Microsoft Teams is a platform that you mostly use only for work and when it comes to chatting with your friends and family you opt for WhatsApp calls, Google Meet or other less professional platforms. Now, with a new set of ‘personal features’, Microsoft wants you to use Teams for video chatting with friends and family too.
Microsoft Teams video call links can be shared with anyone, even if they don’t use Teams. The link works across all devices. You can invite up to 300 people on a single video.
Note that usually you can host an one-to-one call and speak up to 24 hours for free. For a group call (more than two people), you can meet with up to 100 participants and call up to 60 minutes for free. However, due to the pandemic, Microsoft has waived these limits so that you can meet with up to 300 participants and speak up to 24 hours for free until further specified.
Here are those features that would make using Microsoft Teams cool for personal video calls and chats.
There’s a new Together mode, you can place all chat members on a single shared screen making it appear as if you are sitting together with your family members in a virtual living room. “You can now turn any regular video call into a shared virtual environment using Together mode to help feel like you’re in the same space as your family and friends.You can choose from a variety of new virtual environments such as a family lounge, coffee shop, or even a summer resort to make your calls fun,” said Microsoft.
During Teams meetings you can now use live emojis and GIFs. Also, if you miss a group call, you can come back to catch up, read the chat thread and post your GIF to carry on the conversation.
Shared To-do lists
To make conversations more engaging, Microsoft Teams has added a new feature that allows you to create a shared to-do list and assign tasks to others in the group. Everyone in the group can view and edit task details or check-off items when completed. You can add tasks like buying groceries, washing clothes, etc.
Polls to deciede weekend activities
You can use polls to decide activities that most family members are interested in doing during weekends or holidays. “What makes Teams unique is that once the poll is completed, anyone in the group can take action based on the results, whether it’s adding a group event or assigning tasks. To do this today, you’d have to use three different apps; one to coordinate through chat, one to add it to everyone’s calendar, and one for tasks. Now you can do it all in Teams. Polls is coming soon,” said Microsoft in a blog post.
Dashboard view for all personal chats
There’s a dashboard that neatly shows all your group’s shared content, from photos, files, web links, shared tasks, and upcoming group events.
Separate work and personal chats
Teams can separate your work and personal accounts. All files, contacts, chats, and other information for each of your accounts are kept separate. Also you can easily switch between the two just by clicking on my profile.