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SharePoint Online “team news” begins roll out to Office 365 First Release customers

At Ignite 2016, we announced the SharePoint Online “team news” feature for modern team sites (learn more within the original blog post on blogs.office.com).

 

This post serves both as a reminder of what it is and provides details of the expected roll out plan starting today.

 

What is it?

SharePoint Online team news is how you keep up with and broadcast key events and accomplishments with other members of the team and extended stakeholders. You can use team news for things like trip reports, best practices, project updates, highlights of new documents and content, welcoming a new team member, sharing team goals and celebrating milestones.

You can easily and quickly create beautiful posts that are showcased on your modern team’s home page. 

 

Team-News_001.png

 

To add a news item, from within the News web part on the team site home page, click + Add to create a news article. Next, add content to the news post using the toolbox—a gallery of web parts—to add text, video, documents, quick links and more. When you’re finished, click Publish and the news article will be featured prominently on the team site home page within the News web part. And when you click See All, you’ll land on a dedicated News page that serves as the team’s news archive.

 

Rollout plan

Today, team News will start rolling out to modern team sites in SharePoint Online for First Release tenants of Office 365. The News Headlines web part will automatically show up on the modern homepage as News (unless the home page was previously edited). With this rollout, all new Office 365 Groups will be created with the News web part on the home page. If you don’t see it in your sites, it hasn’t rolled out to your organization yet. Stay tuned!

 

And for the “news in your pocket” – in the next couple of weeks – the aggregation of team news will roll out as a new feature update to the SharePoint mobile app for iOS – personalized news. This update will include a new News tab to showcase news articles from the sites you work in, the sites you follow, and the sites your closest colleagues work in. Note that the news rollup functionality will appear as a new tab once team news becomes available for your organization. If you don’t see it yet, it will be coming soon!

 

And coming before the end of the year, we will roll out team news to all existing team sites by creating a News full-page experience - accessible as a link on team site left-hand navigation. Customers, too, will be able to create a new modern page, and can place the News web part on it, to then proactively assign this new page as the default home page of the team site.

 

We are looking forward to getting your feedback.

 

Thanks,

Mark

51 Comments

Wowie nice update! some have already seen it coming in there tennants i've heard.

Looking forward to misusing this as a simple organisation wide modern wiki solution. Project teams create knowledge they want to share as 'news' with the roll up part doing the rest. 

Is it possible today to change or hide the banner on modern pages?  I noticed a banner url in the content type, but not sure it's functional at this point

@David Feldman : It's not yet possible to change or hide the banner. We are working on enabling that for all pages and News. Banner url won't help you with that currently.

@Alyssa Danesh as FYI

Contributor

In my tenant it seems like the team news articles are created in the same way as site pages, are stored in a list together with Site pages and don´t even show up in any way on the teamsite´s home page. Is this how it is supposed to work, or the rollout not finished on my tenant, or am I supposed to do any configurations?

If you already have news rolled out to your tenant, you should see News web part by default on your modern groups homepages (in First Release tenants).

You can also add news web part to a modern page on any other team site (not associated with group) and you'll be able to create news from there and can choose to make that modern page your team site homepage. News currently can't be added to classic pages.

 

You are right that news are essencially modern pages with some additional properties and they are stored in the site pages library. That being said, you can only create news from entry points on the news web part. If you haven't added news web part to any page and haven't used group homepage you shouldn't be able to create news.

New Contributor

How do we delete the sample news articles that come by default with the new web parts?  The 'See All' link, which we're supposed to use to delete them doesn't work - just takes you to the home page.

Microsoft

I believe you must go into each article individually and you'll see the delete button in the upper right. And know, as you create new News, older news will fall off the home page as they are replaced with newer ones. 

Hi Kelly,

Currently you can't delete the default articles, but as Mark mentioned they will fall off the homepage once you publish actual news. We've received the feedback from users wanting to delete the default articles and we are currently considering options.

Can you please provide more details on what happens when you click "see all"? This should take you to a dedicated 'News" page and what you discribe feels like a bug.

 

 

Occasional Visitor

I can't find this feature yet. How can I see if it has been deployed on my tenant? 

I can create modern pages but when I click edit and "+" I can only add text, image, document, office 365 video, content embed, highlighted content, quick links, site activity and yammer feed.

