Another occasion where SharePoint Holmes saved the day.
“I need to send out a News digest today for my colleague and she showed me how to do it, but it does not work for me” I heard on the other side of the Teams call. “It is our Christmas Newsletter and my colleague is already out for the holidays”.
Of course one calls the support desk rather than another colleague when this happens 😊. And as I was quite busy in the end-of-year period, I thought I’d call in SharePoint Holmes. Usually this was a quiet time for him and I expected that an interaction was welcome. Especially a “it does not work for me” as that can be really anything. So on went my sleuthing hat!
We shared screens. She opened the site where the News was published, and showed me the items that needed to go into the Christmas digest.
I noticed there was a “See All” link top right, so apparently the web part was configured correctly, and more than 5 items were published. That was not the problem.
She clicked on “See All” and the next page opened.
Hmmm, there were no “Manage Posts” and “Email a News digest” links. A page refresh did not help. That was strange.
I looked at one of my own sites and compared it to hers. I asked her to go back to the Homepage. There were no options to add News or something else. (as in the first screenshot in this post) I asked her to click on the Gear Wheel. That showed only a very small menu.
Ah, I got it. Permissions!
In my admin role, I checked permissions for the site in question. And as I expected, she was a Site Visitor, not a member.
You can only create a News digest when you have permissions to add a new Page to the Site Pages library, and add images to the Assets library. It is in the Microsoft support, by the way, but I only learned that later.
Due to the absence of any other Site Owners, I made her a Member and sent a note to the Site Owner that I had given her more permissions in order to create a News digest. I hoped the Site Owner would remember that for next time… I stayed in the meeting and looked while she created the News Digest. After a page refresh the permissions were OK and she knew what to do.
SharePoint Holmes saved Christmas! 🌲😁
Happy holidays for all my blog readers. All the best for 2023!
About SharePoint Holmes: Part of my role was solving user issues. Sometimes they are so common that I had a standard response, but sometimes I needed to do some sleuthing to understand and solve it. As many of my readers are in a similar position, I thought I’d introduce SharePoint Holmes, SharePoint investigator, who will go through a few cases while working out loud.
Since a few weeks I am also on Mastodon (@email@example.com) and there I happened upon this question from @almostwitty:
“Does anyone know how to manage the SharePoint “News you might have missed” feature? Some people aren’t getting them and I have no idea why…”
I thought that was a great question, so I started investigating, including the regular News Digest option as well, since issues can occur there too. I focused on technical/functional reasons, reading “not getting them” as “not receiving them in their mailbox” rather than not understanding what they are about. (But there’s an explanation on how it works from Microsoft in this post as well!)
There are three levels where email newsletters can go wrong: organizational (because of settings or email issues), sender or recipient issues or actions. In the case of organizational issues, most likely the whole organization, or a specific part of it (e.g. a specific email domain or location), will not have receive the digest. In case of individuals who have not received it, the issue is harder to identify and solve.
A. Regular News Digest
This is a newsletter with a hand-picked selection of news, sent by a site owner (sender) to an email list or group of colleagues (recipients). You may want to check my earlier post “10 things to know about the SharePoint News digest” Always think carefully before you decide to send a News digest – not everyone likes to receive “even more stuff to read” from their organization!
In the following cases someone or more people may not receive it:
1. Organization: There has been an email glitch in your organizations Outlook/Exchange
Check with your Microsoft365 admins if this is the case. The glitch can affect all your organization, or parts of it, e.g. with a different email address.
2. Sender: You have exceeded the Outlook sending limitations
Check the sending limitations here. E.g. you have sent your newsletter to more than 500 people, of you have sent too many emails in one day. The limits appear to be lower for people who have been in the organization shortly and have no reliable reputation yet. Solutions may be to send the newsletter in smaller batches, to use organization-wide groups instead of individuals (any group that is in your Company Directory), or to send the newsletter from a different email address. (e.g. a department mailbox rather than your personal email)
3. Sender: you have more than 256 characters in your subject line
This has happened to me when I first sent some digests, because I sent it to a lot of people who had never had any interaction with me.
Please inform colleagues that you are starting an email newsletter, monitor delivery of your first digest, train your colleagues how to add senders of in-company newsletters to their safe senders and ask them to check their Junk Email folder on a regular basis. It can also help to send the digest not from your personal email, but from an organizational account, e.g. Communications, or Department XYZ.
