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Office 365 People Experiences


Following on my previous posts in series “Office 365 – A day in life of an end user”, today I bring to you a recent discussion between the Microsoft team and Office 365 community around Delve. It touches on some real great areas on how this new feature enhances the people experience.



On April 15th Microsoft and the Delve product team hosted the People Experiences YamJam to answer questions about enhancements to the user profile experience, the new Office 365 page authoring canvas and new mobile apps for Android and iPhone. Below is a summary of what was discussed during the YamJam. We hope you join us live next time!




  • General Questions & Functionality 
  • Search and Content Sources 
  • Rollout 

General Questions & Functionality  

Q: How long will the current profile page be supported if Delve is replacing it and what is the road map for replacing the profile page?

A: We will start redirecting user to the new profile starting next week for first release customers.

Q: When will the old profile page be taken down for non-first release tenants?

A: We will do the redirect in waves. The tenants who customize their profile will be in the last waves which may happen later this summer.

Q: Can the cover photo of the profile be changed? 

A: This will be supported in the future release.

Q: Can Administrators select which “Cards” are displayed on a Delve profile page? I’ve noticed that my Delve profile is showing one card per custom User profile property. E.g. Region and Business Division. We may want to remove those cards and have those fields in card called “Location” or logically reorder the cards. Business Division before Region. 

A: We are looking at extensibility of the profile so that is great feedback for us.

Q: Is it possible to pin cards at the top? 

A: Not currently. You can create a Board to pin cards that you want to get back to.

Q: Are there “groups” within Delve?

A: Please come to Ignite or definitely check out the recorded session aftwerwards! We are working on Groups integration in Delve and appreciate hearing your scenarios and feedback. We will share any announcements in this group.

Q: Will the future profile customization tools be available to end users as a self service feature or will be an admin feature that can be used to create a custom profile at the organization level? 

A: Once extensibility is in place, end users would be able to add an app from the Office App Store. For developers, they could further customize the experience using the public APIs.

Q: Where is the Skills metadata being stored? How many Skills can people have on their profile?

A: The skills are stored in the Office Graph and there is no limit on the number of skills. The current profile still uses UPA to store skills. We will be using Office Graph to store the skills. In the mean time, you can continue to use the current way to update skills. We plan to simplify the user properties and focus on working on (what you do) and skills (what you know).

The “working on” section is intended to describe what the employees are working on (such as projects, campaign). We will try to automate this as much as possible to make it easier for the employees to update. This will also be based on permissions from that user.

Q: At the moment, it feels like two experiences. Microsoft has said there is a going to be some reconciling of the experiences – About Me and the new Delve profile. Do we enter in two places for now, or recommend to start using the new Delve “Me” page?

A: In the next few weeks the profile entry points will change to point to the Delve profile. All roads will lead to a singular destination – lots of on-ramps, so charge your all-electric batteries.

Q: We have Delve turned off in our tenant. What will happen for us in a few weeks? Will we keep the old About Me page or will we still get the new Delve profile?

A: You would get the new profile experience, but it will be homed under Sites, not Delve – so no Activity feed, just the new look and feel and the Profile tab.

Q: Can users add and maintain the links in the Links card? It would be grand if users can have one central place to store links to internal and external resources.

A: This feature is not available in the moment. We are open for ideas of extensions, feel free to provide a few scenarios/examples in this group.

Q: Is there any direct URL for the new profile page?

A: The most direct looks like this:

Q: Will there be an org chart that you can add in the new Profile page in Delve?

A: Take a look at this blog to learn about the org chart in Delve.

Q: Will the org chart in the Profile page in delve pull from the org chart in the UP that already exists? 

A: Yes, there is an org chart in the new Profile in Delve.

Q: Is there a community administrator that can see all content, people, places within Delve?

A: Delve does not change any permissions and inherits the permission from the underlying sources. Users or admins will only be able to see content they have already permissions for.

Q: A question on Mobile App, what is the link/synergy or what will be the link/synergy between Office Video Mobile App and Delve Mobile App? If Delve surface Video as key content what will be the user experience at the end? Will the end user will switch between  two Mobile Apps?

A: This is an area we are working on. Right now Delve mobile does not yet surface videos from Office 365 Video, like the Web interface does. Once enabled for mobile, the first experience will be to launch the video in the native mobile browser – where we’re releasing new work to enable responsive design and HTML-5 playback to support good page experience and playback across devices. We then will focus on the better cross-app integration.

