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Microsoft is now testing link unfurling in Outlook

Link sharing is a very common practice in the workplace, especially a hybrid one. For example, you may want to share the link to a Power BI dashboard with a team member or the link to an external website where the entire team needs to sign up.

A simple URL is often quite bland and nondescript, so Microsoft is now testing a capability called link unfurling in Outlook.

Outlook logo on a dark background with a link icon below it and New Features written at the bottom l

Link unfurling arrived on Teams a few months ago. It allows URLs to surface richer actionable card previews. In order to get this to work for app links, developers are required to update their app's manifest with some minor changes. Meanwhile, for other links such as those pointing to websites, web authors need to leverage structured schema.org metadata and tag actions for their website. The same UX enhancement is now available for some users in the Outlook app.

Link unfurling offers numerous benefits including being descriptive by providing context and also allowing recipients to take action directly from a card preview instead of opening the link. You can see it in action in the demo below where the recipient sees more information about their order from the link and can also change the order quantity without opening the URL in a dedicated browser tab:

For now, link unfurling in Outlook is currently available as a public preview through the Microsoft 365 Targeted Release program or for those who are members of the Office Insiders program and have Outlook for Windows installed from the Beta Channel. Microsoft started rolling out the new Outlook for Windows experience for all Office Insiders just a few days ago.

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