5. Recipient: Has deliberately blocked your email address, reported earlier newsletters as Junk and/or has set a Rule to send your mails to the Deleted Items
While option 4 is more or less an accident, this one is a deliberate action. There is no “Unsubscribe” option for SharePoint News digests, so every employee who is not happy to receive and read your mail will find ways to avoid it. Your digest will probably be in their Junk Email or Deleted Items.
It may be good to inform colleagues about the benefits of the News digests. Additionally you could train them how to add senders of in-company newsletters to their safe senders and to to check their Junk Email folder on a regular basis.
6. Recipient has accidentally deleted or archived the mail
Sometimes I do that too – I delete something by simply pressing the wrong button, swiping the wrong way, etc. Sometimes it is because I am interrupted while reading email, sometimes I decide too fast that this is not interesting, it can be anything really, and nothing personal! 😊
The email may be in the Deleted Items or in the Archive.
7. Recipient’s mailbox is full
Especially when your organization has many F3-licenses, it may happen that their mailbox (only 2 GB) is full and can no longer receive emails, even though the News digest is a small email in size. Check out the Quirks of the F3 license.
There’s not much you can do there. The recipient will have received one or more warnings to clean up their mailbox.
B. News you might have missed:
This is an automated digest of items that you have access to, may be relevant for you (according to the Microsoft Graph) but have not read yet. More info from Microsoft.
In this case, there are only organizational or recipient issues. People may not receive this for the following reasons:
8. Organization: it has been disabled on organizational level
Microsoft provides information on how to do that. You may want to discuss with the Microsoft365 admins (and others involved) to turn it on again, because there may have been a good reason to disable the functionality.
9. Organization: There has been an email glitch in your organizations Outlook/Exchange
(Similar to 1.) Check with your Microsoft365 admins if this is the case. The glitch can affect all your organization, or parts of it, e.g. with a different email address.
10. Recipient: There is no news that they have missed
They may have read all there is to read. That may be because they have been a colleague for only a short time and does not have access to many sites yet.
11. Recipients have turned off their subscription in the email or on their SharePoint page
This is ON by default. At the bottom of the email there is a link called “Notification settings” that takes you to a page in the SharePoint homepage where you can disable this digest.
You can also do this from the SharePoint home page by clicking the gear wheel > Email notification settings.
In both cases, you will go to the below page where you can toggle off the button at the bottom.
12. Recipient: Has deliberately blocked firstname.lastname@example.org, reported earlier digests as Junk and/or has set a Rule to send mails from this sender to the Deleted Items
(Similar to 5.) This is a deliberate action. The digest will probably be in their Junk Email or Deleted Items.
You may want to inform users that blocking email@example.com is not a good idea, as they will also not receive other mails about their SharePoint sites and documents. (e.g. auto-deletion of Teams recordings) Creating awareness about this email may be good idea, as is teaching them how to disable the “News you might have missed” email instead, as explained in 11, if they really do not want it.
13. Recipient has accidentally deleted or archived the mail
(Similar to 6.)
The email may be in the Deleted Items or in the Archive. Again, creating awareness about this email may be a good idea, and you may also want to teach them how to disable it properly if they do not want to receive it.
14. Recipient’s mailbox is full
(Similar to 7). The mailbox of F3-licensed users (only 2 GB) may be full and can no longer receive emails, even though this is a small email in size. Check out the Quirks of the F3 license.
There’s not much you can do there. The recipient will have received one or more warnings to clean up their mailbox.
There are many reasons why someone does not receive a SharePoint News digest or a “News you might have missed” digest. The reasons can be on organization, sender and recipient level, and may be deliberate or accidental. That makes it hard to troubleshoot, but I hope I given you a few ideas to start with. Good luck!
In-person conferences are back! And while we all managed to attend a lot of conferences online with very few issues, it is great to be able to meet face-to-face again, get swag and rejoice or complain about the catering! 😁
A few months before the pandemic I wrote a post about using OneNote to capture screenshots of presentations. When you do not want to wait until the slides become officially available, you can quickly grab screens and add them to your notes, provided you have two devices. You can also use this at online meetings of course – just take a picture from your computer screen.