Do I need to do something to get it fixed? 

I want to use this on my new intranet home page and I can't find something that looks better.

Thank you,

News are currently only available to First Release tenant/users. If you tenant is in First release you should be able to use News, if it is not, then you'll need to wait for news to roll out. We are working on rolling this out beyond first release.

New Contributor

Alina -  When I click on the ‘See All’ link, it navigates to this link (https://myserver/sites/sitename/sitepages/home.aspx?news=1).  Then, when I click on the link, it takes me to the home.aspx page which has no ‘news’ parameter of course.

Maybe it’s relevant that this news page was created as a new 'Site Page' on an existing team site?  Do the new parts not work properly in that case, perhaps?

Hi Kellly,

 

Yes, this has to do with the fact that it's a classic team site. We officially started news rollout to modern team sites and don't yet have full support on classic. That being said, the solution is actually coded already and going through our validation rings, so I hope this will soon work properly. Given that we are hitting the holiday season, it might take a little longer that usual to propogate through.

Occasional Contributor

First, I'd like to say I love modern teamsites and especially the Team News module!

Our tenant is configured for selected first release users and users in that list can see a Team News module added to a modern page (hosted on a classic teamsite)

However, whereas standard users (not selected for first release) can see the modern pages, they cannot see the Team News module.

Is it normal? When will everybody be able to see the Team News module?

Thanks

Microsoft

Hi Nicolas, 

 

Yes, it's normal. Once the First Release program introduced the concept of "selected users", the various engineering teams had additional options for how to roll out features. It is a normal part of our rollout process as we scale out into the service. I'll double check with my engineering peers, but it is my understanding that Team News all up has not yet been pushed to classic team sites, yet you would see modern publishing pages (similar tech without notation of "News") and there are News web parts that comes with the toolbox for both as you creates pages/News.

 

Hope that makes sense,

Mark

Occasional Contributor

Hi Mark and Happy New Year!

This makes sense but the News web part does not work either for non-selected-first-release-users.

I created a modern page (they can see that fine), I added a News web part to it, and whereas selected-first-release-users can interract with it just fine, others cannot: the web part loads indefinitely (see screenshot below).

 

 

2017-01-03_10-39-57.jpgScreen from a non-first-release user

Microsoft

Thx, Nicolas. I'll raise attention to the team. As we all come back from vacations, this week will be one to assess progress, issues and work on solid comms plans big and small.

 

Thx,

Mark

Hi Nicolas,

 

This is an artifact of the fact that only your FR users currently have News flighted to them. Those users can add News web part and view it (as you mentioned). Users that don't have News flighted, wouldn't be able to see the web part. Obviously, indefinite loading is not the right behaviour and we'll look into it.

 

Thanks!

New Contributor

Thanks, Alina.  Can we safely assume that the news web parts (on existing modern pages on a classic team site) will seamlessly start working for 'non' FR users once the web parts aren't limited to FR users anymore?   In other words, can I as a FR user, set my team home page up with news web parts, add 4 generic welcome news pages so it's ready to go when the time comes AND BE CONFIDENT everything will now behave for (non FR) users? 

Hi Kelly,

 

The answer in general is yes. That being said, we currently have a bug that prevents "see all" link on News web part from working properly in classic team sites. The fix for that bug is ready and we will strat rolling it out to FR this week. So by the time that we expand the scope of News, it should work properly.

Occasional Contributor

Thanks a lot for those clarifications. I'm sure you know what ly next question is :) 

When will the scope of News be expanded to all users and not limited to FR users?

I'm good with a rough estimation as I only need to determine if that will align with the go-live of my site (that includes News) for the masses or if I need to code on an old-school site in the interim.

Cheers

We should start increasing the scope of rollout this month. We rollout gradually to pecentages of production, so it's hard for me to say when your tenant will have this enabled for all users. If all goes well, rolling out to all prod usually takes 1-1.5 months. If we discover new issues, it might take longer.

