Tech Tip: An important reminder about Microsoft Skype and Teams instant messages (chats)

Instant messages in Teams, called Chats, don’t instantly disappear when you close the Chat window—they’re typically held for 24 hours or more before deletion. That means they can be subject to Public Disclosure Requests during that time. Some chats last for up to a week, but KCIT is working on the issue. Even if you’re still using Skype, any IMs with coworkers on Teams will also be retained for 24 hours or more on their side.  

Remember: You may recall that our guidance for using Skype instant messages has always been “Don’t conduct work in instant messages.” The same is true in Teams Chats. They should only be used for transitory communication. 

What does this mean for you? 

  • When you move to Teams for your calls, meetings and IMs/chats (this year for most of us), use Chats only for transitory communication such as “Ready for that coffee now?” and “Hey, are you going to join our meeting?” 
  • Posts in Teams Channels, on the other hand, are kept as part of the Teams site and are a great place to communicate important information. If you don’t know about those yet, don’t worry! Learn about posts and other great Teams collaboration features here
  • Keep in mind: since posts are retained, and Chats are automatically held for 24 hours or longer, both are subject to public disclosure and a hold may be placed on these communications. Keep it professional, as always!