Q: Will the non core profile properties be sourced from the SharePoint user profile service? This seems to be the case now, where even custom profile properties appear on the new profile. Will this continue in the future or the idea is to shift toward using Azure AD or a different repository? 

A: The non-core (custom) properties will continue to be supported from SharePoint user profile services.

Q: Is there a “Share this” feature there for the iOS App? I search for stuff people need, and I want to share it with the person who needs it. 

A: Thanks for the feedback! We currently support that with a very simple gesture that pulls up the Share experience for iOS and Android, respectively. You can do this by going into a document, tapping the button on the bottom right of the view, and tapping Share.

We hope to support sharing that also modify permissions in the future.

Q: What does the pencil mean next to people’s names?

A: It’s the last document that person modified. We realize it’s a bit misleading because it looks like you can edit. We’re looking into how to make it clearer!

Q: Can a user’s profile show who he/she interacts with the most?

A: Right now the profile org chart is based on hierarchy/AD. People are certainly a part of the Delve discovery experience – and this is driven by who you work with, not just who you work for.

The item of feedback that you wouldn’t directly see today is a distinct list that shows who others are working with. That data is in the Office Graph, but today is not represented as a list – but incorporated in the discovery results.

You can learn who someone is mostly working with by clicking on the right corner box in the activity tab.

Q: For education – It would be great to control Delve by (class) groups. That way we could control what individual classes would see. 

A: You could explore using Boards for this. Perhaps a board for each class code.

Q: Can someone tell me more about the new “authoring” options? Will it replace the “blog” now? And – will it allow people to comment in Yammer on your blog post? 

A: The new authoring does replace the “old” SharePoint blog. If you have a SharePoint blog you will still have access to it, we’ve made sure to incorporate links into the new experiences that will get you to your blog if you have one. If you don’t have an existing blog you will only be able to start with the new experience.

On the question of Yammer integration, it won’t show up initially but we’re working on it. Being able to comment on blog posts is something we know lots of people will want to do.

Q: Blogs, in my opinion, should be a “conversation” not only about informing people. The clunkiness of the current blog commenting engine of SharePoint blogs keeps me from it. The fact that I can’t be alerted automatically on people commenting on my blog (unless I set up an alert) and the fact that the questioner does not get a notification that I replied seems to just kill the conversation.

A: Totally agree with you both on the importance of having the conversation be a part of blogging and the pain points you described with old SharePoint blogs, we hope to have commenting enabled soon after our initial rollout to First Release customers.

Q: Will we be able to customize the profiles at organizational level? We’ve done quite a bit of work on the user profiles in SharePoint (including brining in data from other systems) and would like to be able to incorporate some of that into the new profiles.

A: We are working on the extensibility support for profile. We would love to understand more about your customizations.

Q: Will any part of the Delve People experience be available in standalone SharePoint Online tenants? SharePoint Server?

A: The Profile experience will be available for the SharePoint standalone in the following weeks. We’re focused on Delve from a hybrid perspective that will allow on-premises signals to be fed into the Office Graph within Office 365, and then custom solutions can consume the Office Graph data using the future Office Graph APIs.

Q: How can we spin this around and easily surface Delve within SharePoint. Our clients’ strategies are based on the intranet being the place to go.

We want to embed a view of Delve content on the intranet home page/sub-site landing pages.

A: The Delve team and the NextGen Portals team are working hand in hand on future Office Graph powered experiences across the portals. You see this today in Office 365 Video with the “Popular” channel and “You might also like” – both powered by the Office Graph. And once the Office Graph APIs are released, we do expect that portals and sites will light up with more apps and zones populated from intelligence coming from the Office Graph.

Q: How does a Yammer User Profile and a SharePoint Online User Profile and a Delve Profile and an Office 365 User Profile all mesh? Are they the same? Are they synch’ed? Is the key to it all working to just use Azure AD?

A: It is a focus to further unify the profile experience across Office 365. The goal is to continue to lessen the number of profiles and to ensure all entry points lead to a common profile end point. And yes, the value of AAD being the initial source for core profile information is key, whether you’re federated or not via ADFS.

Q: The Profile integration story should be fully baked before this is rolled out, it Can NOT be something that comes later. Having a future “goal” to get the profiles integrated sounds backwards to me. The functionality to have one profile should be rolled out before the fancy UI stuff.