Occasional Visitor

My colleague and I are both testing the new team site 'page' functionality which seemed to roll out to our tenant today. I have hit an issue which my colleague hasn't - when editing the page, if I try to add (or edit) the text web part, all I am able to do is delete it. I am unable to create any text (the text editor bar doesn't appear) and if I try to edit the page where a part with existing text is present, the text disappears (nothing is displayed and I only get the trash can icon to delete the web part). Any idea what could be causing this issue?  

 

<button type="button" aria-pressed="false" class="ToolbarButton ToolbarSubmenu-displayButton" title="Normal text" tabindex="0" data-automation-id="displayButton" data-reactid=".2.1:$b56b980d-2631-4488-ae97-ec2b5cf2101d.0.0.0.1.0.$format.$displayButton"><i class="" data-reactid=".2.1:$b56b980d-2631-4488-ae97-ec2b5cf2101d.0.0.0.1.0.$format.$displayButton.0"></i><span data-reactid=".2.1:$b56b980d-2631-4488-ae97-ec2b5cf2101d.0.0.0.1.0.$format.$displayButton.1">Normal text</span></button>

 

This sounds like some kind of a bug. Adding some folks to take a look and follow up. @Alyssa Danesh, @Sohail Tariq

Microsoft

@Olivier Jenkins, Thanks for reporting this. This is not expected and I have logged a bug to investigate further. What browser and browser version are you seeing this behavior? also, is there any difference between permission level for you and your colleague.

New Contributor

WaitingFor.pngI am currently facing a similar issue with respect to the "News Headlines" and the "News List" which are not visible to regular users  in the environment. What is interesting is that I created my site yesterday and tested it with two employees in the organisation. They could see everything just fine. This morning when I wanted to give the training to the site owner, the webparts did no longer show. I also realised the items did no longer show with the previous test users either. Interesting enough we are confident no settings have been changed between the test yesterday and the training this morning. It seems overnight the system made adjustments and now the users get the screen above.

 

Any suggestions on how to resolve this would be very much appreciated.

 

Kind Regards,

 

Lucas

 

 

 

Hi Lucas,

 

Can you please provide more details? Are you still able to see the web part and some news posts are not showing up or is the whole web part not showing up? Where the news posts created on a modern team site or a classic team site? Is the screenshot above capturing what the other people in your team are seeing? Could you please check that the posts you created are available in the Site Pages library?

 

It is possible for some users to have access to News and others not, in case you have certain users in First Release. However, this shouldn't change after the fact.

Please feel free to send me a private message with details if that works better.

 

Thanks for reporting!

New Contributor

Is there any way to set up an alert to the group when a new news article has been published? This would be a really useful feature

Hi Adam,

 

Currently, you don't have a way to set up an alert, however, we are working on a notification system for News.

 

Also, users that have SharePoint iOS mobile app installed, will get news from the sites that they are active in and follow in the News tab in the app. The tab will have an indication when new news posts are available.

We are also currently working on adding aggregated personalized news (similar to News tab on iOS app) to SharePoint Home experience to cater to the desktop users.

Occasional Contributor

Hello all,

We have the new News integrated into our site and everything is working beautifully. However as the Admin I am the only one who is able to publish news articles. I n eed someone in our PIO office to also be able to publish. I currently have his AD group in 'Members' and 'Approvers'. What am I missing? If I create the post everything goes as planned, if he creates the post, not even I can publish it to show up in News headlines (even though it says 'published') thought?

Thank you

Doug

Hi Douglas,

 

This should work properly per what you are discribing. A couple of questions to try to figure out what is going wrong.

  1. Do you see his posts in Pages library ? Can you open and view them? Can other users open and view them?
  2. In case the answer above is "yes" : Can you please validate what entry point is he using to create the posts? Is he using the "+Add" entry point near the "News" web part title?

 

Occasional Contributor

Hi Alina! Thank you for responding!

I will try my best to answer:

1. Yes when the other user creates pages in the Pages library, we can see them and edit them and save them. Seems all users that have access to this library (in Members can edit)

2. Yes he is using the "+Add" button near the news web part title (as am I , but it works for me as admin)

he can also click publish (the right hand menu item then changes to "published + timestamp) but the post never shows up in News rollup

 

However if I delete it and re-create it, using the same menthod. Everything works as intended

This is definitly unexpected. I'll start a private thread to dig into this.

Occasional Visitor

Hi. Is this still under development?

