Office 365 | 13 min read

3 recommended updates: sharing reports, pinned channels, and new SharePoint start page experience

WRITTEN BY Jasper Oosterveld
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Version 19.10.02 is now available.

In this bi-weekly blog series, Microsoft MVP Jasper Oosterveld turns his Dutch directness to up-to-the-minute industry news—bringing you honest content about the current and future state of Microsoft and Office 365.

Published on October 2, 2019.

Welcome back to 3 recommended updates, a new blog series where I bring you the latest and greatest from the world of Microsoft and Office 365.

I hope you enjoyed the last one—with my opinion on the new Priority field in Yammer, managing and sharing access from the SharePoint site permission panel, and the Teams recording tab in Stream—and are ready for the seventh installment!

3 recommended updates series:

  1. Version 19.07.10: org-wide channels, page recommendations, and Q&A in Yammer
  2. Version 19.07.24: channel cross posting, organization assets, and updated site usage analytics
  3. Version 19.08.09: Skype for Business, Save for later, and Teams gets private channels
  4. Version 19.08.21: add comments to non-Office files, new web parts in modern authoring, and swap sites in SharePoint Online
  5. Version 19.09.04: Yammer using Office profiles, OneDrive default save, and Microsoft Teams 'Meet now'
  6. Version 19.09.18: Priority field for Planner, SharePoint sharing, record meetings tab in Teams

In this release, you’ll find my thoughts on the new sharing reports for SharePoint online; the ability to pin channels in Microsoft Teams; and the rebranding of SharePoint Home.

Without further ado, let's take a closer look at my 3 recommended updates you need to know about now.


Sharing reports for SharePoint Online

Collaboration is an important part of our daily lives. We collaborate with our colleagues, but also frequently with people outside our organization.

For example, I collaborate with ShareGate for this blog series. And what’s our favorite service for sharing content between us? That’s right: SharePoint.

Site admins will be able to see all the items in a site that are shared externally.

MICROSOFT 365 ROADMAP, FEATURED ID: 27034

These days, sharing content—both internally and externally—has never been easier. The sharing menu is the same for OneDrive, Office, and SharePoint—and the design has improved, making it easier for end users to use.

But the ease with which we can now share content also brings risks. There's the threat of sensitive data being lost. Microsoft is supporting site owners—who have a responsibility for the content in their site—with the new ability to track shared content. The current site usage page displays content shared with external users:

The current site usage page in SharePoint.

The site usage page is going to be extended with an option to generate a CSV that shows how their content is being shared, both inside and outside the organization. The report outputs a CSV file that contains a row for every unique user, permission, link, and item that has been shared with both internal and external users. This is a fantastic step in the right direction to manage the content in your site.

Good to know:

  • You don’t have take any additional actions to receive this update.
  • You are advised to update your training materials for site owners.
  • There is a similar update for OneDrive for Business. Click here to learn more.

Do you want to learn more about this new feature? Click here to visit the official Microsoft support page. Microsoft is gradually rolling this out to production customers late September. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of November.

Pinned channels in Teams

This is a small but awesome new feature for Microsoft Teams.

One of the challenges in Teams is finding a way for you to manage all the teams and channels you're part of. I work with the "hide & show" feature for my favorite teams and channels. That said, sometimes you just want to mark a few of the channels you're currently active in!

Microsoft is releasing a new feature called pinned channels. With this feature, users will be able to pin the channels that are important to them to the top of their sidebar. Once a channel is pinned, it's placed in a new category, Pinned, at the top of their teams and channel list. Great!

Stay organized and easily keep track of your work with pinned channels. Pinning a channel moves it to the top of your teams list for easy access. To pin a channel, simply select "…" next to the channel name and select "pin".

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I can’t wait to use this feature to improve the management of my favorite teams and channels. Next up, improved search capabilities for finding teams and channels?

Good to know:

  • You don't need to do anything, but you may consider updating your user training and notifying your helpdesk.

Microsoft is gradually rolling this out to customers in September. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of October.

Updated SharePoint start page experience

Back in May 2016, Microsoft held a legendary online event: The Future of SharePoint. During this event the SharePoint Home experience launched.

I really liked, and still do like, SharePoint Home. That said, I never really saw high usage of this feature with our customers. They kept using bookmarks in their favorite internet browser to quickly navigate to their favorite SharePoint sites.

With the arrival of Microsoft Teams, the usage dropped even more. There is still potential, but to be honest, I don’t know how this potential can be utilized. SharePoint Home is n ow rebranded as the SharePoint start page. The name change isn’t the only major change, but we're also getting a new look and feel.

SharePoint Home, accessible through the Office 365 app launcher, is getting a new experience!

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The new features include an overview of my saved news posts, as well as my recent documents. Honestly, I don’t know if these changes are really going to improve the usage of SharePoint Home—euuh, I mean, SharePoint start page.

Good to know:

  • You don't need to do anything, but you may consider updating your user training and notifying your help desk.

Do you want to learn more about the new experience? Click here to learn more.

Microsoft is gradually rolling this out to selected Targeted Release customers in early October 2019. The rollout to all customers starts on the 1st of November. The roll out will be completed worldwide by the end of November.

A final piece of advice...

Before we conclude this part of the recommendation series, I want to give a little bit more advice around the update to sharing reports in SharePoint Online.

Although it's fantastic to get a report about all the content being shared on your SharePoint site, this doesn’t stop any data loss of sensitive information. I really advise you start looking into sensitivity labels.

By using these labels, you regain more control over the access of your sensitive data. This is a topic you can expect more information about from my side! Till next time!


Upcoming webinar

With Microsoft Teams and modern SharePoint team sites being created at a record pace, how do you keep all of that content secured, protected, and retained?

Join Microsoft MVP Joanne Klein for our upcoming webinar, and learn how Office 365 features working together can help you breathe a little easier. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019 @ 2:00 PM (ET) 

Protect your Teams work across Office 365

Hosted by Joanne Klein
Office Apps and Services MVP