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How to create a channel and share videos with Microsoft Stream

Stream is available as part of a normal Microsoft 365 subscription, a departure from its beginning as a paid add-in. Now you can share videos companywide at no additional cost.

Social networking service concept.

Image: metamorworks, Getty Images/iStockphoto

When Microsoft Stream first became available after a long preview, it was a paid add-in, sold in addition to the normal subscription. However, Microsoft seems to have had a change of heart because Stream is now available as part of a normal Microsoft 365 (aka, Office 365) subscription.

Microsoft Stream is the company's video sharing tool, designed specifically for use in their productivity suite, Microsoft 365. Stream allows users to upload video to the system and then share those videos to individuals, team members, departments, and with the right permissions, even enterprise wide.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to access Microsoft Stream and how you can use it to create a channel and share a video with other people in your enterprise.

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LEARN MORE: Microsoft 365 Consumer pricing and features

Create a channel and share videos with Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is only accessible via the online web version of Microsoft 365, so use your preferred web browser to log on and select Stream from the list of apps. If Stream is not in the list of applications, someone with administrator credentials may have to activate it for you. The administrator may activate Stream company-wide (Figure A) or for just certain individuals and groups.

Figure A

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The Microsoft Stream dashboard will contain thumbnails of your previously created videos and channels. The dashboard shown in Figure B shows my video from 2016 when Stream was still in preview mode. Presumably, your dashboard would have news and training videos and channels important to your team, department or company and not just old cat videos.

Figure B

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To create a channel in Stream, click or tab the + Create tab on the Ribbon bar and select Channel. On the next screen, shown in Figure C, you will be asked to give your channel a title and description.

Figure C

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You will also be asked to choose a distribution category. You can specify a specific group, or you can specify that your channel will be available companywide. You can also choose a custom thumbnail for your channel if you wish. Click the Create button when you are ready to complete the process.

As you can see in Figure D, while we created a channel there are no videos in it yet and it is not being followed.

Figure D

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We can associate any videos we create or upload with our channels through the dashboard and it is probably a good idea to Follow our own channel. First, click the Follow button and then click the My Content tab on the Ribbon and select Videos. As you can see in Figure E, each video in our listing on the dashboard has several action buttons, including one that will add videos to channels.

Figure E

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When you click or tap that action button you will asked to pick a channel, as shown in Figure F. Search for the appropriate channel, select it and then click the Save button.

Figure F

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Note, your choices may be limited by your level of permissions. These access rules are set by the administrators of Microsoft 365 and you may have to request additional authorization to join specific groups.

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