Let’s learn how to leverage the News feature on your SharePoint Intranet site to ensure your partners, team members, and colleagues stay informed and engaged with significant or captivating stories.
With the News feature, you can generate visually appealing posts, such as announcements, updates on personnel, status reports, and more, complete with eye-catching graphics and enhanced formatting.
In this blogpost, I will show the main News features and explain how to create and manage posts.
News in SharePoint
A Page is the main piece of information created on a SharePoint site. It may contain essential information, announcements, changes in corporate policy, a recap of the latest Town Hall meeting, etc.
Whereas, News is a special version of a page that is automatically promoted on SharePoint feed and dedicated webparts. You can use News on every SharePoint site – a simple projects site, a department site, or on a main Intranet portal.
A News post can be a simple 2-paragraph text page, or a complex article with text, images, videos, diagrams, and even reports. It gives you a powerful and flexible tool that you can use on a SharePoint Intranet.
Key features of the News:
- Version control
- You can use all out-of-the-box wepbarts
- You can use custom webparts
- News post is default saved as a draft and must be published before users can see it
- Templates – you use 3 out-of-the-box, or you can create your own
- Friendly URLs
Where is SharePoint News Visible?
Published News posts are automatically visible in a Personalized news feed – a dedicated place where you can find all your followed SharePoint sites, recent sites, and favorites. News is visible at the top of the page.
You can also use published News posts on any other SharePoint site (team site, communication site, hub site).
To do this, you must use a webpart to display News posts and configure filtering and sorting.
You can also configure Teams to display the latest posts in a specific Teams channel.
News is also automatically pushed to SharePoint mobile app and users can check all that information directly from a phone or a tablet.
To create a News post go to the main page of your site, click on the + New dropdown and select the News post
Select a template for your News post and click Create post There are 3 out-of-the-box templates:
- Blank – an empty sheet for your post
- Visual – template with images and text blocks
- Basic text – two-column page for text posts
- Now you can create your post using all existing webparts on SharePoint. Starting from a blank page you can even build a page with images, tables, text blocks, and videos. It’s up to you how you display information on the News post. In this example, I created a simple page with an image header, a text block, and a pane with links.
Where is the News Post saved?
The News post is automatically saved as a draft version. You can also save manually using buttons on top of the page. The draft version is only visible to the author and requires additional steps to make it visible to other SharePoint users.
To publish your News post you must click the Post news button – it will take a few seconds and the post will be published and synchronized automatically with the SharePoint News feed. It will also be visible on all connected sites.
The entire process is straightforward and fast, but it is a manual one. If you want to publish news posts on a specific date and time you can enable and use Scheduling.
To do this:
- Go to the Site content page and click on the Site pages
2. Click on the Scheduling option at the top of the page
3. Enable scheduling on the detail pane
To use the Scheduling system:
1. Go to your draft News posts and click on the Page details
2. Enable Scheduling
3. Specify the date and time and click on the Schedule button
Now your post is scheduled and will be automatically published on the selected date and time. Using this option you can prepare a series of News posts and create a schedule for them or schedule an important post to be published when you’re out of office.
You can go to the scheduled page and edit it and schedule it again or change the publishing date. To do this just go to the page and follow the previous procedure (it is valid for scheduling and rescheduling).
SharePoint pages do not support coauthor mode. It means that a News page can be edited by one user at a time. In bigger teams it can be a real issue – you must wait for your time to edit the page or send the required changes to your colleague.
Microsoft announced a new feature that will address this issue. We will be able to edit the page at the same time. The feature will use the Fluid framework (the same one that powers Microsoft Loop). Planned release date – March 2024.
There is a dedicated webpart that you can use to display News posts on a SharePoint site – News. You can add it to any page you want and configure its look and feel.
The webpart has 6 modes:
- Top story – one main story + 3 additional posts
- List – posts in a single column with small thumbnails
- Side-by-side – a two-column list
- Hub News – thumbnails and information + a sidebar with additional headlines
- Carousel – a large visual, users can move through stories using back and next buttons, or pagination icons. You can also choose to automatically cycle through news posts in the carousel.
- Tiles – up to 5 tiles with images and headlines
Those modes allow you to display information in a modern way.
The webpart also allows you to define a source of News posts. By default, posts from the current site are displayed. If you want to show posts from selected sites (one or multiple sites) use the Selected site option and define which sites should be included in the webpart.
What is the Organzie option?
The Organize option gives you control over which News posts are promoted and visible on the webpart. By default, posts are sorted by the created date (newer posts are at the top of the list). With this option, you can specify the most important posts to be always visible.
Can you filter News by Title?
The webpart allows you also to filter posts by title, modify and create date, author and editor, and page details. This feature helps you cover more advanced scenarios. For example, display news from a Marketing site on a Marketing page; show financial posts on a dedicated Intranet column.
Wrapping it Up:
SharePoint News is a powerful and flexible feature designed to create and populate information across SharePoint sites. A News post is based on a page, so it gives you all page features such as webparts and a design user-friendly editor.
On top of that News posts offer SharePoint Newsfeed integration, posts scheduling system, SharePoint mobile app integration, and more. The News webpart gives you a powerful tool to show information in many ways. You can design the best look and feel for a specific site and information type.
The upcoming coauthoring feature will enhance those features and enable full teamwork in the information creation process.
WME Professional SharePoint Services
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