Microsoft Teams Virtual Breakout Rooms feature has dropped support for private channels meetings in Teams. The company announced the change in a support ticket spotted by Microsoft MVP Vesa Nopanen, where the company made it clear that Breakout Rooms are no longer supported in private channels meetings.
The Breakout Rooms feature was introduced in Microsoft Teams meetings back in December 2020 to help users collaborate with their teammates. It was a significant change, as the feature lets organizers split participants into smaller groups linked to the main meeting for brainstorming sessions. At the time, the feature was available in both private Meet Now meetings as well as scheduled private meetings, but it was apparently removed from the Meet Now meetings experience sometime in May this year.
As a result of this change, the app no longer provides an option to create Breakout Rooms in private channels. “Teams Breakout rooms is not supported for Private Channels by the design of the feature. This feature was removed due to technical limitations which private channels functionality not allowing breakout rooms to be created, so the product team had to disable the option,” the Microsoft Premier support team explained on the support page.
If you’re unfamiliar, private channels in Microsoft Teams give Team owners the ability to create focused spaces only for specific members of their team. These channels are a great way to facilitate meetings between small groups assigned to a particular project and eliminate the need to create an additional team for collaboration. The ability to create Breakout Rooms was one of the main new features that came to Microsoft Teams meetings last year, but it wasn’t probably meant for private channels.
Unfortunately, it’s not clear if or when Microsoft plans to reintroduce Breakout Rooms support, and the company said that it “can’t provide an ETA at this point.” In the meantime, Microsoft Teams meeting organizers will need to schedule meetings in the general channels to create Breakout Rooms for participants.
Do you think Microsoft should bring back the Breakout Rooms support in private channels? Sound off in the comments below.