Microsoft Teams Security, Compliance, Privacy: Favorite Feature from 2022

As a consultant, I focus on helping Clients fulfill their security and compliance requirements in Microsoft 365, so I wanted to share my favorite new in Microsoft Teams feature that was released in 2022:

The Ability for the Teams Export API to now Support Teams Message Reactions

Many organizations have compliance requirements to retain and archive communications between employees, and with Microsoft Teams now being the go-to place where employees communicate, the Teams Export API has become increasingly important for us to meet regulatory requirements.  It allows us to seamlessly bring those communications into custom or third-party tools already in use by compliance teams to implement critical compliance controls. 

But today, communications are more than just what we type in a chat message.  We’re seeing reactions to those chat messages, like a thumbs up or a laugh reaction, being used more and more to help people quickly communicate “I agree”, “I’m good with this” or “yes I’ll do that”.  They can also mean “I’m not good with this” or “I’m not happy with that direction” when angry faces or sad faces are used. 

These reactions can result in people proceeding with a particular direction that was communicated over chat, or they can also signal to people to continue the communication in order to find out what’s wrong, or even to stop the communication because its going downhill.  Message reactions are now very common in the workplace when we communicate because they help people communicate faster, by letting them be brief and type less.  Due to this, it has also become increasingly important to be able to export reactions to Teams messages along with the message text, when we need to integrate those messages into our compliance solutions or workflows.

Although Microsoft 365 provides a robust eDiscovery solution, some legal teams are standardized on third-party eDiscovery tools for analyzing large volumes of content for litigations.  In these cases, we’ve used the Teams Export API to output Teams chat and channel conversations (including attachments, GIFs, user mentions and now including reactions) to a standard format for our Clients.  This then allows them to easily import those conversations, and everything that can be included in them, to their existing eDiscovery so that they can keep working the way they currently do while the rest of the organization continues to enjoy the benefits of communicating in Microsoft Teams.

For more information on the Teams Export APIs, what it now supports, how to call it from a Developer standpoint, refer to the Microsoft Learn article here: