Microsoft Teams is a collaborative workspace in Office 365 that brings together people, content and conversations. Previously, to chat privately with a group of team members, separate Teams had to be created outside of the originating team within which a group would collaborate.  However, users can now chat with one another privately, within existing teams, after the long-awaited inception of private channels.

Creating private channels was the most requested feature from Teams users. The new feature allows Microsoft Teams users to create various channels that are viewable and accessible only by specified coworkers. This new component can be useful for employees dealing with confidential or sensitive content. According to Microsoft, you may want to use a private channel if you want to limit collaboration to those who have a need to know or if you want to facilitate communication between a group of people assigned to a specific project, without having to create an additional team to manage.

Any team member can create a private channel. The person who creates the channel is the private channel owner and only the owner can add or remove people from that channel. The owner can add guests, but guests do not have the ability to create a private channel. Channels provide a way of segmenting the overall conversations between team members and provide a space for conversations and file sharing, as it related to a specific subject. This allows users to efficiently find what they need.

Private channels make life easier for end users, while reducing how much sensitive information is shared. They also serve the purpose of creating an area for conversations for a specific topic or subject. Each channel has its own file storage, so you don’t need to scroll through all the channels. You are, however, limited to 100 channels per team (that’s a lot!). Be sure to take advantage of this popular, new addition to the Teams ecosystem.  There is no additional cost to Office 365 users for this service.