@mention has arrived Outlook

The new @mention feature arrived in our @Office365 tenant at work. Email is getting social. We have been @mentioning people in emails for a while now, to draw their attention to a comment, question or task. We are addressing them within the email and want this to stand out in the text. @mention in Outlook will add the mentioned contact to the To recipients and will hyperlink the mentioned person within the message text. The hyperlink and @ symbol combined are easy to see in the message. The hyperlink is a simple mailto: hyperlink that when clicked, will start a new message to that person.

We are seeing more features are being released to the browser and app experience of Office 365 before the desktop applications. My natural instinct was to open Outlook on desktop, make sure the Office build was up to date and see if @mention works in a new message.
At this stage, @mentions have been released to Outlook on the Web (formerly Outlook Web Access). The FAQ in the announcement blog post had this to say about availability for Outlook desktop and Outlook apps:

“We expect to roll out the Mention feature to the Office 2016 clients for Windows and Mac, as well as Outlook for iOS and Android, in the first half of 2016.”

@mention will ensure that the mentioned contact receives the message and that they will easily see where in the message they were mentioned. They can quickly read why they were mentioned and then read the whole message for the context. This is a time saver and an improvement to clarify communication.

If tasks are assigned in a large block of text such as:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.  On this project I’d like Darrell and Jethro to work on the Groups feature and Hans to work on the OneDrive feature. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.”

It is easier to see people mentioned and hyperlinked.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.  On this project I’d like @Darrell Webster and @Jethro Seghers to work on the Groups feature and @Hans Brender to work on the OneDrive feature. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.”

@Office365, I Like this new feature and have these two pieces of feedback:

1. After typing @ and beginning to type the name, contacts are suggested. When I select a contact, the name is completed and hyperlinked too. However, the cursor starts on a new line. We sometimes @mention people in mid-sentence. It would make sense to auto-complete the @mentioned contact with a space after it and the cursor remain on the same line.
2. Rather than just hyperlinking the contact, it would be better to see a Skype4B contact card while hovering over the hyperlink. It offers more options for contacting the @mentioned person.

@Readers – How do you feel about @mentions? What business value does it add? Does it improve communication?