Most organizations will have been working with Teams for about two years now. There was an explosion of usage early in the pandemic in March/April 2020. I remember getting tons of requests for new Teams, as many people thought you need a Team site for chatting and conferencing. 😒
Many of these Team sites have never been used, at least not in my organization. Of course, the Microsoft365 admin has a role in deleting obviously unused Teams, but that is not sufficient. Team Owners and users have their own responsibility in making sure they are in the right Teams, but I know very well that not everyone has, or wants to spend, the time to do a good review and cleanup. And sometimes they do not even know how to go about it! (The psychiatrists and therapists I worked with, were not all very digitally savvy)
So, in order to avoid confusion and mess in your colleagues’ Teams setup, and colleagues complaining that “their Teams is a mess and that is Microsoft’s fault”, please help them checking their Teams on a regular basis. There are many ways that you can make Teams work for you if only you spend some time on it.
I have created a simple housekeeping flowchart. I love flowcharts and it was a good way to test-drive Visio Online! The functionality is great, but I miss the “arrange nicely” option that is in the desktop version, so please forgive me if things are a bit askew. 😊
Underneath the flowchart you will find a more elaborate description with texts and screenshots.
Feel free to use this flowchart with your audience.
You will find some more detailed instructions and screenshots below.
Step 1: Review the Teams that you are a member of
You will find all your Teams in the left-hand rail of Teams. You can manage most Team-level actions by clicking the … next to the Teams name and selecting the desired action from the popup.
Is the Team still in use?
For each Team, first check if it is still in use. If not, you can Leave the Team and it will no longer be in your list. If you are the Owner of the Team, please Delete the Team, except when the Team has Private or Shared channels. In that case, please check with the owner and users of those channels, as those are managed differently than the regular channels.
Update 16-11-2022: You can also Archive the Team and make it read-only. This can be an intermediate solution when you want to keep the info from an important project for some time, or when someone is afraid to delete the Team altogether. My personal experience is that nobody ever looks at an Archive, so you may as well just delete the Team, but not everybody knows that yet 😁. Instructions for archiving. Thanks to Thierry Barthel for pointing this out.
Do you still need to be a member?
❌ If you have changed jobs since you were added to this Team, you may no longer need this. Or perhaps the project in this Team has been completed or stopped, or any other change may have occurred that makes this Team no longer relevant for you. If you do not need to be in this Team anymore, Leave the Team.
❓ If you do not know, you can Hide it. The Team will then be moved to the bottom of the list of Teams, under Hidden Teams. You can occasionally check if something has happened by clicking on the Hidden Teams and checking the Team. If the Team is useful after all, you can unhide it by clicking … next to the Team’s name and selecting “Show” from the popup.
Alternatively, you can keep it where it is and check now and then whether you still need this. It may be a good idea to collapse the channels so you only see the Team’s name. You do this by clicking the little triangle to the left of the Team’s name. To reverse this, click the triangle again.
✅ If this Team is still relevant for you, please check the channels as in Step 2. If you have many Teams, you can drag the most important Team(s) to the top of the list by selecting the Team name. By default, they are sorted in order of creation.
Step 2. Review the channels in the remaining Teams
If you are certain this Team is important for you, check each channel in this Team. You cannot leave a channel, but you can hide it to make it less visible (except the General channel). It is also possible to mute notifications.
You can manage most channel-related actions by clicking the … next to the channel name and selecting the desired action from the popup.
You will have the following options:
❌The channel is not important Please Hide it. Once there is a new message, the channel name will show in bold letters, but if you have hidden the channel, you will not see that until you click on “Hidden channels”. You can also decide to turn off notifications.
❓You do not know yet whether this is an important channel. Just leave it there until you know. You can also Hide it to see if you are missing something and decide to turn off notifications.
✅The channel is important. Make sure you can easily find it and get notified whenever something happens in the channel. You can Pin it to the top of your Teams list so you can quickly find it.
With the Notifications you can make sure you will quickly know when something has been added or you have been mentioned. You will set notifications for all your Teams and channels in your Teams settings, (click the … top right of your Teams app, next to your name, and select Settings > Notifications) There are quite a lot of options so please check it out yourself. You can deviate per channel where necessary by using the Channel notifications in the channel actions popup.
Hopefully this is a good first step for most colleagues! You may want to remind them once a year that they should spend some time reviewing – once Teams have been set up properly, it will most likely only need a small revision.
