Microsoft wants to make business emails work more like messages on social networks. The company has announced it has started rolling out new features for Outlook web users with Office 365 business accounts that will allow users to 'Like" an email along with adding an @Mention option.
Microsoft described the new Facebook-style 'Like" feature:
"The new Like feature in Outlook on the web provides an easy way to visibly endorse a specific email and call it out as something worth attention—perhaps a statement or idea you support. To Like a message, simply click the thumbs-up icon in the reading pane. This turns the icon from gray to blue, notes within the email that you liked the message and adds a thumbs-up icon in the email list view. Anyone on the thread can Like a message, and their Likes are identified and captured within the message as well. If someone likes your email, you'll receive a notification letting you know."
Here's how the new Twitter-style @Mention feature works:
"To use Mentions, simply add the @ symbol in the body of an email. This will bring up your frequent contacts as well as access to your directory. Select the person you want to highlight, and they will automatically be added to the To: line if they were not already included. In addition, their name will be highlighted in the message in blue and they will receive an @ flag in their inbox view next to the message. Furthermore, they can sort by their @ messages to ensure they respond to all messages in which they were mentioned.
All Office 365 commercial customers should see the new Likes and Mentions features in Outlook on the web by mid-November. In addition, users of the revamped Outlook.com site should see the Mention feature added by December, and it will be added to the Office 2016 clients for Windows and Mac, along with the Outlook iOS and Android apps, in the first half of 2016.