A: We’re in the process of unifying and consolidating. We’re not adding more, we are working over the next few weeks to ensure main entry points lead to this new profile – but it’s not net new in the sense of another profile to manage.

Appreciate the sentiment and feedback, and we’re on a path of continuous innovation and want to ensure we inform everyone of the steps we’re taking along the way. Yesterday and the weeks coming are significant enough of a first step that we wanted to articulate what we’re doing.

Q: Anyone know if/when the API to report your own “signals” to the Office Graph will be available?

A: The Delve and Office Graph team will share more at Ignite in this session: “Building Solutions with Office Graph”:

Q: Is the Praise in Delve profile from Yammer?

A:  The Praise feature is not yet released. For the first version it will not be integrated with the Yammer Praise feature, but we will explore that for the future.

Q: I spotted a small bug in the Delve profile. It shows the blog ection even if a users hasn’t ever created a blog – in which case it links to an error page. It should probably hide the Blog option if there isn’t one (and it would be nice if it showed a headline from the latest blog post if there is).

A: The link that goes to a 404 is a bug that we are tracking and working on getting resolved. The blog section on the page will evolve with the rest of the profile so I’d expect to see improvements over time as well. The experience will be slightly different when you’re looking at your own profile vs. someone else’s.

Q: Any next level links you have in your back pocket? Looking to understand it a deeper technical level (architecturally and how it fits in with SP personalization and target content delivery). 

A: We will share more at Ignite and Build. Stay tuned, we will share links in this group.

Q: Can someone give me a sound-byte that I can get back to my team on about what “this” is? I can’t put my finger on what the whole “people experiences” means. Let’s face it, depending on your company, people experiences will get a bit of an eyebrow raise. 

A: Improvements to how people find other people when they are in search of answers – even on the go – along with the power of people being able to better express themselves. Most companies are an average split of 80% consumer, 20% creation – and we want to focus on experiences for both.

Search and Content Sources

Q: What baseline information does Delve monitor to come up with its suggestions?

A: If you are signed up for First Release, Delve these content sources: Office Docs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) from OneDrive and SharePoint sites, Email attachments, videos from Office 365 Video, and external links from public discussions in Yammer.

Q: Why is there no “Search” for files in the Delve iOS app? There is a search for people – but not files or Yammer posts or emails. Why?

A: Thanks for the feedback. We launched intentionally with a subset of the features of the full Delve web experience. We’ll use feedback from customers to help determine the next features to add to the app!

Q: When I think Delve I think Search. They’re the same thing in my brain.

A: Interesting to hear. We also get a lot of feedback that Delve is a great people experience and our usage data showed that customers were using Delve to find content through people so we decided to lead with that first on the Delve mobile app.

We do want to make sure everyone is aware we do support People search in Delve for iOS and Android right now. You can do this by going to the People tab on either app.

Q: When you search within Delve, will it classify what you are looking for? For instance, if I search the word “mickey”, will docs, emails, and people information come up in the search result? And can I choose to narrow down?

A: At this point there are no results refinements in Delve discovery. If you performed a search in the main SharePoint search center, you could refine the search results. The base technology is common to both Delve and Search Center, with the added layer of the Office Graph for Delve which targets relevancy based on user actions. You will see docs, email attachments, people, etc. in Delve, but filtered for you via relevance and the goal of enabling discovery intelligently based on what you do and who you are working with.

If you search for mickey then Delve will propose you people results with Mikey (e.g. Mikey Smith), documents edited or created by Mikey(s), boards that contain mickey in their name as well as documents that contain the keyword mikey.

Q: Will there be a narrow down function for “only docs” or “only people,” etc.?

A: The result sets are separated: you get people and board results in the left side and document results on the main area.

Q: The refinements need will become increasingly important. Delve does a surprisingly good job of surfacing relevant content – but users need to be able to help it by refining the results further. Otherwise we end up with just a smarter Google (or Bing) search and that is not what we need in a corporate environment. We have carefully designed Information Architecture, with relevant metadata, so we want to be able to get additional value from that via Delve.

A: Thank you for your feedback, we’ll be looking into providing end users ways to refine Delve results.

Q: I have only seen documents in my Delve results to date, is this just me or is Delve designed for documents only? 

A: Delve will show more than documents. You will see documents, people, email attachments, external links shared in Yammer, based on what the Office Graph tunes for the user. The Office Graph incorporates signals across various workloads and content primarily from OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online team sites, O365 Video portal and Exchange Online email attachments and external links shared in public Yammer groups.