Of course, we all knew that Office365 would be renamed/rebranded into Microsoft365, but not when it would happen exactly. To be honest, I had forgotten a bit about it, thinking that Microsoft365 was the subscription to Office365 + additional enterprise functionality. At Microsoft Ignite 2022 we learned that it will happen, and soon – from November 2022 onwards! Read more: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-365-faqs
I noticed the announcement on my Microsoft365/Office365 homepage, and as I have had many new followers recently, I thought it might be nice to share my collection of Homepages over the years so they can see how this page has developed. Enjoy the nostalgia! 😁
Over time I have captured the various appearances of the Office365/Microsoft365 Homepage. As you may know, I quite like this page as the page where I start work.
That page is updated quite frequently, and I keep all versions in this post. Please scroll down and get some nostalgic feelings. 🙂
Update October 2022 👇
As announced during Microsoft Ignite 2022, Office365 will be renamed Microsoft365. We knew this for more than a year, but it was unclear how exactly and when this would happen. Now we know: “In the coming months, Office.com, the Office mobile app, and the Office app for Windows will become the Microsoft 365 app, with a new icon, a new look, and even more features.” This will start from November 2022. Microsoft FAQ.
The announcement is on the homepage now. And compared to the December 2021 update, I now have recommended posts, and colourful…
Access is a desktop app, while F3 users only have web apps.
Employees with a F3 license can view videos in Stream, but not create/add them.
And the Delve app is not visible for them, although there is a workaround.
Hands up anyone who does NOT have an important business process built in MS Access, which has been running for years and years and the person who knew all about it, has left, so suddenly IT has to maintain it. And of course there is no documentation. And databases are notoriously large, resource-heavy and non-collaborative.
I do not hear much about new Access applications, because Power Apps + Dataverse are taking over this role. Switching from Access to a new solution is not always easy (no documentation often means that all requirements need to be re-invented and data migrated), so I do not expect Access to be phased out quickly, but I would not be surprised if that is on the horizon.
I have wondered earlier if Delve would be with us to stay, as so many functions are now elsewhere in the suite. Functionalities from Delve are incorporated into
Outlook (contact details, organigram)
Calendar (Boards, where you can create more than just boards of documents)
SharePoint (Saved for later)
Search (MC 320462 is rolling out – When people click on people suggestions in the search box and a results page with documents they are working on and the searcher has access to, will come up – prepare for havoc! 😊)
We know Stream technology is being incorporated in SharePoint – I wrote a number of posts about the topic recently. Although this change will bring a lot of migration work for support folks, it means that videos can now benefit from all the document management capabilities in SharePoint. Good!
It also means that F3-licensed users can freely create videos, as long as their OneDrive has sufficient storage space or they have access to a SharePoint site. Nice!
I am not sure if the tile will go away or that it will only be used to go to your video landing page on SharePoint.
If my hunch is correct, there will be no more dark red apps in the Office suite, over time. Having a few tiles less would not be a bad idea. At my most recent organization, many people were confused by the (too) many Office365 tools they had at their disposal.
My blog is not a really suitable medium, because I can not tag each video individually.
I have decided to stick to List.ly. The majority of my videos lived there already and the pricing is also better than Scoop.it. Unfortunately I can only add 7 tags max. per video. In some cases I would like to use more.
Year of upload
Country of origin
Type of organization
Type of video (teaser, demo or people/talking head are the main types)
Additional tags such as “SharePoint” or “Yammer”, “Powtoon” (animation tool), “Animation”, or other when applicable.
One respondent asked if I could also add tags like “high/low budget” but as I do not own the videos, I do not know.
You can filter for specific videos, such as by year, language or a certain organization type.
Between the introduction text and the first video you will see a small button called “Filter”. Click on it and all tags will show (scroll to see more). Clicking on a tag will provide a list with the items that have that tag.
I mainly share videos from YouTube and Vimeo. I embed them from their original location, which means I do not own them. If the owner of the video deleted the video, or makes it private, it is no longer in my collection. There will no longer be a play button, or you will see a message such as “this video does not exist” or “Enter password”. Please let me know if you see one. Additionally, some owners decide they do not want their videos to be embedded, in that case I need to find other ways to make it available with a nice thumbnail. Those videos will look slightly smaller in the collection.
Create an account
Recently, both platforms have added an additional tag to mark whether a video is for children or not. This has an influence on my collection.
If a You Tube video is meant for children it can not be added to Watch Later or playlists. This is only annoying for me 🙂
Vimeo does not tag by default, and if it is not tagged (“Rated”) you can only watch videos if you are logged in to Vimeo. So, please create a (free) account for Vimeo, log in and then check my collection.
