What is Viva Topics?

Viva Topics is a Microsoft 365 service that helps organizations transform information into knowledge by using AI to identify and organize topics in your organization. A topic is a phrase or term that is specific or important within an organization, such as the name of a project or a frequently discussed subject. Viva Topics automatically compiles information on topics such as a short description and related people, sites, files, and pages. All of this occurs within the flow of your work in Microsoft 365 and Office sites and apps. Additionally, employees who are granted permissions can edit these pages to add details and further references.

How can Viva Topics help you?

Discover important topics highlighted in related content

You can see topics highlighted when you read content in Microsoft 365. When you hover over the topic name, you'll see more information in a topic card. This can help you immediately learn what a topic is without having to search through content that may be stored in different silos. For  example, if you see Project A mentioned in a document but you're only familiar with Project B, you can hover over the highlighted region to learn what Project A is without having to take time searching for it or asking around.

Find people and content connected to important topics

Topic cards can provide information on associated people and resources. This means that, instead of searching through different silos, you can easily find out where to look and who to talk to for more information about a topic.

Where you will see Topics

There are currently four places where you will see Topics:

  1. Highlighted on SharePoint pages

  2. Topic answers in search results

  3. Search in Office applications

  4. Topic Center home page

Note: Topics will be available in more places in future releases.

SharePoint highlights

When a topic is mentioned in content on SharePoint news and pages, you'll see it highlighted. You can open the topic summary from the highlight. Open the topic details from the title of the summary to view the full topic page. The mentioned topic could be identified automatically or referenced directly by the page author.

Image of a topic highlighted in SharePoint

Search

You can see a topic answer in search results when you search from SharePoint Home, Office.com search, or if you change the search scope to be the full organization. The topic answer will appear at the top of the results list and give you a short set of information related to that topic.

Image of a topic in search results

Search Look-up

When you use Search in Office apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, or Excel, either through the search box, or by selecting Search in the context menu, a topic answer will be displayed in the search results.

Image of a topic answer in search look-up

Why do I see my name on a topic?

Viva Topics identifies people who are related to a topic based on the content they have authored or edited frequently and list them in the Suggested People section of the page. This is meant to help you identify people who are working on content related to this topic that you have access to view. Additionally, people who edit Topics can Pin people to a page (either themselves or others) when they want to be recognized as being related to the content. These pinned people are shown to all users. You also have space to describe the pinned person's relationship to the topic.

On the topic center home page, you can see topics in your organization that you are connected to.

Suggested connections

You will see topics under We've listed you on these topics. Did we get it right? These are topics that Viva Topics has suggested that you are connected to because you have authored or edited content that is related to the topic, such as a file or site. You can confirm whether you should remain listed as a related person for the topic. Being listed on topics where you're knowledgeable can help members of your organization recognize you as a subject matter expert.

Image of topics with feedback questions

Confirmed connections

These are topics in which you are pinned on the topic page, or you've confirmed a suggested connection to the topic. Topics will move from the suggested to confirmed section when you confirm a suggested connection.

How to tell which Topics are system generated (Suggested) from those that have been edited and are Published

Topics that have been identified by Viva Topics and have not had feedback have a grey "Suggested" banner on the top. Suggested topics also include suggested people and resources. Each of the items in these sections will have a reason for the suggestion and indicate where they were sourced from. The suggested banner will not appear on topics that have been confirmed by a knowledge manager, confirmed by a person through feedback, or edited by a user with edit permissions or knowledge manager. You can improve suggested topics by providing input.

Image of a topic with a "suggested" banner

Published topics have been edited by a knowledge manager or a user with edit permissions.

Why external content from Wikipedia can appear as descriptions on topics

Viva Topics sources a short description of suggested topics through both internal organization resources (such as files and pages) and through Wikipedia for topics that exist in the external internet. You may see descriptions of topics from Wikipedia if Viva Topics has not been able to identify a description from internal organization resources, but has identified an appropriate external description. Wikipedia is the only source outside of your Microsoft 365 tenant currently used to assist with content identification for Topics.

How security trimming affects what you can see

Viva Topics doesn't make any changes to existing permissions so you will only see content that you have permission to view on suggested topics and on the suggested web parts on published topics. This means that different people in your organization may see different views of the same topic depending on what content they have permission to view within the organization. If you don't have permissions to see any of the resources for a topic, you will not see the topic card or page.

For example if User 1 has permission to view File A, they may see File A on a topic page or in a topic card. If User 2 doesn't have permission to view File A, they may see the same topic page or topic card without File A or with different files listed.

This means that a document that is only viewable by a select group of people may appear as a resource connected to a topic when those people view the topic. However, it will not appear as a topic resource to people who view the topic but don't have permission to view the document. Security trimming ensures that all resources that appear to you in a topic page or topic card are available to you to read. Security trimming therefore helps Viva Topics show you information that is most likely to be useful to you.

Learn more about security trimming and Topics

Topic Center main page experience

The Topic Center is a SharePoint site that serves as your organization's topic knowledge center. The Topic Center has a default homepage where you can see topics that you are connected to.

Providing input on topics

Viva Topics will ask for your feedback on specific topics. Even though topics can be automatically generated, they rely on your input to be as helpful and accurate as possible. Providing feedback helps make sure that information shown to members of your organization in topic pages and cards is useful. The more feedback that you provide on topics where you’re knowledgeable, the more accurate information will be shown to members of your organization.

Providing feedback on topics where you’re knowledgeable therefore helps other members of your organization benefit from your expertise. The Topic summary card will ask the following questions:

  1. Whether identifying the topic in the SharePoint page was helpful. If enough people indicate that a topic is not correctly identified on a particular page, this highlight will eventually be removed.

  2. Whether the suggested topic is valuable to the organization. If enough people indicate that the suggested topic is valuable, the topic is automatically confirmed. Alternatively, if the suggested topic is not valuable, the topic is automatically rejected.

  3. Whether the people and resource suggestions are helpful.

  4. On the Topic Center home page, you can see the topics in your organization to which you have a connection. You can choose to remain listed on the topic or to remove yourself. This feedback is reflected to everyone who discovers this topic. Learn more about the Topic Center home page.

  5. If you have edit permissions, you can edit topics.

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