tenants. For customers using the company feed we recommend considering options such as Team News, Communication Sites, and/or Yammer.

Yammer is now available as a new Web Part for SharePoint Online users. Microsoft announced last month that the Web Part option for Yammer had reached "general availability" status, meaning it's ready for use by organizations.

Baer clarified that the June change doesn't affect the Site Feed feature. SharePoint Server users also aren't affected yet as "this change is currently limited to SharePoint Online in Office 365," he added.

Microsoft lists its overall SharePoint Online social communication features in this TechNet document. The document, though, doesn't describe Team News, Communication Site or Yammer feeds.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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