Microsoft Teams has announced a new feature that it hopes will appeal to more informal groups and collaboration parties.
After committing a large portion of its time to fine tuning its business-oriented products, the video conferencing platform now hopes to help build connections with its new Communities section.
The company promises its new addition can deliver opportunities to connect, share, and collaborate with people outside of work in a world where many people take on additional roles, including recreational sports teams, event planning committees, and parent-teacher associations.
Microsoft Teams communities
Communities looks to be a hybrid of traditional Microsoft Teams functions along with a less formal group chat, where admins will be able to set up dedicated spaces that can be customized with branding and much more.
Speaking to The Verge (opens in new tab), Microsoft VP of product Amit Fulay explains that “there is a set of communities who are looking to get things done” who are “very distinct from pure fan communities or discussion communities”.
The company has already started collaborating with organizations like American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), USA Hockey, and California School for the Deaf, Riverside, and is currently rolling out communities to users with the free version of Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android devices, with plans to extend desktop support also announced.
As well as free accounts, Microsoft is offering the update to Teams Essentials accounts as well as Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) Personal and Family.
Looking ahead, the tech giant intends to integrate SignUpGenius tools to help users recruit volunteers and coordinate events, as well as “partnering with more organizations and communities”.
Microsoft CVP for Teams consumer, Manik Gupta, added that the company is “just getting started”, and plans to assess product usage with the potential to expand in the future.