What’s in it for you?
Inspiration: see real-life designs, in SharePoint but also other platforms, or learn how other people “market” their intranet
For consultants: refer your clients to my collection
I am currently working on
adding my backlog (including the videos that I shared through my blog)
removing references to videos that have been deleted by their owners
working on a better naming convention for the organization type tag
creating a presentation about my collection. Let me know if you are interested.
I will also share interesting finds regularly in this blog, and see if I can capture more lessons from the various subcollections.
Redirecting the Stream tile to Stream (on SharePoint) will roll out to standard release tenants from now.
Office365 support folks may ask themselves what to do – enable it now or wait until more is known? Please note Stream will only be decommissioned when the functionality in SharePoint is comparable to Stream now – which is not the case at the moment. I expect you will have a year at the very least.
I have done some experiments in the last few weeks (June 2022), to give you a better idea of the current consequences of this change, and this is my advice:
Is Stream new for (or not yet used by) your organization? Redirect the tile as soon as possible, and instruct everyone in the new ways of working (video creation and storage, web parts etc.) via SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams.
Is Stream an important app for your organization? E.g. you have created a video portal? Wait until more is known. At the moment there are quite some functionality gaps, although these are being addressed as we speak.
You may want to do some pre-work such as checking out how many videos you have, which department is the most active, and which sites would be the receptors for videos migrated from Stream. Housekeeping could also be a good idea, if you own many videos.
You could also start instructing people where to create new videos and how to embed videos on pages, how to manage video in SharePoint etc.
Do you have an idea about how to approach the migration project when it is time? You may want to think about that now as well.
Do you have a few active pockets of video on Stream, and the number of likes, views and comments are not very important for the owners? Suggest a manual migration (download from Stream to PC and upload to SharePoint) to the owners, which will reduce the complexity of your migration project later, by doing a few things now.
I have written a few posts to help you with each of these scenarios:
What experiments have I done?
I have redirected my Stream tile in Office365 to Stream (on SharePoint). I found that this redirects to a new page in SharePoint, comparable to the Office365 homepage, where you can see all videos on OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint you have access to. Videos that are in Stream stay there and will eventually be deleted. This means any video on Stream that you want to keep, needs to be migrated by you.
This means you suddenly have a migration project. Although I expect it will be some time before Stream gets decommissioned, it will take thought, preparation, communication and other work. I have a few suggestions for that project.
Do you have Stream videos embedded on your SharePoint intranet and other pages? You will need to change web parts and link to videos in SharePoint. I checked which web parts are best:
Highlighted Content for videos from one site
Quick Links for a hand-picked selection of videos
File Viewer for a single video, illustrating a News post
As video is treated as a document, I have also checked if the Document Library web part would be a good web part to display video, as you can configure it more than the Highlighted Content. However, it is a lot of extra work and it is not better than the Stream or Highlighted Content web parts.
Do your colleagues use Stream (desktop or app) to create video’s? You may want to wean them off and suggest another app from the Office365 suite. These are my recommendations:
the OneDrive mobile app for their impromptu and personal videos
a recorded meeting on Teams desktop for more official videos, such as instructions or speeches.
When you have access to the SharePoint Admin and Message centers, you can see some improvements for Stream being planned, e.g. inline playing in the Hero web part.
I hope I have saved you some time by doing and sharing my experiments. If anything new pops up, like further improvements to Stream (on SharePoint) I may create a new post.
I was curious to learn what you can do with the document library web part for this purpose, knowing that the recommended Highlighted Content web part lacks some functionality compared to the Stream web part. I also liked the Card view for the Document Library, so I wanted to check what it can do. Not just because I like playing around with these things, but also so you, Office365 support person, does not have to do it yourself! You are already busy enough. So the question is:
Can the Document Library web part show videos in a way that is closer to the Stream web part?
What are we aiming for?
As a reminder, this is a Stream web part for multiple videos. You see thumbnail, title, # views and #likes.
And this is the web part for Highlighted Content, displaying Stream (on SharePoint) videos. You see thumbnail, title, uploader, date.
So, how do we go about when we want to tweak the Document Library web part? This is the basic display, using a card view – more about that later. You see the thumbnail, name (with extension), Modified by and Modified date. Almost the same as the Highlighted Content, but less compact.
So, can we tweak the Document Library web part to be more like Stream? And if yes, how?
