Outlook adds Like and @mention to emails, will only be available to all users in the first half of 2016
Microsoft is rolling out a couple of new features, to its email service, Outlook.
And they aren’t exactly original features.
The Redmond company has taken in some popular things from social networks. To be more precise, it has taken Facebook’s Like feature, and Twitter’s @mention feature and added it to Outlook for the Web. In fact Microsoft hasn’t even tried to hide that it is “borrowing” the two new features. It states they were inspired by the popularity the two boast on Facebook and Twitter.
Likes, as the name suggests will allow users to give a thumbs up to an email which they liked. This will highlight an email in a conversation, which will in turn help it getting some attention from other participants in the thread, who may also find the email useful.
If someone likes your message, you will be notified about it. To like a message click on the gray “Thumbs up” icon, which will then turn blue.
Mentions on the other hand, highlight a user. This will be useful in threads with many participants. You can mention a user by adding @ and Outlook will provide a list of contacts to choose from. By this way, you can get the attetion of the user. This also lets you add a new user to the existing thread. Similar to Likes, you will be notified if someone @mentions you.
This move is a bit odd, as it looks like moving from email to a social networking platform. And this may not be useful for regular users, the targeted audience could be teams who work on projects and ideas.
However, if you are intrigued by the features and eagerly login to your account expecting to see them in action, sadly you won’t be able to, at least just yet. Microsoft says that is only rolling out the two features to its Office 365 subscribers with Exchange Online. The Like feature will be available for subscribers from today, while Mentions will be added sometime in mid-October.
The Redmond company will only be rolling out the feature, for all Office 365 users sometime in December. The rest of us will have to wait for quite a bit. The good news is that it will also enable the features in Office 2016 for Windows and Mac, and also on the Outlook for iOS and Android apps. The bad news is it could only land in these platforms only by the first half of 2016.