SharePoint announcements versus the news web part

A common requirement for intranet sites has always been the ability to display corporate (and other) announcements on the home page.

In earlier versions of SharePoint, this requirement was usually met with the use of an announcements list, a content query web part and, often, custom code.

Now though there is the new out-of-the-box news web part that doesn’t require such heavy lifting.

What is news?

News is the out-of-the-box replacement for announcements and its capabilities far outreach those of the old announcement web part. It enables organisations to keep employees informed, either across the organisation or within smaller teams.

The news web part comes provisioned with all new modern site collections and doesn’t need to be configured.

Screenshot of News web part in SharePoint - 4 images and news articles

What’s the difference?

The main difference is that each news article is a fully functional page that sits in the site collection’s site pages library (rather than a list item).

This means that contributors can add headers, images, rich text and web parts to their articles. News also comes with out-of-the-box comments functionality.

Five benefits of news

  1. It’s easy to create, edit and publish posts, right from the home page of a site (no SharePoint experience needed).
  2. The news web part can return articles from a single site, all sites or a selection of sites in a tenant it.
  3. It can be targeted to the current signed on user, creating a personalised touch and filtering out articles that don’t necessarily affect that user.
  4. It’s fully responsive, meaning news can be accessed on the go from a variety of devices and screen sizes.
  5. It isn’t just SharePoint functionality. News posts can be emailed to users or even posted to a channel in Teams.

Can we still use announcements?

If you must…