View all Outlook Social Connector status update messages

I use the Outlook Social Connector but most of the status update message from my contacts go unnoticed since you only really see them when you receive a message.

There are various contacts that I only “follow” and not regularly receive messages from. While I could open the contact or find an old message from these contacts to see all their updates, I was wondering;

Is there also a way to list all status updates of all contacts together?

The Outlook Social Connector (OSC) uses a special hidden folder to store all the updates that you receive in. Even though it is hidden, we can make the items visible by using a Search Folder and applying a filter.

Search Folder: Social Media Updates

The special hidden folder for the OSC is called “News Feed”. To make its items visible, create a Search Folder with a filter on the “In Folder” field;

  1. Create a new Search Folder (keyboard shortcut; CTRL+SHIFT+P)
    • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
      File-> New-> Search Folder…
    • Outlook 2010
      tab Folder-> New Search Folder
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select; Create a custom Search Folder
  3. Press: Choose…
  4. Name your folder. Some ideas;
    • Social Media Updates
    • OSC Updates
    • People Status Updates
  5. Press: Criteria…
  6. Select the Advanced tab.
  7. Add the following filter;
    • Field: In Folder
    • Condition: contains
    • Value: News Feed
  8. Press: Add to List
  9. Optionally: You can set more filters via the other tabs as you see fit. For instance, on the messages tab you can set the time filter to “Received in the last 7 days”.
  10. Press OK to close the Search Folder Criteria dialog.
  11. Press: Browse…
  12. Verify that the top of your mailbox is selected and that the option “Search subfolders” is enabled.
  13. Press OK until all open dialogs are closed. You should now be in the Search Folder you just created and all updates listed.

Use an “In Folder” filter to make all the OSC status updates visible.
Use an “In Folder” filter to make all the OSC status updates visible.

News Feed folder

Basically all the messages in this folder are RSS Feed items with only from, subject and posted on information. These status update messages are automatically deleted if they are older than 30 days.

Even though the messages have no body, it is still recommended to have the Reading Pane enabled as many updates will contain hyperlinks which are only clickable in the Reading Pane. Also, it would directly show the People Pane at the bottom of the message which will list all updates for that contact only.

Note 1: Not all Social Connector Providers cache their content in the “News Feed” folder but collect these in real-time. For instance, the Facebook Social Connector Provider doesn’t cache its contents but the LinkedIn one does.

Note 2: In some cases the “News Feed” folder will be visible to you. This is usually a result of having used a BETA release of Outlook 2010. There is no harm in having it visible. If you want to get it hidden again, you could recreate your mail profile, use MFCMAPI or simply delete the folder and then restart Outlook. The folder will be recreated as a hidden folder then.

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