UPDATE 11/5/19: Private Channels is now Generally available and rolling out. Please see my updated post for links to key docs and details you need to be aware of. https://www.robertjgates.com/microsoft-teams-private-channels-is-here/
Private channels have been a hot topic in many conversations around Microsoft Teams. As listed in the Office 365 Roadmap ID 50588 engineering has been working on Private Channels, allowing you the ability to create channels for focused, secure collaboration among a subset of a team.
A lock icon indicates a private channel, and the following is how the private channels will show up for the end-users.
- Team owners can see all private channels in a team.
- Team members can only see those private channels that they have been added to.
This feature will be gradually rolling out in early September 2019 [Message Center update: October / November rollout].
[UPDATE 9/18/19] Just received a note in Message Center that the update window is now through October to support some additional updates.
With Private Channels coming, what do you need to do to prepare for this change? To enable the feature you don’t need to do anything. While there are no technical configurations required to utilize his feature, you do want to think about your overall governance model and approach to creating a team. With private channels, this will allow you to potentially create fewer teams as you can now have more control to channels within a team.
Also make sure you review your training materials, review and update any user-level policy around Private Channel creation, and make sure your support teams are aware of the upcoming change and how best to support the users. I will add more links to various documents related Teams private channels as they are released. For now, take a look at this updated guide on managing teams and channels.
Managing Teams and Channels – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/teams-policies