E-mail is about to get a lot more social. Microsoft announced that it will add “Likes” and “@Mentions” to Outlook on the web.

For those of you unfamiliar with social media such as Facebook. A “like” is when you click a button to signifying your approval or interest in a post that someone makes on social media. Unlike a return receipt, which acknowledges that something has been opened, a “like” would indicate that this particular message has engaged you.

Mentions are used on service like Instagram and Twitter to let a fellow user know that you’ve mentioned him or her in a post. Mentions are proceeded by the @ symbol and then your user name.

E-mail, instant messaging and text messaging seem to be getting more and more alike every moment of the day as new features are introduced to messaging apps.

E-mail will now have that same little thumbs-up symbol that you see on Facebook posts. Click it to show your approval and the sender will receive a notification that you’ve liked the message. If someone likes a message you’ve sent, you’ll receive a notification as well.

outloook-like-button

To add a mention, just type the @ symbol somewhere in the body of an e-mail you are composing. That will bring up a list of your frequent contents and your directory. You can then select the person’s name and they’ll be automatically added to the To: line.

outloook-mention-body

Their name will be highlighted in the message the the message will show up flagged in their inbox. You’ll also be able to sort by all messages in which you are mentioned, so you can make sure to respond.

outloook-mention-sort

Right now the changes are coming to the Outlook on the web, which is found in workplaces.  It will be available to all Office 365 commercial subscriptions that include Outlook on the web. That includes the Business, Enterprise, EDU and Government plans. Microsoft expects to bring the same features to Outlook 2016 for PC and Mac and for their Outlook apps for iPhones and Android phones at the beginning of next year.

What do you think of these social features coming to e-mail? Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia