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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Sterner

My take on priority notifications in Microsoft Teams

Updated: May 2, 2022

During my vacation priority notifications rolled out in Microsoft Teams and thinking about it occupied my mind a lot – ask my husband if he was tired of me talking about it haha.

Usually when I test new functionality, I write a step-by-step guide on what to do – I will do it a bit differently this time as there are so many great blog posts about this topic already😊.

Linus gives a great overview of how it looks in mobile and talks about the licenses (as there are a few things to keep in mind for licenses), Vesa shows how to change the settings for priority notifications and Randy gives a great overall view.

So, what are priority notifications?

A short recap if you don’t feel like reading a lot a blog posts now (but I recommend you to), priority notifications is a new type of message you can send in a 1-2-1 chat in Microsoft Teams.

Adding a message that will give a priority notification

Clicking the exclamation mark you have the option to send a standard message, an important message or an urgent message – this is the one that gives a priority notification.

How the message looks

Sending this to someone will give them a banner notification every other minute until they open the message atleast for 20 minutes. They will receive the banner notification even if they have turned off banner notifications (see my old blog post about notifications). But I’ve noticed that if the notifications are turned off on your mobile you will NOT receive a notification.

How the banner notification looks

What I don’t like about it

I’ll start with the things I don’t like with priority notifications so we can end the blog post with a happy feeling 😉.

This is a feature that feels very niched and developed for a small group of people in mind – and that is exactly what it is, the main target audience are people in healthcare. So, we have a limited group of people that Microsoft want to have as a customer – but they have a must-have before they can start using Microsoft Teams. I get it, I really do, but the question is if this is a function that should be there for everyone. Compare Microsoft Teams for education that is different from normal Microsoft Teams.

Another thing I don’t like is the fact that this gives other people the mandate to tell me how they think I should spend my time. For me one of the things I enjoy most with Microsoft Teams is the fact that it is persistent, this means I will have a look at any chat message when I have the time = decide how I want to prioritize my time.

As a lot of new features rolling out in Office 365 this is enabled by default. At my company we talk a lot about evergreen and saying Office 365 is like a fast paced train that picks up a lot of packages all the time, if you don’t have a person responsible for keeping track of the changes in O365 priority notifications is probably turned on in your organization without any training or information at all.

The last thing I will mention is how this will be licensed, to 31st of December all users will be able to send an unlimited number of priority messages, after that the use will be limited. I don’t think it’s fair by Microsoft to give something to all users and then sort of take it away, I would prefer the other way around.

What I like about it

So far, I’ve been really negative, and I think I will continue being negative until someone can show me a valid user case besides scenarios in the healthcare business. During my vacation I discussed this with some people on Twitter and I think this jokey tweet from Adam perfectly describes how I feel for priority notifications.

Funny tweet about priority notifications

The only thing I like is that you can turn it off. Usually I’m not a turn-this-off kind of person but in this case, I think I am, but hopefully I will see lots of great use cases ahead.


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