What you need to know
- Microsoft Teams has a revamped channels experience.
- Channels in Teams were changed to increase engagement and to make channels more flexible.
- The update is available in both new and classic Teams.
Microsoft Teams has a new channel experience following a recent update. The changes are available in both the classic and new versions of Teams, and were made to make channels in Teams more engaging and flexible. Teams channels now have a new conversation view, the option to pop out a post into a separate window, and a handful of other improvements that should result in a better channels experience.
Channels make it easier to organize conversations by topic. They're a common feature within communication apps, though they work a bit differently in Teams than channels within Slack and other apps. In my experience, using Teams channels feels a bit more like posting a thread for discussion than a fluid chat about a certain topic. There are pros and cons to that setup, and the recent updates to Teams channels should make conversation flow more naturally.
Teams also gained a revamped compose box in its recent update that lets you add a subject and a variety of content. The information pane was revamped as well.
While only in public preview at the moment, enhanced in-channel search is here and makes it easier to find messages within a channel.
Why do Microsoft Teams channels look different?
So, why revamp channels? Microsoft outlined that the update makes channels "more engaging, expressive, and flexible." The company found that many users do not use channels to their full extend, and it hopes that the changes will help organizations get the most out of Teams.
"Channels make it possible for teams and workgroups of all sizes to collaborate in a dedicated virtual workspace organized by topic. Yet, our observations revealed that many customers were not using channels to their full capacity," explained Microsoft.
"In developing the new channels experience, we embraced customer feedback, user research input, and trends across communication platforms to transform channels and improve workgroup productivity."
While the following functionality didn't ship with the recent update to Teams, it will soon be possible to archive channels in Microsoft Teams. A Microsoft 365 Roadmap entry outlines the feature and lists a tentative release date of December 2023. That isn't a hard deadline, however, so we may have to wait a bit longer to archive channels in Teams.
Microsoft 365 Personal | From $70/year
Microsoft 365 Personal comes with the Office suite and 1TB of OneDrive storage. It allows you to work from several devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It also includes a long list of other apps and services, such as Editor, Microsoft Forms, and Microsoft Teams.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.