The latest version of the Windows 10 Mail app now has one of Microsoft’s more unique mail features in recent years: Mentions. The feature is kind of like Twitter or Facebook mentions. You tag someone in an email with an “@” symbol, and it flags the message in their inbox if they’re using Office 365, Outlook.com, or the Windows 10 Mail app.
Mentions can be used to assign team members a certain task, create an attendee list for meetings, and so on. Mentions aren’t like typical Outlook flags. Instead, recipients see a big “@” symbol above the time-sent notification on the right side of the message tile, as pictured here.
Microsoft first announced Mentions in late 2015 and the feature started to hit Outlook.com in 2016.
Mentions work the same way wherever the feature is available. Start writing a mail message, and in the body of the message type the “@” symbol. A panel will appear with your contacts in it. As you type the contact’s name, the listing in the panel will change allowing you to select the right person after a few keystrokes.
Beyond making it more obvious that the recipient should pay attention to a particular message, Mentions also have a few other advantages.
First, a mention is really just a plain old “mailto” link. That means they are visible to non-Microsoft mail users, and if you click on one it will create a new mail message addressed to that person.
On top of that, if you forget to add someone to an email message, typing a mention with their name will automatically add them to the “To:” line. If you erase that mention their email address will disappear so the mention should ideally make sense within the context of the message.
Mentions can also function as tags making it easier for everyone to search their inbox at a later date.
If you need to work with others—or just list who’s bringing the potato salad and who’s bringing the hot dogs to the next family outing—Mentions can help.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.