Teams is ok for quick information exhange but it tends to break down into confusing mess when there are more than 10 messages per channel. So the solution would be to have really threaded conversations. This is something that we already had back in 1990's in the newsgroups. So you can clearly see who is answering to what topic and each conversation can have multiple clear branches. Each conversation also would have a subject so that you can easily spot the topic you want to check. Obviously by default the threads would be minimized and you could open them by-topic.
The best example maybe would be the way Thunderbird handles newsgroups by message index. So just copy that!
Teams is already threaded! Just make sure to use the “Reply” button instead of the bottom compose bar when responding to someone’s previous post. That will thread the conversation.
This is a disappointing oversight, Teams, but more on that later.
I found a WORKAROUND that gives a similar experience to slack threads, not as good obvs:
You're in a group chat.
You want to thread a sub-conversation without dominating/polluting the chat
Click the schedule a meeting button under the chat input
Everyone in the chat will be auto-added to the list of invitees, so that's nice
Title the meeting with a name/topic for your convo thread
Schedule the meeting in the PAST so that it doesn't impose on anyone after the initial notice (e.g. a 1 minute long meeting set to 2 minutes ago is ideal, but if that creates scheduling conflicts, very early that morning makes sense - like 4am)
Send the meeting invite
Click calendar menu button and find the meeting you just created
Click on the meeting and then click "Chat with participants"
Now, in chats, you have a direct link to the new chat room, labeled with your meeting title.
This is basically equivalent to a slack channel, I realize, but a bit more casual and transitive, and it shows up right in "chats"
- Thread is easy to find and convenient-- shows up right along with other chats
- Easy to keep everyone in current group chat involved (auto-invites them)
- Gives an opportunity to loop more people into that convo thread who aren't participants in the original group chat -- even better cross-pollinating
- Convo thread is labeled, which even slack doesn't support (but still, this is more like a channel, I realize)
- Everyone invited to the thread gets pinged about a meeting that already happened and needs to know what that means and to just dismiss it.
- This could be confusing UNLESS you've already agreed as a group that this workaround is useful and all parties have been informed about this annoying drawback.
- The meeting invite could be spun as a perk, though :) as it strongly informs each invitee that a convo thread just emerged and they're invited to keep the discussion going. The surprise of being unpredictably notified that you missed a 1 minute meeting at 4am that morning will probably dissipate over time.
P.S. Not supporting true convo threading is ridiculous. Teams, where is your vision? Do you even use your own product? Do you look at what others are doing well and evolve? Please read the thorough explanations in others' comments about how critical this feature is and how underserved your customers are without it.
@Suphatra -- Non-adjacent quoted reply is a naive abstraction of how productive conversation works (convergence and divergence, weaving and threading), and completely misses the importance of some key productivity and social nuances:
- To individually perform targeted retrospection in a space without requiring moderation of the overall discussion topic
- To review technical discussions as informal beginnings of documentation
- To allow spaces with people in them to evolve
- To allow elective self-inclusion in discussion on a subject-matter basis
...as we do in in-person group conversations.. ahhh remember those? Talking to multiple people in a group? How sometimes someone will say something only one other person is interested in, and they'll both stay right there in the group but have a somewhat isolated side-conversation, to which the others are privy but not forced to participate in, and can take an interest in and get involved at any point if they choose to. I barely remember it now... I think long ago we called this multi-threading.. no wait, socializing...
Steve Gauthier commented
+1 for Multi-Threaded Replys
Suphatra - True but what we really need is the Slack-like / Twitter-like multi-threading like so:
We're trying to nudge folks to use Teams but they continue cling to Slack for multi-threading conversations.
Suphatra - does that feature still exist and what about for macs?
Replying is not the same as having "Thread". It needs to have the ability to create a new mini-channel when "Replying" so that people can always search back that "Reply/Thread".
I disagree that Teams has 'threaded' conversations. It has the ability to reply to the LAST comment on a thread, but not option to reply within a thread, or reference a specific reply. Quoting previous text we can then edit would also help enormously.
This results in a horrible mess and the need to re-start threads.
People often revert to email in frustration to actually have a proper conversation, which kind of destroys the point.
PLEASE FIX THIS.
Michael Jacobs commented
Direct and group chats would definitely benefit from threaded conversations!
We have Teams for Business and there is no "reply" button.
We were FORCED to switch from Slack to Teams and Teams is sadly lacking. No Threading, no Document upload, cannot drag and drop photos. It is so bad in comparison.
Does Microsoft even use Teams? This is still missing in chats.
The fact that Teams don't have this, almost 3 years after, just makes me sure that Microsoft should use Slack for internal communication. How this is not implemented yet? If this product was not part of Office subscriptions it would be long dead.
What about the direct/group chats are they threaded ?
@Suphatra: Threading in the chats is not possible with desktop or web app. Only in the mobile app. Please add this. The whole concept of threading is VITAL to instant messaging. Seriously.
what about in dm chat though. it would be nice to be able to track conversations with managers and team members.
Sudeep Vemulapalli commented
Interestingly, Teams mobile app has threaded conversation functionality. However, it doesn't exist on Teams Windows client app and the web.
Teams does not already do this. Yes we can reply to a conversation thread, but what if I want to reply to a specific response on a thread, not just add my response to the bottom of a thread. Whatsapp and FB have this. It's really vital. And not just in Teams but also in Private/Group chat.
I still want this to be a thing. I'm a credit card entry away from putting my marketing team into slack.
If i do that, I'll probably go and move our org off of office365 and into google gsuite.
Cai Kjaer commented
I don't think Thread Discussions are really there. Once you start a conversation it's all one long flat thread after that. The problem is that you can't see a reply to a reply etc. You can only see a reply to a post and it doesn't take long before you don't know what is being responded to.
Or have I got it wrong?
Dan Goldstein commented
+1 for this.
It's pretty sad to see that this has been a feature request for 2 years. This is a major drawback to Teams.
The Threads functionality in Slack is a major time saver and helps communicate with broader groups.
The Activity view in Teams would be a lot easier to use if you prioritized the Channel, allowed the user to name the activity in their original post. The screenshot should show this better.
For those of us who use both Slack and Teams, not having this really makes you dread having to use Teams as it really encourages direct messages which doesn't at all help to keep multiple people up to date.
Alex Ouretski commented
Yes, I think the threading that is currently available in MS Teams is not sufficient. We need an ability to go back to a message/subset of a conversation and reply to it directly. At the moment you can only append a reply to the very end of the chat / conversation. No ability to quote a previous message either. This is basic chat functionality
Eric Eklund commented
Teams needs full threading support!