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Viva Topics is retired... now what?  FAQs and alternatives to Viva Topics

23 February 2024

On February 22, 2024 Microsoft announced that Viva Topics will be retired (

If you are here because you are looking for an alternative to Viva Topics, you can jump straight to read Atlas Knowledge Topics pages here.

The announcement said: “Viva Topics will be retired on February 22, 2025 and Microsoft won't invest in new feature development for Viva Topics going forward from February 22, 2024.

The announcement follows a year of speculation and an even longer period of seemingly little roadmap progress to the frustration of customers and partners alike. Nonetheless, the announcement came as a shock and a surprise to most, including MPVs, many internal Microsoft staff and the wider partner and customer community.

Viva Topics was always an ambitious piece of kit, with some amazing magic happening behind the scenes. Frustratingly, the power and the magic fell short, with challenges related to scaling, lack of integration options, day-to-day management, permission management and so forth. All these challenges could have been overcome with time, but here we are. Viva Topics is being retired.

You can read more about a direct alternative to Viva Topics pages in a seperate blog post - click here.

You can read more about the direct consequences in the FAQs below - click here.

The question some will ask is whether this decision is justified? This is not really for me to comment on, as I am sure this decision was not taken lightly, would have been made at a very high level, and would have factored many variables in.

Though I do think it is fair to assume that the decision was based on a disappointing uptake of Viva Topics, combined with the diverted focus onto Microsoft 365 Copilot.

I would add to this that the misalignment between what the product does, how it was taken to market and how it was sold by sellers in the field did not help and this misalignment may finally have hit home with senior management.

Viva Topics was marketed by some as a full “knowledge management solution". Indeed, customers perception after getting the early Microsoft pitches was that Viva Topics would offer a one-stop-shop for organizing, harvesting, curating and disseminating knowledge.

It never was that.

It was always – in reality – going to be a (very clever) tool, in the toolkit, to help organisations identify and assess potential knowledge and experts. It goes without saying that Microsoft is an excellent developer of technology – and a formidable technology partner - but the fact is that the gap between many of these tools and being able to deliver on a Knowledge Management strategy is vast. This is yet again demonstrated on this Microsoft page, simply titled “Microsoft 365 knowledge management” ( which you may or may not want to read.

In summary, it states that to get started with your knowledge management strategy, you need to get to know Copilot, Viva and SharePoint. So again, let’s remind ourselves that that Copilot, combined with SharePoint and the remnants of Viva, is not a KM Strategy. It’s a bunch of tools – some of which are better than others.

These tools can however become really powerful component parts within a larger overarching platform approach, to support business strategies that include knowledge management, knowledge productivity and generally getting more out of your knowledge.

FAQs about Viva Topics retirement

Question: We have published thousands of Topics pages – what will happen to them?

Topic pages that have been published by users will become standard SharePoint pages.

In other words, Topic pages will no longer be automatically enhanced by the AI and machine learning algorithms of Viva Topics, but users can still edit and publish updates as they would any other SharePoint page.

Important note: Topics in the “suggested” or “confirmed” state that have not been published (and therefore do not a corresponding published page) will no longer be available.


Question: What happens to the Viva Topics Center site?

The site where the published Topics pages were stored (known as the “Topic Center” site) will be converted to a standard SharePoint site (we assume a Communications site) and can be maintained and governed like any other SharePoint site.


Question: What happens to the Viva Topics analytics that we have?

Microsoft states that the knowledge management and analytics around topics will no longer be available.


Question:  What about the end-user Viva Topics experience in SharePoint or Search?

The ability for Viva Topics to appear automatically across Microsoft Search, Office apps, Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint modern pages will no longer be available.


Question: What happens to Viva Topics in Viva Engage?

Microsoft stated the following in relation to Viva Engage:

  • Viva Topics will return to a simplified public topics model and the integration with Viva Topics will be retired.
  • The ability to hover over a topic pill to view the topic card, the use of AI-discovered Viva Topics, links to the Viva Topics pages, and access to management view of Viva Topics will no longer be available.
  • Users will continue to be able to create topics, add topics to posts, follow topics, and see relevance of feeds by topics they follow, just as they would in the unlicensed experience.


Question: What happens to the Viva Topics license I paid for?

Good question, which I have not been able to get a clear answer on this so far, whether you have a stand-alone add on or Viva Suite license. More to come on this in the near future. 


Question: What alternatives are there for Viva Topics?

You can read more about alternatives to Viva Topics pages here.

Author bio

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel is Co-Founder of ClearPeople, responsible for the overall technical and Atlas Intelligent Knowledge Platform vision. He works closely with colleagues at Microsoft on roadmap alignment and innovative Content AI Services programs such as Microsoft Viva Topics and SharePoint Premium (previously known as Syntex). Gabriel was part of Microsoft's partner program for Project Cortex.

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