How can we make Microsoft Teams better?

Support for Private Channels

Looking for the ability to create a channel that only channel members can see. Private channels are available in slack. There is an admin for private channels who is the creator, and they are the ones who add/remove users.

Five types of public/privacy that is being asked for by users:

- Public-Open (visible anywhere including outside the org and anyone can join)
- Public-Invitation (visible anywhere including outside the org, must be invited)
- Company-Open (only visible inside the org and anyone in the org can join; outside the org must be invited)
- Company-Invitation (only visible inside the org, must be invited)
- Secret (invisible to everyone except existing members, must be invited)

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    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Angela SzeAngela Sze shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great September.

    I’m really excited to share with you the progress on this feature. To recap, we originally tried to resolve for this request by giving you Private Teams, but your feedback showed us that this was not the right solution. So we’ve gone back to the drawing board and we are in active development of private channels.

    This is how we view a private channel: it will be a new channel type that allows users to create a channel with a different user roster than the parent team, that is only visible to those members. As the name implies, it is meant for sensitive discussions or for working with sub-teams.

    As it turns out, private channels is a very complicated feature to deploy, because there are several dependencies external to Teams. I will keep you updated as we progress, and if you have any questions, please always feel welcome to email me directly at sparavi @ Microsoft (dot) com.

    Thanks for your support of teams, and this great idea!

    Sincerely,
    Suphatra

    413 comments

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      • DarwinDarwin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We need this so we can have a public team for hosting cross-team escalations. Public Team + Private Channel would allow one team like "ChatOps for Ad-Hoc Escallations" but each escalation would not have to make it's data public.

      • Sathish KumarSathish Kumar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This feature is very necessary for a Project/Group/Team which has sub Teams and wants to share information within themselves, which may not be of interest for the entire crowd. Looking forward to have this feature in the MT. Again, it shouldn't be restricted with Owner to say if it can be private/public. The Sub-Team which creates a private channel should be allowed to say who is part / not part of that channel.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        If this idea is implemented, would it be possible to automate the permissions on the related SharePoint folder to allow only the members of the private channel into the folder?

      • MNSMNS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Are you also considering "private tabs" or tabs that can be password protected?
        Onenote has password protected sections...
        (I guess a Onenote section is best compared to a Teams Channel, but still...)

      • Matti PaukkonenMatti Paukkonen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How private channel's files are going to be managed? Is private channel just for chats only and files are managed on other channels?
        How about private channel's OneNote section?

      • MikeMike commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We had a suggestion today that for inter-departmental communication, it might be nice for departments to have public teams. However, they still need somewhere to store their files that would not be publicly available.

        Would we be able to make a Public Team and then make a Private Channel underneath it? E.g. I could create a team called "Information Technology" and leave it public so other people could interact with the IT team. Could I then make a "Help Desk" channel and make it private to just the Help Desk people? Or would I have to make a Private Team and add the entire organization to it and then make the private channel? That would obviously not be ideal...

        Thanks!

      • Joshua Todd CowperJoshua Todd Cowper commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        From an Australian high school's perspective (and I'm sure this must be common in other countries too)...

        We have subjects, which is a group of students, generally in the same year level/grade, studying a syllabus/curriculum -- for example "Year 11 Mathematical Methods". This would be our top level "Team" and might contain 90 students.

        This is then broken down into classes. Each class is studying the same subject, but each contains about 30 students (out of the 90), is taught by a different teacher, and meets at different times.

        We need this breakdown and that's where the new "Private Channels" sound promising, for each individual class. It would be important that the Educational features of teams are incorporated here though. For example, an "assignment" might go to the whole team if it is a piece of summative assessment (counts toward student grades) that the whole subject therefore needs to submit. However, an "assignment" might also be a piece of review homework that one teacher has set for their class only, so should therefore go to just their Private Channel.

        The OneNote Class Notebook would also need this understanding of subjects (Teams) and classes (Private Channels). Currently, a channel simply adds one section to the Collaboration Space in the Class Notebook. We would need to have the ability to add multiple sections, to either a Content Library or Collaboration Space, accessible to either the whole Team or just a specific Private Channel.

      • MikeMike commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'd also appreciate any sort of ETA you might have. Weeks? Months? Just so we can plan ahead. We can't fully move to Teams until we have the Private Channels working.
        Thansk!

      • Ruth JennawayRuth Jennaway commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Any update? I would love to hear the progress and expected timeline on this item now that Guest access to teams has been released this week...

      • Harrison HudsonHarrison Hudson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This should be a no-brainer feature implemented in tandem with guest access. There are obvious circumstances where users may want channels within their team to which Guest Accounts do not have access.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        SOOOO verrry happy that Microsoft is implementing this functionality. It will push my org towards total integration of this app. THANK Microsoft :-)

      • Jake MooreJake Moore commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Great, this will really help me achieve what I need to! Thanks for sharing the intention

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Will this new channel type also create an O365 group? It would be fantastic if it did NOT

      • MichaelMichael commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Mark @Suphatra
        "Channels *should* be limited by the parent team IMHO."
        "The private channel would be composed of people IN the parent team"

        We have our Creative Team. They work on projects. If there is i.e. a conference, they need to invite external people (in the org, or not) only to the specific conference-channel (private or non-private either way).
        That might be a different feature request, but I hope, the private channels won't hinder that possibility. We need external people in specific channels, without open the whole team to them.
        Can we expect to invite external people only to specific channels?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Great News!!
        Is the functionnality will include the possibility to have channel in "read only" for some members?
        regards

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