Newsfeed is the news service included in Microsoft’s Office 365 enterprise cloud services. Office 365 provides web-based access to an organisation’s hosted Exchange services including email, contacts, calendar and tasks. Learn more about Office 365 here.
Newsfeed has two columns. The left column displays the user’s name, profile pic and links to the user’s profile page, blog, apps and tasks. The right column is the main content area that changes depending on the section of Newsfeed.
On the homepage, posts from co-workers the user is following are displayed by default on the left side. Click the Everyone section to see all employees’ posts or click the Mentions link to see posts that mention the user.
Click the … to access the Activities and Likes sections to see the activities the user has posted and what they have liked. At the top of the left side is a text area that can be used to write a post for everyone or a specific coworker.
The right side of the homepage displays a summary of the number of people, documents, sites and tags that the user is following. There is also a list of trending tags. At the top of the right side is a search bar that can be used to search conversations, people and sites.
Newsfeed lets users add their own links to the left column for quick access. To add a link, click Edit Links at the bottom of the left column. The left column will then expand to display an area where a link can be dragged and dropped.
Alternatively, click the Link button to open the Add a link dialog and manually enter the link label in the Text to display text field and the link URL in the Address text field. Click Try link to open the URL in a new window to test it is correct. Click the OK button to add the link.
After adding links, click the Save button at the bottom of the left column to save the links or click the Cancel button to remove the links.
Starting a conversation
To start a conversation, click on the Newsfeed link on the left column to return to the news feed and then click on the Start a conversation text field at the top. Enter a message and optionally tag the post using the hash symbol (#tag) or mention a user using an at symbol (@user).
Click the Camera button to add an image if required and then choose whether to share the conversation with everyone or just a particular site. When finished, click the Post button.
Searching conversations, people and sites
To search conversations, click on the Newsfeed link on the left column to return to the news feed and then click on the Search conversations text field in the top-right corner. Enter a keyword and then click the magnifying glass icon or press the Enter key.
To search people, sites or everything, click the down arrow in the search field and then select People, This Site or Everything before performing the search.
Editing a profile
Click the About Me link on the left column to display the user’s profile. Click the Edit link at the top to edit the profile information. Three sections of information will then be displayed. There is also a Focus on Content button in the top-right corner that can be used to hide the left column. The Save all and close button at the bottom can be used to save changes to all the sections or the Cancel and go back button can be used to undo changes.
The Basic Information section allows the user to enter information about themselves, change their profile picture and enter their responsibilities and topics of expertise. Clicking on the About Me text area displays a ribbon at the top with the standard Office clipboard, font, paragraph and styles options. There are also Markup options that allow the HTML source code to be viewed, edited and converted to XHTML. Click the Browse tab to hide the ribbon.
The Contact Information section displays the user’s email address and allows their mobile, fax and home phone numbers, office location and assistant to be entered. Click the Address Book button on the right side of the Assistant text field to search for and select an assistant.
The email, mobile phone and assistant are viewable by everyone, but there are dropdowns on the right side that allow the fax and home phone numbers and office location to be made visible only to the user.
The Details section allows the user to enter their past projects, skills, schools, birthday and interests. There are dropdowns on the right side that can be make each item is visible only to the user.
Changing news feed settings
Click the About Me link on the left column to display the user’s profile, click the Edit link at the top to edit the profile information, click the … to the right of Details and then select the Newsfeed Settings menu item. The news feed settings will then be displayed.
Enter tags in the Followed #Tags text field to choose which posts should be displayed in the feed. Use the dropdown on the right to choose whether the followed tags are visible only to the user. Use the People I follow checkbox to choose whether others can see who the user is following and who is following the user.
Use the Email Notifications checkbox to choose whether to be notified by email when someone follows the user, mentions the user, replies to a started conversation, replied-to conversation or community discussion post and whether to receive suggestions for people and keywords the user might be interested in.
Use the Activities I want to share in my newsfeed checkboxes to choose whether to share whenever the user tags someone, follows a person, document, site or tag, celebrates their birthday, changes their job title, has a workplace anniversary, updates their Ask Me About section, posts on a note board, likes or rates something, writes a new blog post or participates in communities.
Changing regional settings
Click the About Me link on the left column to display the user’s profile, click the Edit link at the top to edit the profile information, click the … to the right of Details and then select the Language and Region menu item. The regional settings will then be displayed.
A list of the configured display languages is displayed in the Language section. Click the X icon on the right side of a language to delete it or use the up and down arrows to change the priority of languages. To add a new language, pick one in the dropdown below the list and then click the Add button. To change the content and search languages, click the Show Advanced Language Settings link.
If the IT administrator allows it, change the timezone using the Time Zone dropdown. By default, the IT administrator chooses the regional settings. To override them, choose the Always use my personal settings radio button and then choose the locale, calendar, alternate calendar, time format and define the work week.
Managing a site
Click the Blog link on the left column to view the user’s site. Learn more about managing sites here.
Click the Apps link on the left column to view a list of the site contents including lists, libraries and apps. Click on a library to open it in SkyDrive Pro. Learn more about SkyDrive Pro here.
Click the add an app button to add a new app to the site. The Document Library and Site Mailbox apps are preinstalled to provide the site with document and email sharing features. There is also an Access app available to link the site to an Access database and an Import Spreadsheet app to import a spreadsheet and display it on the site. Many more free and paid third-party apps available on the SharePoint Store.
Click the Tasks link on the left column to view a list of tasks. By default, the active tasks are displayed. Click the Important and Upcoming section to view a timeline of tasks and their due dates along with lists of important tasks and upcoming tasks. Click the Completed section to view a list of tasks that have been completed.
Click the … for options to filter by recently added or by a category. Use the search bar to search tasks for a specific keyword.
Creating a new task
Click the New Task button, or the Add Tasks button if there are no tasks left, to create a new task. Alternatively, click the Tasks tab in the top-right corner to open the Tasks ribbon and then click the New Task button in the New section. Enter a title for the task and then click the calendar icon to choose the due date. Click anywhere away from the row to save the new task.
Editing a task
After saving the task, it will be added to the task list. Click anywhere on the task row to select it. All the buttons on the Tasks ribbon will then become enabled. There are options to mark the task as complete, mark it as important or choose whether the task should be displayed on the timeline in the Actions section. The Manage section has options to edit, rename or delete the task. The Settings section has options to change task settings, sync tasks to Outlook and group tasks by project.
Alternatively, it is possible to rename the task by clicking in the area to the right of the task name or click the due date to change it. There is a box to the left of the task name that can be used to mark the task as complete and an exclamation point that can be used to mark it as important. The order of tasks can by changed by clicking and dragging the tick on the left side of the row.
To edit a task, click on its name on the row. Change the task name, start date, due date, description and whether it is completed. Click the Save button to save changes or the Cancel button to undo changes.
Changing task settings
The Settings button on the ribbon can be used to change task settings. Choose how long a task must go without being changed to become hidden, how far in the future a task must be due to be considered upcoming, how long before an important task becomes unimportant, how many days a task should appear in the Recently Added view, the date range of the timeline and how long before hiding empty filters.
There is also the option to rearrange the order of projects and set the default colours of each project on the timeline. Click the Save button to save changes to the settings or click the Cancel button to undo changes.