Understanding Boost for SharePoint News

One of the features coming with Viva Connections is Boost. Boost allows you to prioritize content that shows up in the Feed for Viva Connections that you see in the web part or in the Teams mobile app. As Microsoft’s support article mentions, this feature is pretty new and more is coming allowing boosted news posts to show up in the News Web part, SharePoint app bar, and the automatic news digest.

Enabling Boost

To use Boost, you’ll need to be posting news from a SharePoint Home Site or Organizational News site. After configuring your site as either, it will take a few minutes for the Boost capability so show up. Once it does, you’ll see a new Boost button on your toolbar of an article. If you just created your news page, you may need to refresh the page after publishing for the Boost button to become visible.

New Boost button
New Boost button on news posts

Click the Boost button and then toggle it on. Select a date that you want the Boost to expire. Finally if you have multiple Boosted items you can change the order. Click Save and you are done.

Enabling boost
Configure your Boost date and order

Viewing your Boosted News

Not all ways to view boosted content are available yet, but you may have the new Feed for Viva Connections (Preview) web part already if you are in targeted release. Edit a Page and look for the web part using that name to add it. It might take a minute, but your new boosted News content will show up in the feed with the word “Boosted’ appearing above it.

Boosted News appears first.
Boosted News appears first.

How does it work?

As a developer, the next thing you might wonder is how it works? Like a lot of new SharePoint Page features, they are really just controlled by list columns. When you boost your first news article on a site, five new columns will be added to your Site Pages library.

New site columns for Boost
New site columns for Boost

In my experience so far only Boost Expiry Date, Boost Order, and Boost Order Version are used at this time. You can read into what you will with the other columns that aren’t used yet. I have no idea.

When you add those columns to your view, it looks like this.

Boost site columns
Boost site columns

The Boost Expiry Date column will contain the date you selected. The Boost Order column contains a rather large number that is generated to order the boosted items. The Boost Order Version column will increment if you change the boost order multiple times. The internal columns names for the first two columns are _BoostExpiry or _BoostOrder respectively.

Published by coreyroth

Corey Roth is the Vice President of Engineering at UnlimitedViz where he helps build the tyGraph product line for data analytics in Microsoft 365. Corey is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft MVP award in Office Apps and Services. Corey helps ISVs develop mobile-first applications for Office 365 using technologies such as Ionic Framework and Azure. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Office 365 and Azure. In his spare time, Corey works with his wife, Jennifer, on their product BrewZap, a mobile app platform for breweries.

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