Outlook on the Web Getting Likes, Mentions
Microsoft is about to make email a little bit more like social media and hopefully cut down the number of messages in your inbox in the process.
“We show our approval by ‘Liking’ a friend’s status update on Facebook and we ‘@Mention’ others in a Twitter post to call attention to it,” the Outlook team wrote in a blog post Wednesday. “We’re taking the next step and introducing Like and @Mention to workplace email in Outlook on the Web.”
The Like feature is now available for Office 365 First Release users whose plan includes Exchange Online and will make its way to all Office 365 commercial users in late October. The Mention feature will arrive for First Release users in mid-October before rolling out more broadly in mid-November.
The new Like feature lets you quickly endorse a specific email or call it out as something notable, Microsoft said. To Like a message, just click the little thumbs-up icon in the reading pane. This will turn the icon from gray to blue and add a thumbs-up in the email list view. Anyone on a thread can Like a message, and Outlook will send you a notification if someone likes your email.
Mentions, meanwhile, can be used to assign a job to a specific person or add someone else to an existing thread.
“Perhaps you are on a thread and know that the person who can answer a question was not initially included,” the Outlook team wrote. “Using the Mentions feature ensures that the person is not only aware of the request but is also included in the thread.”
It works the same as it does on Twitter and Facebook — just add the @ symbol in the body of an email, and this will bring up your frequent contacts and your directory. Select the person you want to Mention, and they will automatically be added to the To: line if they weren’t already included.
That person’s name will be highlighted in the message in blue, and they’ll receive an @ flag in their inbox next to the message. You can also sort your emails by @ messages to make sure you don’t miss any.
If you don’t use Outlook on the Web, don’t feel too left out. Microsoft said it plans to roll out Mentions to Office 2016 for Windows and Macand Outlook for iOS and Android in the first half of 2016.