Can the image size be configured or is it a standard size?

 

Thanks

Occasional Visitor

Is there a "best practices" way to roll-up all of the news a user is privileges to across site collections? With each 365 Group getting it's own site collection, it would be nice to roll up all of the news on the company 'intranet homepage', which many companies have/want. I guess I could do that using the default search webparts and querying by content type, but then you're back to a traditional web part page where I'd like to blend this in with the new modern experience. 

Taking a look at the current roadmap from twitter betting this organizational news things may be what you're looking for @Jasper Siegmund 

 

 

 

Occasional Visitor

Cool! Gonna wait for that one then...

Microsoft

Great feedback, @Jasper Siegmund. I've heard a fwe pieces of feedback about being able to control news and how it shows up. Certainly with Corporate News, there is more precendence for controling how news proliferates out throughout the company - and I'll ensure the team gets the feedback; and as you see @Alina Skarbovsky is pretty active on this thread, and she's on the eng team looking at the news service all up :-).

Occasional Visitor

Hi.

 

Thanks for this feature.

 

Is there any way to automatically notify all group (email) memebers when adding news?

Hi Uladzislau,

 

Currently there is no way to automatically notify the group members about a news post. However, notifications is definitly something that we have on the backlog, so stay tuned. Also, all news from the sites that the user is active in will show up in the News tab on SharePoint iOS app and the News tab has an indicator of new news being available. 

Occasional Visitor

Thanks, Alina.

 

Will wait for updates!

Senior Member

Hello,

I am seeing the same issues as Douglas Clelland where unless you are a site owner you are unable to create a team news page.  Is there a way to allow creation of team news without having to give everyone site owner?

 

Thanks,

Thomas

@Thomas Sjule, to be able to create news you need contributer permissions, since it's content that is created and stored on the site. The issue that @Douglas Clelland had was that incorrect entry point was used by the user.

Do your users see the "+Add" affordance near the News web part title ?

 

Senior Member

Hello,

Thanks for your reply.  I was also using the incorrect entry point.  I was using the "+New" at the top of the SharePoint page not the "+Add" by the News link.  This was my mistake and now re-reading the default article in the news Add a page to a site https://support.office.com/client/b3d46deb-27a6-4b1e-87b8-df851e503dec?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US is where I read that a user needs site owner.  Thanks for your help.

Senior Member

Hello,

Thank you for your help, permissions in the site were not standard and this was causing issues at the library level.  It is working as described.  Thanks again.

 

Thanks,

Thomas

Glad you figured this out :) 

Occasional Visitor

Two questions:

 

1. Is there any way to add an existing page to the News feed, or do I really have to duplicate all of my work to get it to show up there?

2. Is there a way to get rid of those Microsoft marketing snippets about how I should add a page, etc?  It starts out with 3 (keep your team updates, what is a team site, make a page).

 

#1 especially has been killing me.  I can't believe there's not an intuitive way to do this.

Thanks.

New Contributor

Hello!  I've added the image gallery web part to a site page and added 2 images to it.  When I select the 'tiles' layout, save/publish the page and click on one of the images, the news page is replaced with what appears to be a full page built in 'carousel' to view the images which seems like a nice idea. However, I can't find any intuitive way to return to the news page (other than refreshing the browser window).

Is that intentional? Are we perhaps only supposed to use the tile image layout to 're-order' images during page edit mode and use the carousel layout in the web part?  

I also notice that when using the 'Carousel' layout, the images are resized to appear the same whereas the 'full page built in carousel' noted above, does not resize the images.  Is there a recommended size the images used in this web part should be?

Thanks! 

Contributor

Any update on the notifications for new News items? The 'Alerts' feature for SharePoint Blogs is notoriously difficult to admin in large environments since alerts can only be setup and removed by making edits to one user at a time. Really hoping News fixes this and alows us to use it as a SharePoint Blog site replacement.

 

Also noticed that the Highlighted Content webpart set in Carosel mode doesn't use any pictures from News articles and insead shows an ugly gray placeholder image. Would like to use this webpart to automatically show new news content and an enlarged picture (or preview of the text!) taken from the content or banner image of article.

Microsoft

Adding @Alina Skarbovsky for news notification question. @John Sanders for Highlighted content web part.