SharePoint Newsfeed vs Discussion Board: The Winner?

SharePoint Newsfeed vs Discussion Board: The Winner?

Do you know anything about a newsfeed and a discussion board in SharePoint?

Well, both of them are popular in the classic experience. On the other hand, you may find better replacements in the modern experience.

In this article, I’ll share with you what I know about the newsfeed and discussion board feature in SharePoint.

Let’s get started.

What’s a newsfeed or site feed in SharePoint?

In classic team sites, you will find a site feed on the homepage by default that looks a little similar to an old Facebook newsfeed.

Some functionality in the newsfeed include:

  • Text box where users can start a conversation
  • Embed an image to a post
  • Use characters like @ and hashtags (similar to Twitter)
Preview of how a newsfeed or site feed looks like in a classic team site

There’s no exact version of this feature in the modern experience.

However, there’s a web part called “My feed” that dynamically shows you a mix of content from across the whole Office 365 to the user.

My feed shows a maximum number of items

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    Does SharePoint have a discussion board?

    SharePoint has a discussion board, although it used to be more popular and heavily used in the past than today.

    Specifically, the discussion board feature doesn’t come out of the box in the modern experience (without an equivalent in the modern experience).

    Preview of a discussion board on a team site

    Now, unlike with the site feed:

    • Extra characters like hashtags and @ don’t work here
    • Discussions from separate sites don’t aggregate

    On the bright side:

    • Discussions can be viewed in a list view
    • Discussions can also be grouped and filtered
    • Setting up alerts is quite possible

    Note: Since a discussion board is basically a list, then you can pretty much do things with it like what you can do with other lists.

    To find the discussion board in the modern experience:

    • Click the “New” button on the site
    • Select the “App” option from the list
    Click on the new button first and select the app option

    On the next page, click on the “classic experience” link:

    Click on the classic experience link on the apps you can add section

    Finally, click the “Discussion Board” button on the next page:

    Find and click the discussion board button in the list

    Use better alternatives instead

    Since modern sites have more advantages, I have little love for features from the classic experience that don’t translate well.

    That’s why I believe that when it comes to newsfeed and discussion board, there isn’t any winner.

    There are better alternatives for both these features, including:

    • My Feed
    • News
    • Twitter
    • Yammer
    • Teams

    Well, in the defense of those classic features, the alternatives I mentioned above either didn’t exist yet or were yet in their primitive forms.

    How about you? What are your thoughts on newsfeed and discussion board? Share your thoughts below.

    For inquiries and other concerns, please use the site’s contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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