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

    967 comments

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      • Jay G commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Suphatra, I concur with the recent consensus that the proposed work around really isn't desirable. Creating another team with all of the overhead and switching makes little sense if all that's needed is few private channels in a large team environment with a number of channels. Anything with over 2000 votes should suggest that MS needs to go back to the drawing board.

      • Mike Norris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Private teams isn't a solution for this original request. It's too cumbersome when you have a small subset of content matter that is relevant to a team overall to have to jump between similarly named groups - Exec private, exec public, engineering private, etc.

        Combined with how every channel within a team can have nested threads (tabs) and it gets out of hand quickly.

      • JJ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thank you OP for posting this! We moved our whole Digital Team from Slack to MS Teams and this is one of the only features keeping us from rolling it out to the rest of the company.

        Suphatra, thank you for your workaround idea. I agree with the rest of the posters that this doesn't quite fit our needs like OP's suggestion as we would have roughly 15+ teams to be part of (as managers), and the team would have between 5-10. We are really looking for one team that we can put everything in and just have some channels private, some public, as exists in Slack today.

        Currently, we are using chat rooms for private channels and Teams for everything else, which is less than ideal with the lack of functionality in chats that Teams has.

      • LLuong commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think its great that a team can be made private or public now, but I also support the idea above. I may have a public team, but want to have a few private channels that only certain individuals on the team are privied to.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We really require private channels... private teams just doesn't work with small teams, who require just one private channel to discuss issues (2-4 people)... an extra team just adds unnecessary complexity.

      • Chris Webb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Go check out Discord and copy them, if you do, your will have gold for business org's on your hand. It has permissions per channel and roles and does things nicely. Not to mention "Voice channels" as well which are nice. The notification system is sweet as well.

        But yeah to mirror the other people in these comments, channels are way better than entire Groups/Teams for everything.

      • Angella commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Private teams as a "solution" to private channels is a non-starter for us. We already have Group bloat. Private channels would go a long way to alleviate a myriad of issues creating frustration--especially in implementing Teams/Groups of people with disparate roles within our organization. Some information simply cannot be shared with every member of a Team, but moving it outside of the team doesn't make sense.

      • Sheldon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just to be clear, Microsoft Teams may or may not beat the competition in the market but without Private Channels, it is a non starter without a doubt.

      • Aswin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I echo a lot of the recent comments on this thread, and came here looking to suggest just this feature. Your 'try this instead' does not work for the larger purpose of avoiding creating multiple sub-group Teams of one larger Team

        I would love the ability to create a private channel within a Team.

        I have several teams where I want to work on projects with only certain members of the team (~3). And I want to be able to do it without cluttering others in the team (~20) while creating the safe space for the project team to bounce ideas off within the project team without fear of judgement or interference from the rest of the team.

        I would love to create a channel with just my manager to discuss one-to-one topics, that I would over email and forget about if I didn't get a response. Microsoft Teams and the channels construct drives accountability and transparency, and to be able to do it in subsets of a team, without having to create a Team for each is critical.

        I sincerely hope that you will add this feature in the coming release. It would really help me push the usage of Microsoft Teams within the org.

      • Peter Marsack commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The work around does not help the issue (which I am looking to do the same as OP). Also, you are stating private and public teams to resolve a question for channels, which are two different objects in teams. My request is to have control over who can access channels inside of the teams. Enable inheritance by default for ease of management but I dont understand why you wouldnt want to allow permissions at every level for administrative use. Anyhow, hope you guys add it in.

      • David commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The way I read the idea, the workaround does not match. It would be nice to have a channel with a select number of people from the Team. As in, the Team is already private with 10 members, and I want to create a channel with 3 of the members to work on a particular project. The Owners of the Team can see all of the channels, but the Members can only see the channels they're a part of. Creating a new private Team is very cumbersome to organize and manage compared with having private channels.

      • Russell Dyas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @suphatra Workaround not really useful as we have situations where want a single channel with a few people.

        However we have to either..

        - create a single team for a single channel (which is messy and overkill)

        -use group chat which has missing features such as conversations and mentions

      • Chaz Weber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There is a need for different privacy levels within a team. We currently use Slack to openly communicate between teams based on projects and functional areas. There could be a need, within that team, to communicate privately on sensitive matters or, honestly, stupid team banter. That banter helps foster a closer team and improve morale. We have credited Slack with successful projects and organizational changes due to the simple, openness of the platform. We'd like to see that carry over to Teams since our lives are in Office 365 otherwise and having a communication platform deeply integrated with Office 365 is important.

      • Mattie Brothers commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I do appreciate being able to have a public team for everyone to see, but privacy within Teams is extremely helpful, we do have many projects that provide data to a Lead team to make decisions, the privacy of HOW those decisions are made would be extremely helpful, otherwise you'll have to create a separate team just to make private decisions. So 2 teams for every project.

      • Jason Murray commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I will +1 this request and -1 the work around.

        Creating an entirely new team will lead to numerous teams with single channels for private group conversations. Think of the quick work flow, and how creating a new team slows that down.

        When I created our team on Slack a year ago, I expected everyone to communicate openly, a year later I find that many people still want to communicate privately. Because of this reality, I suggest Microsoft implement private channels.

      • Tom commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Private channels are a must have regardless if the team itself is private or public. Many business units may want to host or own a private team with multiple channels. One or more of those channels would likely contain sensitive information or info relevant for specific users only and need to be permissioned appropriately.

      • AJ01 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is actually very disappointing. I have just convinced my unit head to allow us use teams, but I fear when she asks if we can create private channels at least for the leadership team, then I would have to tell her no.

        I have one request, when you do implement this feature, please make it possible to merge teams as well. This is because I imagine that the smaller private teams that were created would like to be merged to the general ones.

        Also not having private channels, prevents organisations from creating organisation wide teams. which I think could have eased off a lot of pressure on emails.

      • Wolfgang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We need to have some restricted channels, for smaller scale discussions not open to everyone in the team

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