1. Add Title column to the All Documents view
The Document Library web part displays the file name, with an extension. If this does not bother your audience, you can skip this item. If you want to display the title, you need to add the Title column to your All documents view. In most cases you will need to manually add the titles to your videos. This is work, but it will give you the opportunity to use a better title than the file name. Do not remove the Name (linked to document with edit menu) column because you may need it to make individual adjustments. Please note the Title column does not show in bold. This makes it slightly harder to notice than the Name column.
2. Create a Tiles view
In your document library you will need a view in Tiles mode before you can create Cards. So, first of all, save your standard All Documents list view again as “Page View” and then save it again as Tiles. This will be the view to add to the page, after some configuration.
If you want to display other columns in your Page view, please add them now.
3. Use different views
You now have the following views:
All Documents for maintenance, adding columns etc.,
Page View to display on your page.
Make sure you know what’s what and do not delete either. You can create other views if needed.
4. Configure Cards
You can only configure Cards in the document library itself, not on the web page. So go to your document library, open the Page View and select “Format current view” from the bottom of the view menu. (see screenshot above)
Then click on “Edit card” and the Card view will pop up with options to change it.
You can select which columns to show, and decide if you want people’s pics or not. You can also decide if you want to show the column names. They can provide extra information, but take up vertical space, so it is up to you to see what works best.
Below an example without the column names and the Modified By (as this is often not relevant), but with an extra choice column called “Topic”.
5. Showing the number of Views 😒
I know you want to see what the end product looks like on a page, but we are not there yet! I have tried to find a way to easily show Views and Likes, as they are shown together with every Stream video.
Unfortunately I could not make the Views visible on the Card. The number of views are not stored in a column. The only way you can see how many hits this video has had is in the document library itself. Select a video (1), click the “document details” icon (2) and you can see the number of views in the popup. (3) 😒
You can not make this visible on the page, not even when you have enabled the command bar.
6. Showing the number of Likes 😒
Another thing I want to show is the number of likes. I know there is a Rating option in document libraries, so I checked out this post from Gregory Zelfond to see how I enable that again.
I did not see the Rating option in my document library and in the video Greg confirms my suspicion that this is only available in Team sites. But my Intranet site is a Communication site, obviously, and it makes much more sense to me to have a rating option in a large-audience Communication site than in a limited-access Team site!
So, just for the sake of it, I replicated my video library in a Team site and enabled the Ratings.
With Likes it looks like this:
And with Star ratings it looks like this:
Well, that looks cool, huh?
It does, BUT you can not click on the heart or the stars to give your feedback – you can only do that in the list view in the document library itself…
7. Showing the number of Comments 😒
This is not available on the Stream (Classic) web part, but you can see it in the Stream (Classic) portal and on every video page.
I checked if there is a column that shows comments, to add to the Card. Indeed, in the View configuration there is a column called Comment count but it does not get added to the View when you select it. (Number of) Comments are only visible when you open the video.
8. Configuring the page
Now it is time to add the web part to the page. I used the following setup for the web part:
One column with the Document Library web part
Hide the command bar
Show “See all” button
And this is the best I could do (in a Team site)
The Document Library web part is a little more flexible than the Highlighted Content web part, so you can vary in what you show on your SharePoint page. It takes some work to make it ready (you need to create and configure an extra view at least). It does not show exactly like the Stream web part, so if you are looking for views, likes and comments we will have to wait until Microsoft comes up with a web part more like Stream.
There will be a SharePoint video collections page for Teams, that may do the trick. I have not seen that yet. More information here, please scroll to “In development – Release June 2022” for the announcement.
In any case I enjoyed myself with all the investigative work!
This Stream project is a gift that keeps on giving. There are so many things I want to find out and write about! Not just for myself, but especially for you, to help you understand what this change will mean.
This change also means that you will have to change the ways your colleagues create videos. I do not know if many people in your organization are using Stream right now, but even if they don’t, you may want to create a campaign on video creation, as video is an important medium and it may be a good idea to increase the creation and usage of it in your organization.
My goal for this post is to help Office365 support folks guide their colleagues in a simple way to other video tools. “Please no longer use Stream, use …”
I have reviewed the options.
Where can you create videos in Office365?
Stream Classic (desktop and app – please note F3-licensed users can only view, not add!)
