Viva Engage admin center toggle to disable private messages within a network

After 20th of November 2023, Viva Engage will offer a toggle in the Viva Engage/Yammer admin center to disable private messages for all users in the network.

Viva Engage offers a private message capability for users to communicate outside of communities and storylines. Some customers may prefer to limit this option, encouraging users to use other products for private chats. The toggle is a voluntary option to control the information flow in your network and digital workplace.

If the toggle is selected, users will lose access to all private message content in the front-end experience across mobile (iOS and Android), desktop (browser), and all other end user surfaces. Content remains ingested for eDiscovery. 

The toggle is in the Yammer admin center at launch. It will be available in the new Viva Engage admin center in Q1CY24. The toggle is available under Tenant Settings.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 178016

When will this happen

All networks will see this toggle in their Viva Engage/Yammer admin center as of November 20, 2023. 

There is no action required to see the toggle; all networks will have this option appear automatically. Network admins (verified, Engage, and global admins inclusive) must choose to turn private messages off. 

How this will affect your organization

If you turn off private messages in an existing network, note that all users will be unable to view from the Engage Inbox or respond to their private messages. Content is ingested and available via eDiscovery. If a user accesses a private message from an old notification, search, or direct link, they will be unable to reply to the message if the toggle is set to turn off the private message feature. 

What you can do to prepare

If you deploy to a new network, consider selecting your private message preference as part of set-up to avoid needing to turn off a feature shortly after deployment.

There is no action for admins beyond reviewing any internal help or guidance you have may have created for end users. 

Message ID: MC683037

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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.

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