Conversations Vs Chat in Microsoft Teams

Sep 1, 2022 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips

Communication at work has more options now than just email.  Emailing has been the go to communication tool for ages and has been around for over 50 years but as the volume of emails being sent has spiralled a different approach was long overdue. 

This is where Teams conversations and chat come in. 


Conversations are where communication between team members should be taking place rather than by email.  Teams consist of channels and the conversations actually take place here.  Every member in the channel will be able to see every part of the conversation that takes place.  By their very nature, they invite others to respond and participate, so we need to consider that when writing our post. 

Conversations are far more efficient than sending emails to the group of team members.  Everyone in the team will see every conversation that takes place for total transparency.  Also, each conversation will have only 1 conversation thread.  This prevents the backward and forward email scenario where your inbox can quickly get clogged up with every step in that thread.  This should make it easier to follow exactly what is going on and find the relevant information more easily. 

Conversations are often used to pose questions to the group but can also be used to announce news such as new members of the team or progress of a project. 

Team members are often internal to the company but could be external depending on the administrator settings in the company. 

Conversations can be viewed and posts added by going to the teams on the left side of Microsoft Teams, selecting the Posts tab and clicking on the New Conversation button. 

New Conversation in Microsoft Teams

An additional feature available in conversations is to attach a file.  This is automatically available to be viewed in the files tab. 


Sometimes it is not appropriate to chat with the members of a channel as a whole.  There may be a requirement to message an individual or a subset of the group.  This is where chat comes in.  It can also be used to converse with individuals or groups outside of the company without leaving the teams environment.  Chats are between two or more people and are private in nature. You determine who is privy to the chat, and only the chat participants can see what you’ve shared. 

Chats can often be more informal in nature and often emojis and GIFs are used more here than in the more formal conversations. 

Chats are accessed from the chat button on the left pane in Microsoft teams.  The number shows how many unread chats there are.  


Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about the different ways to communicate in Teams with Conversations or Chat, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Teams? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft 365 Courses I run.