3 recommended updates: Intelligent file recommendations for Planner

3 Recommended Updates V21.02.04 Featured 3 Recommended Updates V21.02.04 Featured

Version 21.02.04

Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld (@jasoosterveld) on two new Yammer features, updates to the SharePoint site usage report, and the introduction of intelligent file recommendations for Planner.

ShareGate’s easy-to-use SaaS tools enable organizations to achieve more than ever before with Microsoft cloud technologies. In our ongoing series, Jasper Oosterveld brings you up to speed on the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft 365.

I hope you enjoyed my last update—where I discussed the new “Meeting recap” feature in Microsoft Teams, the introduction of suggested communities and collapsed pinned posts in Yammer, and two exciting new updates for Microsoft Lists.

Let’s move on to the latest installment!


In this release, you’ll find my opinion on two new Yammer features, updates to the SharePoint site usage report, and the introduction of intelligent file recommendations for Planner.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at three Microsoft 365 updates you need to know about now.


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More inclusive reactions and the ability to share a SharePoint page to Yammer

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m going to say it again: Yammer really stepped up its game since 2020. Lots of exciting new features and important updates have been released.

That’s why I’m kicking things off with not one, but two Yammer updates: the introduction of more inclusive reactions and the ability to share a SharePoint page to Yammer!

More inclusive reactions

Yammer is the service within Microsoft 365 for inclusive, social, and informal communication between all employees.

Talking about inclusive, Yammer now supports the ability to change the skin tone preference for the “like” and “thank” reactions.

This feature introduces diverse skin tones on reactions to help every user feel sense of representation while interacting on Yammer.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Feature ID: 71785

Employees can change the skin tone by opening the Yammer settings:

Screenshot of Yammer settings.

After opening the skin tone menu, they can then select their preferred skin tone in the skin tone modal:

Screenshot of Yammer skin tone modal.

Once they’ve selected their preferred skin tone, the employee’s skin tone preference (only seen in “like”/”thank”) is displayed when they hover over the like button.

Screenshot of selected preferred skin tone.

Ability to share a SharePoint page to Yammer

One of the strong suits of Microsoft 365 is the seamless integration between all the services. For example, SharePoint pages enable organizations to share news and store important knowledge—and these pages could be relevant to certain Yammer communities; you want to provide your employees with the ability to discuss the content.

Now, Microsoft is introducing the ability to share SharePoint pages to Yammer communities—making it easier to create Yammer posts, questions, polls, and praises directly from a SharePoint page.

The ability to share a modern SharePoint Online (SPO) page to a Yammer community will be available in the page actions bar.

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Feature ID: 66183

Employees will be able to easily share SharePoint sites/pages in Yammer communities by using the “Send to” menu:

Screenshot of the "Send to" menu.

The “Send to Yammer” dialog provides a rich preview for media and the ability add rich text to the associated message:

Screenshot of Send to Yammer dialog.

It also makes it possible to add questions, praise, and polls to the post that results from the share. Additionally, it allows you to upload images and files to the resulting post.

Good to know:

  • Choosing a skin tone is optional. If users don’t wish to pick a skin tone, the “like” and “thank” reactions will continue to appear in the default yellow reaction.
  • The default yellow reaction hand color is used in the summary view when:
    • The employee has not reacted
    • The employee has not selected a skin tone preference
  • Start updating your user training and documentation, and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing both updates and their benefits.

Microsoft started rolling out the inclusive Yammer reactions in mid-January 2021 and expects to be completed by early-February 2021. Microsoft started rolling out the “Share to Yammer” option in January 2021 and expects to be completed by mid-March 2021.


Updates to the SharePoint site usage report

Measuring the usage of your SharePoint solution is crucial to any adoption strategy. And defining your success criteria is an important part of creating your adoption strategy. Once defined, in order to measure these criteria, you’re going to need usage reports.

The Microsoft 365 admin center contains a wide array of usage reports, including a SharePoint usage report. Now, Microsoft is making some updates to this usage report by adding and updating metrics in two phases.

We are making some updates to the SharePoint usage report within the Microsoft 365 admin center. In phase one, we are adding eight new metrics to the SharePoint usage report. In phase two, we are incorporating two of these new metrics – anonymous link count and company link count – into the definitions for active sites and active files. Thus, the number of active sites and active files recorded in the usage report may change. We will also backfill the report with 180 days of data.

Microsoft 365 message center, MC235392

Once phase one has rolled out to your tenant, you will be able to add these metrics as columns to the report table and as part of the Microsoft Graph reports API:

  • Anonymous link count: Number of times documents or folders were shared using the “Anyone with the link” option
  • Company link count: Number of times documents or folders were shared using the “People in org with the link” option
  • Secure link for guest count: Number of times documents or folders were shared using the “specific people” option and guests were added
  • Secure link for member count: Number of times documents or folders were shared using the “specific people”option and members within the org were added
  • External sharing: Site external sharable settings
  • Geolocation: Geo location of the site
  • Site sensitivity label Id: Sensitivity label configured on the site
  • Unmanaged device policy: Site access policy for unmanaged devices

In phase two, Microsoft is incorporating two of these new metrics—anonymous link count and company link count—into the definitions for active sites and active files. Thus, the number of active sites and active files recorded in the usage report may change. Microsoft will also backfill the report with 180 days of data.

Good to know:

  • Share this information with your adoption team and site owners.  

Microsoft started rolling out phase 1 at the end of January 2021 and plans to start rolling out phase 2 by mid-February 2021.


Introducing intelligent file recommendations for Planner

Oh Planner… I always have the feeling you don’t get enough love from Microsoft. Where is a task recycle bin? Where is the Planner support for private Teams channels? The list goes on.

That said, I do like this new Planner feature I’m about to get into now.

Planner will recommend related files to attach to your tasks

Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Feature ID: 66364

This new Planner feature allows employees to quickly add attachments to their tasks from an intelligently curated list of relevant files.

The recommendations are based on the task and the employee:

Screenshot of intelligent file recommendations for Planner.

I always applaud features where content is suggested to the user and is aimed at making our lives easier and efficient.

Good to know:

  • Start updating your user training and documentation, and prepare your employees by sending out a news post announcing this update and its benefits.

Microsoft will start rolling out this new feature mid-February 2021 and expects to be completed by the end of March 2021.


Bonus update: Meeting reactions in Microsoft Teams

You’re probably wondering: “Where are the Microsoft Teams updates?!”

No need to worry! I’m wrapping up this article with a “minor” update for Microsoft Teams: Meeting reactions.

The “Meeting reactions” feature allows employees to react to participants during a meeting. Reactions are now available in the Teams Desktop and Teams Mobile apps.

You can see an example of the new meeting reactions in Teams below:

Screenshot of meeting reactions in Teams.

This is also an interesting feature for online events, where attendees will have another way to engage with the content in real time and show their support for the presenter:

Screenshot of meeting reactions in Teams.

This will open up meetings to be more engaging for the presenter as well, letting them get a feeling from the room in a way that’s difficult on virtual calls.

That concludes my recommended Microsoft 365 updates you need to know for this time around. Until next time!

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