Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Rethinking Gif’s in Teams

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often.

Written: 17/05/2020 | Updated: N/A

It has felt like a very long time since I last sat down and wrote a decent blog. It was back on 26th April when I looked at the initial roll out of background effects. Not that long ago at all you say – but since then I have delivered at Microsoft 365 Saturday Madrid, Teams Day Online Germany, Microsoft the Tour Israel, Vuzion Power Platform Bootcamp and got myself involved in this little MVP training gig. I am also currently writing sessions for Microsoft 365 Marathon, Galactic Collaboration Summit and Commsverse and have multiple Fundamental deliveries in the next two weeks. All on top of the day to day.

Crazy times for sure. But I get anxious when I don’t blog for more than a week – and it’s been three – so you understand I must.

Today I became aware that Facebook brought Giphy. Microsoft Teams uses Giphy for Gif’s as a messaging action. I then read this very interesting article of how Facebook may use your data from Giphy after it was referenced by Adam Ball on Twitter

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Will Microsoft continues to permit Giphy in Microsoft Teams? Will customers be comfortable using a feature that is owned by Facebook given it’s history?

This all remains to be seen. However, it’s important to understand that we can act and we can disable Gif’s in Teams at both a Team and at a Tenant level in order to stop them being used if you or your organisation no longer feels comfortable in using them going forward. I have also opened a uservoice for Microsoft to develop their own Gif service to use in Teams if they decide to stop using Giphy – which I believe many will want them to consider. All the details below

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • To stop using Giphy/Gif’s in Teams
  • The organisation isn’t comfortable using this feature given recent developments

PREREQUISITES

Users need Teams licences – usually via Office/Microsoft 365 licences and be a Team owner to disable in a Team. Teams administrator or Global Administrator permissions are needed to disable in a Tenant via the Teams Admin Centre

DISABLE GIF’S IN A TEAM’S CHANNEL CONVERSATIONS

The owner of the team can disable GIF’s quickly and easily in a Team

1.) In Teams, select More Options (…) next to the Team name, then Manage Team

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2.) Select Settings

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3.) Select Fun Stuff and then Uncheck

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This has disabled GIF’s in the Team and the GIF Icon no longer appears under the message bar

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DISABLE GIF’S IN A TENANT (ACROSS ALL TEAMS & PRIVATE CHATS)

Disabling GIF’s in a Team can be done very quickly, however they are done on a Team by Team basis, are not completely enforceable if an owner decides to turn them back on and this doesn’t cover private chats. The organisation may want to commit to disabling GIF’s across the whole tenant and feel it better to do so administratively

1.) Log into https://login.microsoftonline.com with admin credentials. Select Admin

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2.) From the left navigation select Show More then Teams

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3.) In the Teams Admin Centre select Messaging Policies

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4.) Select Global (Org-wide default)

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5.) Swipe off Use Giphy’s in Conversations and select Save

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This has disabled GIF’s across the tenant and the GIF icon is no longer available in either Teams channels or private chats

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Note, that if the organisation has custom messaging policies in addition to the global org-wide default then it will need to ensure that the Use Giphy’s in conversation is turned off in each messaging policy if those policies are actively used

USERVOICE

I like GIF’s. When I first started using Teams and I came from – let’s say an orthodox corporate background – I didn’t. Yet I have come to understand and enjoy them and find them to be an important part of communicating with others in and out of the business. They give context and humour, and satire and can capture so much more than one often does with words.

But, for the record, with this acquisition I would love to see Microsoft develop their own Gif service. If you would like to see this too, please vote on the following uservoice

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/40446937-develop-your-own-gif-service-now-facebook-has-brou

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