Using Target Audiences for Sharepoint Online in Office 365

You can use Target Audiences inside SharePoint Online to present different data on the same page to people based on their security groups.  This functionality has been around – but it’s a little different in Office 365 since your environment is on a shared platform with other Office 365 users.

The first thing to know is that you need to set up your Security Groups in Office 365.  We recommend setting up all of your security groups in Office 365 before you get started.  This will help with user and audience management.

After you have your security groups set up go to the Office 365 admin center and choose ‘Manage’ for SharePoint Online.  Down the left hand column choose Manage User Profiles.  Once you are in the Manage User Profiles section – go to Manage Audiences.  You can set your audiences up here – then you can go back to SharePoint Online and set up your webparts, etc., with audiences applied.

I set up my audiences – but I don’t have any members in my audiences…why?

How often does SharePoint Online compile the audiences?

One thing to know is that when you are using on-premise you have more control over when the audiences are compiled.  That is not an option in SharePoint Online.  Based on what I have been able to discern for North American SharePoint Online tenants, the audiences are compiled once per week on Saturday morning (eastern time) sometime between midnight and 3AM.

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