Notify users through the activity feed in Microsoft Teams

The activity feed in Microsoft Teams is the user's single inbox for all activity across Teams. The feed aggregates important content from the following:

  • Teams/channels
  • Chats
  • Apps such as Files, Planner, and your Teams apps

If your app posts cards and other messages into a channel, they'll automatically show up in the user's feed if he or she has followed that channel.

Additionally, you can also send personal chat messages into the feed as preview cards summarizing your app's activity. You can construct the message such that choosing the card navigates the user straight to the message or object that triggered the notification, such as an entity in a tab. This allows the user to see the full content of the activity.

Sending content to the activity feed

Activity feed notification leverages your existing integration with the Bot Framework APIs. You can flag specific messages to generate notifications which appear in the activity feed. This allows generating higher levels of engagement by creating alerts on web/desktop and mobile apps.

When constructing your message, the following fields should be populated so that the correct preview content can be shown in the feed:

  • message.text, which shows up as the activity title
  • message.summary, which shows up as the activity text


Activity feed example

In addition to simply appearing in the feed, your app can also encode a deep link URL to an entity, such as your app’s tab. This drives user engagement to your app’s tab by allowing "one-click" navigation to that tab’s content.

REST API sample

For a message to be eligible to be included in the feed, simply mark an existing bot message with a special property, which indicates it should generate a notification:

"channelData": {
  "notification": {
    "alert": true
  }
}

Here is a full request example:

POST /v3/conversations/a%3A1pL6i0oY3C0K8oAj8/activities/1493070356924
{
  "type": "message",
  "timestamp": "2017-04-24T21:46:00.9663655Z",
  "localTimestamp": "2017-04-24T14:46:00.9663655-07:00",
  "serviceUrl": "https://callback.com",
  "channelId": "msteams",
  "from": {
    "id": "28:e4fda94a-4b80-40eb-9bf0-6314491bc793",
    "name": "The bot"
  },
  "conversation": {
    "id": "a:1pL6i0oY3C0K8oAj8"
  },
  "recipient": {
    "id": "29:1rsVJmSSFMScF0YFyCXpvNWlo",
    "name": "User"
  },
  "text": "John Phillips assigned you a weekly todo",
  "summary": "Don't forget to meet with Marketing next week",
  "channelData": {
    "notification": {
      "alert": true
    }
  },
  "replyToId": "1493070356924"
}

Deep linking

To navigate the user to content within your tab, your message must include an attachment with a tap action. This tap action should be of type OpenUrl and have a value that follows the Microsoft Teams deep links format.

Note

If the deep link does not follow the Teams format, choosing the notification in the feed navigates the user first to the chat with the bot. From there, the user can engage the attachment’s tap action to navigate to an external website.

Notification only bots

To access the activity feed, you will need to use a bot. If your bot's sole purpose is to send notifications, please take a look at the notification only bots section.