Teams (desktop and app)
At this moment the Office mobile app does not support creating videos, but I have just learned this will be added in future as the Office mobile app is very much focused on documents. You will be able to create 90 second videos with annotations.
Stream (Classic) – desktop
You can record a screen or a video with your web cam. (Instructions from Microsoft) You can trim the video, but it can only be 15 minutes max.
👍 Trimming options
👍 Stable image as this is usually done from laptop
👎 Max. 15 minutes
👎Type of videos is limited to web cam options or screensharing
👎 Created and saved in Stream which is Office365 but an app that will be discontinued, so you will have to move it to SharePoint
Stream (Classic) – app
The Stream mobile app is a bit more flexible than the desktop version. There is no time limit, and you can use the smartphone camera.
At this moment, it is not possible to trim or edit your video in Teams or SharePoint. You need to download your video, upload it to Stream, trim and then download and upload to SharePoint. I hope that this will be available on the other apps shortly!
👍 Created and saved in Office365 (OneDrive > Recordings folders or in a Teams channel)
👍 Stable image as this is usually done from laptop
👎 No trimming options, so the video generally starts with the standard Teams meeting screen
👎 No effect options
👎 Type of videos is limited to web cam options or screensharing
👎 You need to start a meeting first and then push the record button
Teams – app
The Teams app uses your camera phone, so you are more flexible when it comes to the topic of your recording. You can use the options from the desktop, but also flip the camera from self-view to world-view. Instructions from Microsoft
👍 Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera
👍 Created and saved in Office365 (OneDrive > Recordings folder or in a Teams channel)
👎 No trimming options, so you start with the standard Teams meeting screen
👎 No effect options
👎 You need to start a meeting first and then push the record button
👎 Video quality is not so good
👎 You need to give your microphone access to Teams – if you forget this there will be no sound, as in this example:
OneDrive – app
The OneDrive app allows you to record audio or video with your regular phone camera. You are very flexible. You can flip the camera from self-view to world-view. Your video is saved in your OneDrive (root folder) and can not be edited. You can move it from there to a suitable SharePoint/Teams site for sharing. (Moving deletes it from your personal OneDrive).
👍 Automatic upload to Office365 (OneDrive root folder)
👍 Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera
👍 Quick to start, compared to Teams
👍 Good video quality
👎 No trimming options
👎 No editing options
The Yammer app also works with your phone camera. Just click the “new message” button
You can use self-view and world view, and add texts, emoji etc but it is displayed vertically, even if you film horizontally. Check out the example below. You can create a video from your feed, a community or your inbox, and the end result is stored in Yammer. The resulting message (=video + other info) can be moved to another community, but not to SharePoint, so you will have to download the video to PC and upload it to SharePoint. It is also not shown on the Stream (on SharePoint) landing page. I expect that with native Yammer (which I am not using at the moment) you will be able to move it to another SharePoint site.
👍 Automatic upload to Office365 (Yammer)
👍 Effect options (texts, emoji etc.)
👍 Quick to start – just open Yammer and create new message
👍Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera
👎 Needs downloading to share outside of Yammer (when using New Yammer in any case)
👎 No trimming or editing
👎 Effect options are shown vertically, even when you film horizontally
👎 Video quality is better than Teams, less than OneDrive
You can also use your phone camera to create a video and then upload it to OneDrive or SharePoint/Teams. I have not made an example as most people will know how this works. It takes discipline to upload work videos to Office365 and delete them from personal records. If you think this is a challenge for your employees, you’d better teach them using the OneDrive app as the preferred option.
👍 Editing options including trimming, colours, filters, formatting
👍 Quick to start
👍 Good video quality
👎 Needs discipline to remove video (if it is a private device) after upload to Office365
Recommendation: Teams desktop or OneDrive mobile app
Stream will go away, so you will have to use another way to create videos in your organization.
In my opinion, the most useful options are
Teams desktop, for more formal videos, such as demo’s and talking heads
OneDrive app, for impromptu videos or when on location
We are really missing trimming and editing options, so I hope Microsoft will add them to SharePoint soon! This Excel file with functionality planning does not have info about the editing options. (Unless I am overlooking something). But Marijn Somers told me that a good tool (Clipchamp) will be built into Windows 11, so we can look forward to that!
Of course there are a zillion other video tools available, with excellent editing options, but my goal for today is a simple swap of Stream with another app from the Office365 suite.
How have you or will you tempt your colleagues to move away from Stream and use another option instead? Please let me know!