Microsoft Teams update adds ability to view 49 videos at once, schedule messages: all the details
Microsoft recently announced new features as part of an update to its enterprise-centric video conferencing platform, Microsoft Teams. Updates bring new features that include the ability to view up to 49 videos on the default screen, schedule messages. Users can also launch instant polls and use the newly added unread-only toggle. Microsoft made the announcement as part of its November 2022 update in a blog post detailing each of the newly introduced features.
The first of the new features announced via Microsoft’s blog is the ability to launch an instant one-click poll during a Teams meeting. Presenters will have the option to initiate spoken poll questions by clicking on the instant poll launch buttons that are present at the bottom right of the screen. Users can choose from three buttons with binary responses on the poll: yes or no, thumbs up and thumbs down, and a heart and broken heart icon. According to Microsoft, these questions don’t need to be prepared in advance – users can say the question out loud and then click the corresponding answer icon, which will automatically trigger the question to go live.
Microsoft says Teams is the first video conferencing platform to offer such a “one-click instant poll” feature.
The second feature that has been introduced in Teams is the ability for Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) participants to access dial-in, dial-out, and Call Me in meetings to join breakout rooms. These users will also be able to join the meeting from the main room at the end of the breakout meeting. PSTN calls will now also support an auto-launch browser popup that will display relevant information including CRM data, case data, and more. This feature will need to be enabled by admins in the Teams admin center.
The third feature introduced is the ability to view a maximum of 49 videos on the screen in a meeting at one time through a 9×9 grid layout which replaces the 3×3 grid which only allowed 9 videos to be viewed at the same time. . This is a significant increase in the number of simultaneous videos that can be viewed without having to click a button to navigate to other user video boxes. However, the actual number of videos viewed by a user will depend on the capabilities of the hardware or device, according to the company.
Microsoft also introduced transcription for calls on Microsoft Teams on 1:1 calls as well as group calls on Android. The company also introduced the ability for users to accept or block a group chat invitation from an unmanaged user as an additional layer of security.
The video conferencing platform will now also allow users to schedule and send a message. The feature, which is similar to that seen on the company’s Outlook messaging platform, will allow users to manually select a date and time for the chat message to be delivered to the recipient user. The feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the send button and selecting the scheduled send option.
The platform has also introduced an unread toggle button on the user activity feed, which when enabled will allow users to view only chat message notifications that have not been read.
Teams users will also be able to start a Teams chat with distribution groups, mail-enabled security groups, and Office 365 groups, with up to 250 members. The platform has also changed the way searches in posts are viewed. Searches for chat messages will not be presented with entire message threads, instead of a single keyword referring to single messages. Extended chat history appears once the search result item is clicked, according to Microsoft.