In January 2022 Microsoft announced they’d reached over 270 million active users of their Microsoft Teams platform, making it the most popular business communications service in the world. We don’t yet have the updated number for 2023 but we’re sure it’s kept on growing because in the world of SaaS (Software as a Service), Teams is the poster child of success and every time you think you know the limits of its awesomeness it launches a few more features to draw you in and hook you even further.
So, at the dawn of 2023 we thought we’d share the latest Microsoft Teams features that we just can’t get enough of.
When you’ve got something to say but the timing isn’t quite right you can schedule the message to be sent at a date and time that suits. Maybe the timing needs to respect the working hours of the recipient or be a timely reminder just before an urgent task needs to be completed. Whatever the need you can now type your message and right-click on the ‘send’ button to schedule the time and date for the chat to be sent. And if you change your mind and want to cancel or change the time, just right-click again and make the change.
They say a picture paints 1,000 words and if the younger generations are anything to go by, it’s now possible to tell a whole emotional story purely through a string of emojis. Teams now has every emotion covered with over 800 emojis covering every situation, simply use the search function to find the perfect emoticon to express how you feel or react to a colleague’s message.
Accessibility has stepped up a gear for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or use sign language. Teams has launched sign language view within meetings which allows an identified signer to be kept prioritised on centre stage in a consistent location, throughout every meeting.
Yes, it’s finally possible to delete the whole chat if you no longer want it cluttering up your Teams feed. Maybe the person has left the business, the chat is no longer relevant to your role or it’s an old meeting chat that you don’t need. By deleting the chat, it will be permanently deleted for you but not the other people in the chat and will also remove you from the chat ongoing. If you’ve shared any files you’ll need to remember to delete those separately.
It’s fair to say that we all use Teams for more than just chat nowadays, so next time someone copies and pastes a huge ream of notes into your Teams chat it’s good to know that there’s the ability to have it read out loud to you using the Immersive Reader function. Simply select the three dots (…) next to the message and the ‘immersive reader’ option and Teams will read the whole message aloud to you. This function is great if you’re wanting to hear the flow of a written draft, just make sure you have a speaker hooked up.
If you’re a note and action taker then you’ll love this feature. You can now create a chat with yourself and pin it to the top of your chats then use it to capture important notes, actions and reminders. When you’ve actioned them you can use the edit feature to strikethrough to show they’re complete – or colour code them so only you know their rank of importance.
If you want a quick gauge of sentiment in a meeting then presenters can launch a quick binary poll. They simply have to ask a question out loud and the audience then clicks the corresponding response icon (yes/no, thumbs up/down, heart/broken heart). Nothing to prepare in advance, simply a poll and sentiment captured at a moment in time.
With Teams now being used for everything from one-to-one chats through to company-wide meetings, nine videos on screen just doesn’t cut it. Microsoft has now increased this so you can see up to 49 videos (in a 7 x 7 grid) as a standard view, so plenty of room for everyone.
With Adobe Acrobat now available as a full integration within Teams, it’s much easier to work on PDFs within teams, improving efficiency and security when collaborating on files.
New features are coming out constantly. Would you believe that in July 2022, Microsoft reported that it had added 450 capabilities in the last year?
We’re excited to see what 2023 has in store for Microsoft Teams. If you’d like any help or support making the most of your Teams setup, maybe you want to integrate it with your phone system or just want to feel better supported, then please do get in touch – we’re always here to provide any advice you might need.
Adding the functionality to make and receive calls within Teams makes it the ideal unified communications tool for most businesses. Read more into the options and functions here