This month (October 2021) we’re releasing a new version of our Discussion Board App (Social Squared) for Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams.
What is Social Squared?
Social Squared is a Discussion Board tool that can be used in Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. The structure of multiple forum groups and forums within a Teams channel or SharePoint page means that you can have simultaneous discussions that are well organized, navigated, and searched. Rather than a single-threaded conversation, Social Squared helps questions, announcements, and discussions to occur within the content of the forum.
What’s New in Social Squared?
There are quite a few improvements in version 188.8.131.52 of Social Squared to talk about! Below, please find a summary of the new features along with your chance to join our live Social Squared webinar on the 28th October.
One of the use cases for Social Squared is to ask questions. We’ve probably all at some point searched our favourite search engine for an answer to a question and found our answer in a forum. Social Squared provides that functionality within the context of your SharePoint site or Team. As a user who often asks questions in forums, it can be frustrating to find that someone has already created a topic with the question that you wanted to ask. So, rather than have two similar posts containing the same or similar questions, Social Squared will recognize as you start to create a new topic, that there are already one or more similar posts. You can then read, reply to, or subscribe to the similar post rather than duplicating the same question. This will really help other users who may also have the same question as you!
In the below forum, you can see that there is a topic on how to reset your password in Microsoft 365.
So, If I were to create a new topic asking the question “How do I reset your password in Microsoft 365”, the topic above will be suggested as shown below:
Social Squared provides the ability to tag your topics and posts so that other users can see all posts containing the same tag. Tags are also suggested to you based on the content of your posts. A Tag Cloud built into Social Squared allows you to easily navigate content within Social Squared, and the Social Squared Search feature enables you to include tags when searching for content.
The improvement that we have made is that we now support Managed Metadata. The Term Store tags can now be used which provides unified tagging across SharePoint, Teams, and now Social Squared. Users can choose tags that have been made available in the Term Store.
Meet on this Topic
The Meet on this Topic function enables you to schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting from within your reply to a post. Sometimes, it may be useful to discuss the response to a topic within a meeting. Below, you can see the Meet on this Topic option.
Once the meeting is scheduled, the meeting details along with the join link are displayed in the post.
Conditional Sticky Posts
Sticky posts are posts or topics that are pinned to the top of a forum as they are the most relevant to this subject, or because you want to set out the expectations of the forum. With conditional sticky posts, the post can be automatically made unsticky based on the amount of time or number of views that the post has received.
Unanswered Topics View
Social Squared includes a feature where a post or topic can be marked as answered. The new unanswered topic view will display all topics that are not marked as answered. This feature will result in subject matter experts being able to view all unanswered topics in one place, and then answer them or mark them as answered.
Within a Social Squared Topic, you can now sort the posts in the following ways:
These new sorting options make it easier to read through multiple posts within a topic to view those with the most or fewest votes and likes, or to see all Answered or Featured posts.
Pin a View
The default view for Social Squared within SharePoint or Teams is the Forum Group view. However, some users may prefer to see other views such as Popular Topics, Most Recent Topics, Unanswered Topics, or Favourites. You can now pin your favourite view which will make the view the default for you within your choice of browser.
Subscribed User Improvements
As a Site Owner or Team Owner, you can subscribe or unsubscribe other users or Microsoft 365 Groups. We’ve now included the people picker to allow the selection of site users.