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Use Case for 1,000 channels in Microsoft Teams

Posted on May 6, 2024

One of the recent changes made by Microsoft was the ability to create up to 1,000 channels in Microsoft Teams. The change opened up a huge discussion on social media and within the Teams/SharePoint community on the practicality and possible applications of this change. So, I thought what I would do today is tell you about one particular use case that might benefit from this recent change.

Old Teams Channel Limits

Up until these recent changes, we had the following Channel limits in Teams:

  • 200 Standard channels
  • 200 Shared channels
  • 30 Private channels

To understand the difference between the 3 types of Channels we have in Teams, check out this post.

New Teams Channel limits

With the recent change, in a single Team, we can now create up to:

  • 1,000 Standard and/or Shared channels (any mix of those two; the total can be up to 1,000)
  • 30 Private channels (no change here)

What is the issue all about?

There are several issues that stem from the sudden increase in the number of channels:

Issue 1: Information overload

Even with a handful of channels in a single Team, it might be challenging for users to stay on top of things. You might be part of 10-15 teams in a tenant; multiply that by about 4-5 channels per Team, and you get the idea. It just might be overwhelming to stay on top of 70-80 channels with different messages and notifications.

Issue 2: Site Sprawl in case of Private and Shared channels

Another issue is the fact that when you create private or shared channels, you end up with separate SharePoint sites. It might be challenging to stay on top of all these sites and channels even with existing limits, not to mention the potential increase to 1,000 channels.

Issue 3: Channel Navigation

Even when you have a handful of channels in a Team, navigating those channels is a bit of an issue. With up to 1,000 channels lined up under a single team, this will definitely be a challenge!

Issue 4: A new Team or a new Channel?

Now, this reason is not really an issue with the number of channels, but rather the structure of channels related to the parent Team. Ever since the Teams application became available in 2017, we have had a dilemma on whether to create a new Team or a new channel. As a matter of fact, I even wrote a post on this topic. With that said, the post above was written before we had Shared Channels available. However, many things I stated in that post still hold true. The biggest issue with channels sharing the same Team is that you end up sharing the same Microsoft 365 Group and its resources (Planner, Group Calendar, etc.). For that reason, some apps are unavailable inside Private and Shared Channels (i.e., Planner, Calendar, etc.) as those rely on Team-wide security/access.

Use Case for 1,000 channels in Microsoft Teams

So, you might be wondering what the use cases might be for 1,000 standard or shared channels or a combination of both. Let me share one from my experience working with my clients. Some of my clients do many quick and small projects (i.e., CPA firms, Law firms, Engineering, any industry that does lots of tiny projects/jobs). In the past, my clients created Standard Channels for each client/project to keep all the conversations and files together. If they had more than 200 clients/projects, they were out of luck and had to create a new team. The increase in the number of channels to 1,000 might be a better threshold for many of my clients. Of course, if you have more than 1,000 projects/clients, you will end up with the same issue, but hey, we should not complain about having more than 1,000 clients, right? 😊. Of course, you will still have the same issues in terms of navigation and archiving described above, but at least there is one potential use case for this recent change.

About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

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