Q: Will Delve utilize the new SharePoint algorithms for “suggested people. sites, documents, etc…”?

A: The Delve user experience derives insights from the Office Graph – the Office Graph represents a collection of signals comprising content and activity, and the relationships between them that happen across the entire Office suite. From email, social conversations, instant messages and meetings, to documents, SharePoint sites, and OneDrive for Business folders, the Office Graph maps the relationships among people and information, and acts as the foundation for Office experiences that are more relevant, personal and personalized to each individual. The Office Graph uses sophisticated machine learning techniques to connect people to the relevant content, conversations and people around them.

In essence you are correct, and the real juice providing insights is the Office Graph on top of the index.

Delve utilizes a number of signals to suggest documents, people, etc. The signals include signals from SharePoint as well as signals from Exchange as well. (and graph). Learn more about the Office Graph here:

Q: What determines or populates the “working on” section shown in the screenshot on the blog yesterday?

A: The “working on” is a combination of group users are member of as well as user curated information. the Working On feature has not been released yet. It will be available in the coming months.

Q: I could see a case where I might have some photos taken from a company picnic that I save to a Team Site or my OneDrive for Business library. If that surfaces under what I am “working on” that could cause issues with an uptight manager. 

A: What will be shown on “working on” will be the name of Office 365 public groups you are member of. In addition, users will be provided with suggestions and users will manually confirm to accept the suggestions.

Q: Will Office 365 compliance features pick up all the same data that are being used to power Delve features? For example, will eDiscovery searches find everything a Delve search would?

A: eDiscovery is a different entry point based on the same index with greater access afforded to the compliance officer (the person who has been granted use rights to the compliance center, or eDiscovery site) for visibility. So, yes, it is based on the same data set, but is used in a very different way.

Q: We just finished a fun offline discussion of Delve. One of the more legal-minded of us pointed out that the Office Graph poses risks for organizations subject to ethical wall or insider trading investigations. That “X works with Y” relationship would be highly relevant to such investigations and so subject to eDiscovery. Can the existing eDiscovery tools capture those data, or is that something that organizations will have to wait for?

A: We don’t actually provide insights such as “X works with Y”, or any “X has viewed Y”, those are considered private signals. You can learn more on privacy in Delve here:

Q: Clearly this feature should emphasize the need to assure your documents and information are secured correctly! I always tell my SP folks to secure correctly as “search WILL find it”, now I guess I need to add Delve to that. 

A: It’s important to know that Delve does not break any permissions, and yes, it will add visibility to how permissions are applied. Good to add it to the adoption planning, in context with how search works and how users can manage their own permissions on documents and such to the requirements of the information being shared (or not).

As mentioned Delve only inherits permissions from existing content. In addition, based on early First Release feedback we’ve added a admin control to “hide” certain sensitive content from Delve discovery… Admin’s in addition ensuring they have correct permissions set can also use this as needed…

The Delve and Office Graph intent is to be aware of all Office 365 activity and source signals from many of the actions people take across the suite of services.


Q: When will Delve for iOS be released for my country? 

A: The Delve app for Android and iPhone will be available in the U.S., Ireland and Norway markets and will expand to all supported markets in the following weeks. Hold tight, should be on it’s way soon.

Q: Somehow it seems the new profile page is available only through Delve. However, the announcement says it will be available through everywhere, OWA, People, About Me etc. Everywhere else, it takes me to the old “my sites” profile page. When will be this “new profile” page experience available from throughout Office365?

A: The Profile will be accessible from these locations within the next few weeks.

Q: I  was noticing this morning that I was seeing the new Delve Profile experience, but not the new Blog authoring experience. Is the new Blog authoring a separate piece being rolled out?

A: The new Blog is one of the profile elements that will ship a little later, within 1-2 months from this initial profile update.

Q: When will Boards be released?

A: Boards is current available for those who have opted in to First Release. Boards will be soon be graduating out of First Release, stay tuned!

Q: How do I turn on First Release in my tenant?

A: To learn more about First Release, check out this link :

Q: Can you share any timeline for the Windows Phone version?

A: We are working on it but don’t have a timeline to share right now.

Q: On the iOS app, what do the pencils mean next to people’s names?

A: It’s the last document that person modified. We realize it’s a bit misleading because it looks like you can edit. We’re looking into how to make it more clear!


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