New Social Squared V4 Release for SharePoint Online & Teams

Social Squared is a powerful discussion forum tool for Microsoft SharePoint and/or Microsoft Teams. Using Social Squared, users benefit from the ability to post questions in organised discussion forums. Each forum can be subscribed to, allowing notifications to alert you to new posts that you may be able to answer. Over time, an easy-to-search knowledge base is created that serves new and existing employees with questions related to your business. Below are two examples of Social Squared use cases.

In the below screenshot, Social Squared is deployed to a ‘Technical Support’ Team in Microsoft Teams. Instead of asking questions via the posts tab, questions can be generated as a new topic within a specific forum. For example, if I have a question regarding Microsoft Viva Insights, I would post the question in the Viva Insights forum. Other users who are curious about Viva Insights will be able to monitor that specific forum and learn from the questions and answers being posted.

Social Squared in Microsoft Teams

In another example (this time within Microsoft SharePoint), you can see the discussion board embedded on a page as a web part. The example is about well-being within the workplace. Users can post questions under ‘Work-Life Balance’, ‘Health and Safety’ etc.

Social Squared in Microsoft SharePoint Online

New Features in Social Squared V4

In Social Squared V4, we have the following new features, which will be described within this post.

  • ChatGPT Summarise Post & Suggested Reply* (Available in Social Squared AI)
  • Adaptive Cards in Outlook and Teams Posts tab
  • Improved Settings Layout
  • Forum level settings
  • Import/Export Configuration
  • Configuration Wizard
  • Email Digest via Power Automate

*ChatGPT Summarise Post & Suggested Reply

ChatGPT integration will be made available in a separate version of Social Squared. The reason for that is to ensure that organizations that don’t want to use ChatGPT don’t run any risk of ChatGPT being enabled within a web part or through Microsoft Teams.

ChapGPT will be available in ‘Social Squared AI’ and will allow users to summarise discussions, or obtain suggested replies to posts by using ChatGPT integration. Note that different endpoints can be specified, allowing you to use ChatGPT in Microsoft Azure’s OpenAI service.

Suggested Reply

An example post has been created within the technical forum asking how to write some javascript code to retrieve the language property from the browser. Maybe other users in the organization are struggling to find an answer, and therefore could request a suggested reply from ChatGPT. Give the feature a try using the walkthrough below:

Summarise the Discussion

Sometimes, you just haven’t the time to read the entire thread. So, you could summarise the discussion using ChatGPT. Simply click the Summarise button and accept the suggested summary generated by AI.

Adaptive Cards in Outlook and Teams Posts tab

One of the challenges of using Social Squared in Teams is that people are still tempted to use the Posts tab. Social Squared for a while now can be configured to write out to the posts tab following a new post or reply to a post. However, rather than clicking the link, people would sometimes reply within the posts tab itself, resulting in an actual reply needing to be copied and pasted back to Social Squared. Now, we use an Adaptive Card to display in Outlook and on the Posts Tab. The Adaptive Card contains a Reply button making it more obvious to reply via Social Squared.

New notification Adaptive Card in Posts tab of Social Squared

Improved Settings Layout

We’ve been adding features to Social Squared for a few years now, and the Settings pane was getting a little cluttered! So much so that I couldn’t find the setting I wanted sometimes! The settings panel is now more organized, allowing you to enable or disable features throughout the Social Squared instance.

New Settings Panel Layout

Forum Level Settings

In the Forum Settings, you can now override some of the general Social Squared settings. This allows you to set default behaviour at the Social Squared Web Part/Tab level, but then override the settings for a specific forum. For example, you may want to disable voting for the JavaScript forum, but allow voting for the other forums.

Override properties at the forum level.

Import/Export Configuration

If there is a certain configuration that you prefer for your organization, you can now export it! A new Social Squared instance could be configured elsewhere such as another channel, Team, or SharePoint site. The configuration settings can then be imported into the new instance.

Exporting the configuration of the Social Squared instance

Configuration Wizard

Social Squared now contains some initial guidance in creating your Forum Groups and Forums. The first time you add the web part, the wizard will guide you through how best to configure your instance.

Configuration Guidance

Email Digest via Power Automate

I can hear some of our clients cheering now as they read this! We now have Email Digest options for subscription notifications. Rather than receiving a new email every time there is a reply to a post that you are subscribed to, you can now use Power Automate to provide you with a digest email such as a weekly or daily update. Users can subscribe or unsubscribe using the option on the Social Squared menu.

Power Automate Email Digest Subscription Notifications

If you would like to see these features in action, or even see Social Squared for the first time, sign up for our webinar to be held on April 20th at 4pm BST (11am Eastern)

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