According to Microsoft, Teams usage has exploded, surpassing 75 million daily active users. This is a 70-percent increase from 44 million daily active users in mid-March. March was a month in which Microsoft saw an increase of 12 million users in a single week. Most of this is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge shift to working from home. Because of this, Microsoft is responding quickly to user requests for certain changes and enhancements to their products. (See my post from last week regarding other new features being introduced within the Microsoft 365 platform).
Separate Windows During Meetings And Calls
Beginning in June, Microsoft will be introducing “multi-window experiences” to Teams meetings and calls. This update is in response to user requests, as currently the Teams video takes up the entire Teams window.
Users will soon be able to enable separate Teams windows during meetings and calls. This is useful for many of us, especially those utilizing more than one monitor during meetings.
Expanded Video Meeting Gallery
Microsoft expanded their gallery of visible participants from a maximum of four to nine at the end of April. If you are not seeing it yet, you will be soon, as it is a staged rollout and can take a few weeks to reach everyone. Instead of the 2×2 grid you originally were presented with, you will now see a 3×3 grid instead. They have also announced they are working to increase the gallery size even more.
Other Teams Video Tidbits
- In April, the ability for meeting organizers to instantly “end meeting” by clicking a button in the control bar became available. This can be found in the vertical menu that pops up when you click on the ellipsis “…” in the bottom toolbar.
- As I told you about in a post last month, virtual backgrounds for Teams video calls are now generally available as well, and Microsoft says users should be able to upload their own background images beginning this month.
- Finally, a “raise your hand” feature to let meeting participants send a sign that they would like to speak began to roll out in April and is now widely available. You can find the button (yes, it’s the icon that looks like a hand) in the toolbar to the left of the chat button.