Microsoft Teams is constantly evolving so let’s look at some new features.

We’re past the midway point. 2020 is more than half over! Pretty much everyone will be glad to have this year in the rearview mirror. But we’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to do – and a lot of that doing is taking place with the help of Microsoft Teams.

It should come as no surprise that Teams usage is on the rise. Here at Kiefer we’ve happily fielded a lot of emails and calls about it. What may surprise you is just how much Teams usage has grown. According to ComputerWeekly.com, as of June 14, Teams usage had grown by an astonishing “894% compared with its base usage during the week of 17 February.”

But the Teams of today is not the same Teams from February. In a few short months (which have felt like anything but), Microsoft has rolled out a host of new Teams features. Some features are available everywhere and some are still being rolled out. So we thought we’d take a look at a few of the new features we’re most interested in.

3×3 Video

Of course, the biggest recent upgrade to Teams is 3×3 video view on desktops. Previously, video tiles were limited to four participants, which could make for messy-ish meetings. Being able to view nine participants at once was a needed and welcomed upgrade.

Custom Backgrounds

Seeing more people all at once means seeing a lot more of people’s good housekeeping habits (or lack thereof). The blur background feature was already wisely being used by many. Microsoft later added a few backgrounds users could select from before finally going all in and allowing users to create custom backgrounds. If you need a quick tutorial on how to create custom Teams backgrounds, we’ve got you covered.

Raise Your Hand

This one is a little addition but nifty nonetheless. Raise your hand allows users to virtually raise their digital digits. It’s a handy feature that allows Teams users to politely indicate they have a question or comment while someone is talking. You know how raising your hand works in real life? It’s pretty much just like that.

10,000 Teammates

Big organizations are just as reliant on Teams as small organizations. At the end of May, Microsoft boosted the allowable team size to 10,000! Similarly, in June Microsoft raised the size of group chats to 250 and raised the number of meeting participants to 300. All of these important upgrades will prove valuable to large organizations – or to someone planning one heck of a virtual happy hour!  

Find Function

Finally, a few days ago Microsoft made yet another change. In one-on-one or group chats, users can now hit ctrl + F to search those individual or group chats specifically rather than searching all chats. No, it’s not a massive feature upgrade but it’s representative of the many small changes Microsoft has made over the last few months to help make Teams better for everyone.

Need help getting started with Teams? Let us know!

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