Now that working from home and social distancing are becoming more and more popular, the demand for video calls and conferences has seen a drastic increase everywhere.
At the beginning of last month alone, Microsoft Teams had already seen a 200% increase in meeting-minutes per day when compared to March 16, representing a staggering total of 2.7 billion meeting-minutes per day.
Following that increase, a certain request has been on the rise: the possibility of having more people on screen during a video meeting. For that, Microsoft Teams has some good news!
Following popular demand, Teams will now increase the number of participants that can be viewed on screen during a meeting from 4 to 9. The new feature should now be available to almost everyone and Microsoft has confirmed that the limit will be increased even further in the future.
With its target audience expanded to also include non-business emails, now everyone can profit from Microsoft Teams. Make the most out of this new update to get more face-to-face interaction with your colleagues or during that weekly family virtual gathering. Don’t hesitate to also use the available filters and backgrounds to make it more fun.
Just be careful to not end up like Rachele’s boss.
my boss turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off, so she was just stuck like this the entire meeting pic.twitter.com/uHLgJUOsXk— Rachele with an e but pronounced Rachel (@PettyClegg) March 30, 2020
Another interesting new feature that is currently being rolled out to the public is the Multi-Window Chat. Expected to be fully enabled by the end of May, this new feature will allow the user to open chats in windows rather than tabs. The Multi-Window option will also be available for meetings and calls in June.
Although Microsoft Teams already has some very nice backgrounds to choose from and spice up your video meeting, it is now possible to use your own custom background.
The feature appears to still be in the process of being rolled out so you might not yet have it, but it is still something worth being excited about.
If the new feature is in fact available to you, here’s how you can set any image of your choosing as your background for Microsoft Teams:
- Use Google or browse through your personal library and find something you’d want to us
- Save your image(s) to this Uploads folder: C:\Users\YOUR_USER_NAME_HERE\AppData\ Roaming\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- Go on Microsoft Teams and, while in a call, click the “Three Dots” button at the bottom
- Select “Show Background Effects”
- The images you uploaded should now be showing on the right-hand side of the screen with the default options from Microsoft.
The fourth and last feature is tags. Although the average Teams user is probably already familiar with the use of tags, Microsoft Teams has now optimized its capabilities.
Now you can create tags and assign them to specific people on your team, so everyone is quickly updated on what’s coming. You can create a tag for different departments in your Team, a specific project or anything that you can think of.