Following sites in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 brings several new features in the social and collaboration area. One of these features is the ability to follow content – sites and documents, and receive updates from them in the newsfeed .

When you follow a document, you will get updates in the newsfeed if the item was updated.

FollowingContentFeature NewsFeedFollowDocuments SiteFeedFeature

When you follow a site, this becomes a “channel” for your newsfeeds. You will be able to share posts just within that site.



However, there are two important site features that need to be activated in order to have this functionality available.

  • Following content : this makes the site available to be followed (star icon will appear on the top right part of the screen)
  • Site Feed: this makes the site show up as a “channel” when you are posting something from the newsfeed web part. There is also a web part, called “Site Feeds” which comes with this feature.

FollowingContentFeature SiteFeedFeature

Although some site templates already have these features enabled (e.g. : Team Site), they have to be manually activated for a Blank Site or a Publishing Site.

A simple usage scenario for following sites would be like this:

  • Create a new site collection
  • Activate the required features at site level
  • Create a new page
  • Add the “Site Feeds” web part to the page.


  • Anyone accessing that page, will see the feeds from this site, and will be able to post messages    via this “channel”


  • Newsfeed also appear in the My Site area.


You can find more information about the social capabilities in SharePoint 2013 here.

What do you think about following sites in SharePoint 2013?

  1. kourosh said:

    Hi and thank you for your blog and this post. it is really useful.
    I did what you said, and added a message (conversation) to the Site Feed web part which was added to a page on a publishing Page. But when I go to my Newsfeed (mysite) and try to reply to my message or like it. It generates following error.
    You don’t have access to the newsfeed on the site. Request access to participate in the conversation.

  2. Hi,

    Did you also follow that site? Once you start following a site, it will be displayed as a “channel” in the Newsfeed web part (when you create a post, you are able to choose the target audience – everyone, or just one followed site). And then you will be able to post, reply or like conversations from that site.

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