Add a member to a channel within a team

Occasional Visitor

Hi all,


Probably there's something very simple I'm missing out, but search didn't really help. So I reckon I just don't see something.


We create a team, say for one of IT departments. This team has plenty of channels. Say 30+. Some for particular feature to work on, some general discussions. Etc. Question is how do I add members to new channels? Cause:

1. People won't browse a list of channels, it's too messy. At some point they just stop doing this.

2. Mentioning people might help but they need to star it. And if they don't they might miss out on important for them info. Asking everytime to star channels feels a bit odd.


Is there any easy way? Like in Slack you just type /invite @Dude.

38 Replies

You don't need to "add" them, by default all users in a team have access to all channels. You can "pin" a channel ("Automatically favorite this channel for the whole team") to make it easier to spot.

best response confirmed by Denis Soldatenko (Occasional Visitor)
Currently there is not a way. When a channel gets created you can auto favorite for everyone but not individuals. When you create a new channel there is a note that goes into the general channel that has a link to favorite the channel. But other than that mentions are your best bet in that channel and the users should know to favorite the channel if they want or follow etc.

I always use @mentions in any post if I want to direct the communication anyway so I don't have to worry about them following or not. But for informational upkeep etc. people choose what channels they follow for information not directed at them.

Issue 1 is the lack of ability to use an existing SP site when creating a new team.  This causes needless rework and should really be fixed.  I would think you could just enter URL and be done with it.


Issue 2 is the lack of ability to restrict access to single channels.  The only viable work around is creating Teams for every function you would use a channel for.  SP sites can have varying levels of permissions so why not channels.  


I would have thought that these issues would have been fixed in initial beta test.  It always appears that the new APPS are 90% done and never fully finished.

@Scott Drew


1. Teams uses the AzureAD groups service for permissions, so provided your SharePoint site has an associated group you can then add teams. Any modern team sites will already have this group, but if you have a 'classic' site you can convert it to modern using the instructions here


2. It's a top ask on the roadmap, it's being worked on, but no specific date is currently being shared. It depends on the use case but I often recommend using a named chat rather than a whole group if it's only for a subset of users. 


Products need to ship, I think Microsoft thought that private channels wouldn't be needed as creating separate teams would fit the requirement. After a few months they accepted that the requirement wasn't going away, so started planning, but its technically quite difficult to achieve. 

I strongly agree, making 'teams' level functions available within each channel would be a big step forward in making this software much more powerful and usable overall. Like for example being able to add/email guests per channel and restrict that guest access to other channels would be super useful, especially when using it with the CONNECT APPS feature. 

Overall though it's great and definitely getting there!

"After a few months they accepted that the requirement wasn't going away, so started planning, but its technically quite difficult to achieve. "


Is that one of those "hard computer science problems"? ...


... The sort of problem that all other vendors are able to cope with e.g. Slack (or Lenovo in the linked case, when Sataya had to find out his incompetent Surface driver team was blaming Intel for their own shoddy workmanship), and seems to only afflict Microsoft?


What you're basically saying is that the Teams development team is unable to develop a permissions module for a resource - channels - in spite of such software having existed in the computer science world for over half a century.



Wow, what an unfair statement to make.


Yes, it is a simple scenario, but implementing any new functionality that was not planned for, into an existing system could have many technical implications. Restructuring code, data structures, etc, etc. Not to mention bringing this into the existing road map and features that they are already busy working on. Microsoft is not a small garage company that just changes priorities and plans on a whim overnight.


There are so many things that influence how fast new requirements are released.

Right, here we go ...


Why wasn't it planned for?  The competition has got it.  The concept of permissions has existed from the the year dot.  How is it that the requirements gathering and design process missed such obvious must-haves?  Agile / Scrum, anyone?  Aka "Get a bunch of bozos to put a list on a wall and create a new product without reference to what is established good practice and already out there in the market".


Reference "garage company".  If a "garage company" can produce an excellent product that absorbs the best practice patterns, obvious competitor features, and innovates, like Slack, then wouldn't it be better if Microsoft ditched whatever it is and became a "garage company"?


Viva "garage company", I say.


So how would that work for a large corporate like MS?


Fear and greed.  That's what makes "the garage" work in large corporates.  Engineering a dead-dog-at-birth product like SharePoint and Teams should get you an instant sacking.  The market would do the same to you if you were a genuine "garage company".  For every Slack there's a hundred no-starts.  Yet in Microsoft the no-start bozos go on and on infecting the new product teams, instead of being shown the door.  And so the cycle of mediocrity never ends.


Microsoft survives not because the products are great, but because *for the money* you can't get a suite of mediocrity from anywhere else.  So long as the bozos stick together they survive.  So it never ends.


But at least speak the truth about why Microsoft survives and thrives in spite of also ran products.  Rather than making excuses about "Difficult computer science problems", blaming Intel, reciting the challenges of product development, just simply say, "You pay peanuts, you get a suite of monkeys".  And lots of organisations will buy a peanut-priced suite of monkeys.


And so MS will always thrive and survive without reforming their corporate culture to one of "garage".

Yea, I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

This is definitely a feature that would help us get more use out of Teams.  So what I think everyone is saying is the feature does not exist and you need to manually tell everyone on the team, via hundreds of @ mentions that they need to favorite that team...if you are say...there boss.  

@mikesong You can use "@Team" and "@Channel" to get everybody's attention in one go.


However I would like to be able to set people up as following particular channels. It takes a long time for people to grasp the differences between

* following Team emails

* using @Mentions

* following channels


Even after training too many users complain that no one responds to their chats.

You have an accountability issue you need to solve then. Managers, Team leads. etc. need to strong arm that your communication methods are Teams and that they are expected to pay attention, download the clients / mobile apps and be connected. Otherwise people will just stick to e-mail and not participate. If they are expected to keep up with a channel or communications a certain way and they miss something that's on them at that point.

@Chris Webb Not all teams have an authoritarian structure that can ordain a certain level of compliance. I work primarily with multi-institution collaborations of academics, public health officials and industry bodies. We can't "make" anyone do things, especially if they are a bit technophobic. We've got not-especially tasty carrots and no sticks.

Then only thing you can really do is try pushing tips and tricks and why Teams can be better than e-mail, "Single source of truth", No reply all chains, broken thread chains etc. etc. and hope for the best. If no one can own it and decide on the platform to use, then your hands are really tied and all you can do is try to encourage. If they can't figure it out then that's on them, they will forever be stuck in the past if they don't want to put in the effort to learn.

@Chris Webb You're not telling me anything I don't know.


The other thing we can do is ask Microsoft to provide mechanisms to simplify adoption (and I have done so through MS channels). Group owners can already set members to follow emails at start-up. Doing the same for channels is not inconsistent with this approach.

Totally agree with you I think everything should be followed by default members can choose to unfollow later
For issue #1, all you need to do is add a website tab with the original SP Site specified. It will then be added as a resource link at the top of your channel.

@Steven Collier  Any ides if Channel level permissions (#2) are developed yet? This conversation happened a while ago, and I haven't found another with more up to date info yet.

Yes, it's developed and they are prepping to roll it out per the roadmap over the next month.