Thumbnails for SharePoint content on Viva Learning

New Contributor

Good evening,


I didn't see anything about this mentioned in the Microsoft Ignite videos, the blog, or in the official documentation for Viva Learning. When using custom content hosted and indexed from SharePoint, is it possible to display a thumbnail for each of the learning items? We have only uploaded and indexed some PDF's so far, so I haven't had to test how DOCX, PPT, videos, etc display. 


I saw that when viewing files on SharePoint, you can add a picture column and title it Thumbnail, and it will display a photo of the first page of the item's content on the list view, so I know SharePoint technically has the capability.


Being able to specify a custom thumbnail for custom content would be ideal, but even just using the auto-generated one from the first page of the document would be an improvement. I imagine there must be some system in place, otherwise none of the official content would have imagery. 


And somewhat related, the author/uploaded on the PDF content I've uploaded shows my email address. Is it possible to change the author name that's shown to my actual name or something else (like our org's name)? 


15 Replies
Same issue here. Doesn't look so inviting. Would like to highlight the custom content in the header as well. But that might me a Learning premium license issue.
I feel like it should be easy enough for Viva Learning to take the thumbnail that SharePoint gets for PowerPoints, Videos, and Documents, and use that. If not, perhaps we could at least have a column for setting a thumbnail url?

@DannyPost What type of SharePoint Site to use a learning repository for Viva Learning?

I asked this question to one of the people on the Viva Learning team - its on their radar and adding metadata capabilities will be in the future (like thumbnails) I hope this is coming in Q1/Q2 - Also updating the metadata information in things like Microsoft Learn where the course titles do not say what product it is about.

Thanks for the input. Good to see it's on their radar. I don't really understand how that basic functionality wasn't shipped with the product at release though...It was in limited public preview for a while. You would think that kind of thing would have been surfaced during preview and added.

Viva Learning seems incredibly barebones at this stage.

I think the other basic functionality for me that I feel is weird that is missing is like a more integrated way of creating content/courses. I would have expected to be able to make something like a simple page with integrated content. So instead of having to create a DOCX or PDF and upload it, you could just create content natively in it so that it's displaying the content vs serving as a wrapper for it.
We're using a regular Teams Site (so, not the communication one). We already had training content on the site, so we just made a new folder to house content to test Viva Learning with.
@DannyPost I feel like they missed a few opportunities here as well, and I think they had a wealth of knowledge at their disposal with the Linkedin Learning relationship on how to accomplish this. Even if they had a "Link" option similar to LiL would have been a great addition.

To me, the even greater disappointment was assigning a course is a premium feature and that it doesn't integrate with Planner/To-Do. Looking at all of the tools around them, this could have been a very minimal feature. Also, the fact that "Recommended to me" shows up for everyone makes it feel like base function, not premium.

Unfortunately after testing and trying to find work-arounds, I think I'm going with LiL webpage embedded instead of Viva Learning for right now.

when Microsoft gping to give us a thumbnail for the sharepoint files?

@DannyPost. This is a major blocker for me as our company content looks incomplete in respect to the other providers which have thumbnails for each video. What's worse is that if you go to the home page of the SharePoint site that hosts our content it shows them with generated thumbnails! This ticket has been out for at least a couple of months now. It will be March tomorrow, why is this not being addressed? As it stands, I cannot recommend Viva Learning as a serious learning platform unless we abandon the possibility of hosting our own content - which was one of the main drivers in the 1st place.

It amazes me that the most basic functions are not making it into the development cycle. This product is already confusing enough.
I haven't noticed a development cycle released yet...have you? My Teams "What's New" page normally was updated 2x/mo, but hasn't had an update since Dec 7. I think they made a push at the end of the year and are using the start of the year for fewer feature releases. This would technically be a feature as it was not how it was designed, even though it was a poor design.
Not sure, I don't work for Microsoft nor have friends that are working on this project. I have as much information available to me as you do.
Tangent update: It now looks like some of the Microsoft 365 Training has thumbnails. Are they great? No. But maybe this is the first step in getting them to custom content. Never saw a roadmap or change notice about these coming.

Yes, indeed it is a big improvement