Channel moderation is a relatively new feature that opens up some additional controls when using Teams. The basic premise around Channel moderation is the ability to set up a Channel within a Team and limit who can create and reply to conversations within that channel. It’s actually pretty neat because it means that team conversations can be used for both two-way discussion as well as one-way communication. So let’s have a closer look at this new feature and how it could be used.
How to configure Channel Moderation
Configuration of Channel moderation is done on a per Channel basis and is quite easy to do. Team Owners simply choose the channel that they would like to configure as below:
From here is where you can configure the options for Channel moderation. Most of the options are self explanatory, but there are a few things to note:
- Adding Moderators: Team owners will automatically become moderators for any channel and cannot be removed. However, you can add additional moderators on a Channel-by-Channel basis but they have to be part of the Team first. The UI is a little deceptive in that if I try to add a moderator that isn’t part of the Team then it says that it doesn’t find any matches. It would be more intuitive if it said something along the lines of ‘The moderator you are trying to add is not part of this Team’.
- Stop users from posting new messages: By simply enabling the Channel moderation feature, only the moderators of the group will be able to post new messages. Other users can still reply to existing messages however.
- Stoping users from posting and replying: If you want to make your Channel a one-way announcement vehicle, then simply unselect the ‘Allow members to reply to channel messages’ option. By doing that, only moderators can create new messages and reply to them and all other users will only have read-only abilities.
- Channel moderation options are different for the General Channel: For the General channel within each Team, the Channel moderation options are quite different in that you cannot add additional people to the moderators group nor can you disable bots or connectors from posting messages once they are configured.
Channel moderation options
You might think that this feature doesn’t offer much in terms of how you can use Teams, but it opens up some really interesting possibilities. For organizations looking to use Teams as a corporate communications tool, this feature will be useful. If you look at the configuration options there are two main scenarios you can open up:
- Read-only communication channel: If you just want to have a list of announcements or messages with no responses from users then you would enable channel moderation and also disable the option to allow users to reply to channel messages. What you would then have is a list of announcements that are read-only but any member of the team can still ‘react’ to the post.
- Controlled communication channel that allows responses: If you want to have control around who can create a new conversation, but still allow for replies, then you would set up Channel moderation but allow members to reply to messages.
Channel Moderation Scenarios
Here are some scenarios on how Channel moderation can be applied –
Announcements Channel for Projects, Initiatives or Teams
Often you might want to have an announcement Channel as part of a Team that is controlled by a smaller number of people. By creating a Channel for something like ‘Project Announcements’, enabling moderation and then using this as a way to publish authoritative information is a great way to combine some controlled content in one Channel and collaborative content in other Channels within a single Team. Plus it also helps people know where to go for announcements instead of hunting around various channels.
Today’s thing of the day (Thoughts, Kudos, Tip)
On many Intranet homepages there is a ‘something’ of the day. Common examples are Tip of the Day, Thought of Day or Kudos for an employee. This type of content resonates with users and is typically controlled centrally by an Intranet team.
You can now do this in Teams by creating a Channel for this purpose, enabling content moderation and posting content in this channel.
Knowledge Management Scenarios
A final scenario is using this feature in various ways to manage knowledge. For example, let’s say that we have a ‘Project Learnings’ site on our SharePoint Intranet that contains pages around best practices for managing projects in our organization. The creation and publishing of this content is closely controlled and a way to communicate changes or updates to this content could be a dedicated Channel with content moderation enabled. This means that users wouldn’t have to leave Teams in order to be notified about new content which is kinda neat.
As you can see the Channel moderation capability opens up some great possibilities to further expand upon your use of Teams. If you have any other examples, please let me know!