Microsoft Viva Topics FAQ

The frequently asked questions (FAQ) below have been harvested from our customer and partner interactions in the Project Cortex Preview Program, Knowledge & Content Services Office Hour series, and Microsoft Content Services Partner Program activities, as well as internal conversations with our field team members.

Learn more about Viva Topics

What is Microsoft Viva and Viva Topics?

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform (EXP) that elevates each employee’s experience – how they learn, find knowledge, engage, and work, both for their wellbeing and the organization’s success.
Microsoft Viva Topics is an AI-powered solution that discovers, organizes, and surfaces what matters. It automatically organizes content and expertise across your systems and teams into related topics such as projects, products, processes, and customers. People don’t need a separate application or search—knowledge simply finds them in the apps they already use. Experts can rapidly curate and share knowledge through simple, highly customizable web pages.

What about pricing and licensing?

Microsoft Viva Topics is available as a user-based add-on for Microsoft 365 plans for commercial customers. For more details, visit our Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licensing page.

Which users need a license for Microsoft Viva Topics?

Anyone viewing, accessing, or curating topic cards, topic pages, or topic centers or otherwise benefiting from Microsoft Viva Topics capabilities requires a license. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Discover topics through topic highlights on a SharePoint page
  • Open a topic card to view and select related team members, resources, and related topics
  • Open and view a topic page
  • Create a new topic
  • Curate a topic by updating the description, adding additional resources, and suggesting team members
  • Manage mined and added topics for accuracy and relevance

What languages does Microsoft Viva  Topics support?

Available to customers worldwide, Microsoft Viva Topics currently offers English language support.
We plan to add support for Spanish, French, and German in the second half of 2021.

Will Microsoft Viva Topics be available on government cloud? If so, when is GCC release planned?

Yes, we plan to make Microsoft Viva Topics available for government cloud in the future.
In the U.S., we go through a FedRAMP certification process that happens twice a year – in April and December. We’ll start the certification process when the next cycle opens. The earliest Microsoft Viva Topics could be available for government cloud is the second half of 2021.

Admin and controls

Will admins be able to turn Microsoft Viva Topics “On” / “Off” at the tenant level?

Yes, we have a full set of admin controls for the functionality. It will ship “Off” by default so that you are able to plot the right adoption journey for your organization.

How does Microsoft Viva Topics protect the security and compliance of content?

Microsoft Viva Topics is based on the security and compliance of content enforced across Microsoft 365. For example, access, retention labels, data sovereignty, and information barriers are all maintained consistently before and after the activation of Viva Topics. In addition, organizations can apply restrictions on the scope and availability of topic information shared by Microsoft Viva Topics.

Topic generation, curation, and discovery

How are topics generated and updated?

There are two ways to generate topics: 1) users can create topics manually and 2) AI can detect and generate topics automatically. Once a topic is created, AI will update the topic and related resources as it discovers new information. For manually created topics, AI will attempt to add additional content based on the topic’s context. In addition, users can also manually update topic cards and pages to adjust the topic description or highlight new resources and connections. These scenarios are part of the human and AI story where machine learning and human curation together can build a better experience for end users.

Is Microsoft Viva Topics a new kind of graph, or is it related to the Microsoft Graph?

Microsoft Graph helps supply insights about content and knowledge throughout Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Viva Topics builds on top of the Graph to create your knowledge network. Viva Topics powers new user experiences for knowledge – including content integration via Microsoft Search, and knowledge sharing via the topic center and topic cards, for example.
Microsoft Graph provides a consistent API for addressing Microsoft 365 data and personalized insights and is used throughout the suite in places such as Microsoft Search and OneDrive suggested files.

My end users spend most of day in other apps. Will Microsoft Viva Topics be able to surface topic cards in other apps like it does in Office 365 apps?

Later this year we’ll ship a set of APIs which will allow customers to highlight topics and show topic cards in applications other than Office 365. This is an essential ingredient in allowing other Microsoft application teams and our ISV partners to build integrations into Microsoft Viva.

If an organization has an established content management system in place, how will this coexist with that data set?

While Microsoft Viva Topics is going to work most optimally for organizations using Microsoft 365 as their content management system, we understand that topics and knowledge exist outside of Microsoft 365. There are content connectors and APIs available – and more being developed – to help customers integrate the information from third-party systems into the Microsoft Graph.
With connectors and topics, you have the capability not only to bring information into your Microsoft apps through topic cards, but also to make connections between the content in Microsoft 365 and the content coming from external sources – providing your users a more holistic view of the organization’s knowledge.
For more information on Microsoft Graph content connectors, including how to use them and build your own, visit

Microsoft Viva Topics and SharePoint

How does Microsoft Viva Topics relate to classic and modern SharePoint experiences?

For Microsoft Viva Topics, topics will be discovered from files and pages stored in modern or classic sites. However, topic highlights will only appear on modern SharePoint pages. These pages may exist in a modern type of site such as a Communication Site or a Group Site connected to a Team. In addition, where a classic site has had modern pages added these will also feature topic highlights.

Can we apply cobranding and custom themes to topic center sites?

Because Microsoft Viva Topics leverages SharePoint, we want you to be able to use all the customization features inside of SharePoint to make this really yours. This is about helping you to populate what you would want in your knowledge center and to be able to use the branding that’s appropriate for you and your culture.