1. You can find SharePoint News in the following places:
- The site where it has been published
- The site overview (click “See all” on the web part after publishing 5 articles)
- News digests (Newsletters), consisting of the above, gathered with previews in an email
- The SharePoint app
- “News from sites” on the SharePoint landing page
- All “News from sites” if you click the “See all” on the SharePoint landing page
To avoid a very long post, I have compiled some screenshots in this deck. You may want to watch it full-screen:
2. You will only see News articles to which you have access.
The News digest is an exception – it can be sent to you and you may not have access to one or more of the articles.
3. The SharePoint web part on the landing page can not be configured or removed.
So if anyone is posting News articles and you have access, you will see them there, whether you want it or not.
Our project was a first and we did not want to show the News to everyone just yet. That is why we made the News site and the News digest available to a limited group of people only, even thought the content was not confidential. We simply did not want to confront people with something new which may be there only once. (In theory 🙂 )
We received some comments of people in the target audience because it “obscured their view of the Frequent Sites”.
4. You can like a page and/or comment on it.
You will find the options at the bottom of the page. The author will receive an email now and then with the likes and comments. If you @mention someone, they will receive an email immediately. This is great for urgent remarks to the author, and also to inform a colleague about this article.
5. You can save a news article for later.
This will come in useful when you do not have time to read it now, or in case you will want to keep it. There are 3 ways to do that:
- At the bottom of the post you will see an option to “Save for later”.
- You can also click the label of any News article that you see on the “News from sites” overviews.
- In the SharePoint app you can click the … at the right of each article and select “Save for later”
There are 3 places to see your saved articles:
- On the News cards in “News from sites”, saved articles will show with a “filled” label as opposed to have the outline only (Is this proper English? 🙂 )
- On your SharePoint landing page, in the left-hand menu under “Saved”
- In the SharePoint app News, under Filter (on top) you can select the “Saved Items”.
I would have expected this to be on Delve, together with bookmarks. But no.
6 a. The SharePoint app (iOS and Android) is excellent for reading News.
The Newsfeed (in order of First Published Date) looks great and your saved items are available in a separate place. (Click the filter on top to see only the “Saved Items”)
You can easily read the News in public transport or in the evening on the sofa!
I often hear that people “do not have time to read the news during the day”.
I also heard a story from a bank that made the News available on smartphones (this was pre-SharePoint News and app) and they saw a massive spike in views around 8 pm, when people were ready to settle in for the evening. Apparently employees do not mind spending private time on work-related News, as long as they can consume it at a time that suits them.
6 b. The Android app is very sticky when it comes to post-publication changes.
Both iOS and Android are fast to show freshly published News articles. But while the iOS app is fast to respond to post-publication changes (e.g. items being renamed, edited, depublished or removed) the Android app is very slow and can take several hours to change. Some unpublished or deleted items never even go away, providing you with a 404 (not found) message when you click them.
Android phones and fast-moving news such as IT outages and their fixes are therefore not a good combination.
7. Make it a habit to click on the title to open a News article.
Clicking on the image in the News Digest will only show you the image. Everywhere else you can also click on the image. Weird.
8. You will get notifications of new News articles in the app.
This happens when someone you work with frequently posts a new article. This is determined by the Microsoft Graph (the machine that also provides you with suggestions of documents, sites and people) based on your interactions, so there is not much you can do about it 🙂
9. Alerts suck big time.
If you do not like to wait until you get a News digest or an app notification, you may think about setting an Alert. Please don’t – Alerts do not work.
Here’s what happens:
- If you set an Alert based on “All changes” you will get two Alerts – one with the raw URL and one with the title, content and metadata. After that, you will get notified of all changes, of course.
- If you set an Alert for “When new items are added” you get…nothing!
- Update January 2021: Power Automate has a good option these days. I have been using the template “Send a customized email when a new file is added” and that works well.
- Using a filtered view (Published items, “version contains .0”) did not solve the issue with Alerts or Flow. Besides, would any reader know that?
10. You can unlike a comment, but not news post.
Be careful with your likes on news posts: they stay there.
However, you can unlike a comment to a news post.