Back in September last year, Microsoft unveiled several new enhancements for Teams to improve virtual meetings. One of the key highlights of this announcement was support for Live Reactions for meetings, though there was no specific date for its rollout. This week, the company has announced on LinkedIn that the feature is now rolling out to desktop and mobile users.
“Various studies over the years have suggested that as much as 70%-90% of human communications are non-verbal. When meeting in person, everyone in the room can “feel” the energy from non-verbal reactions such as smiles, clapping, etc,” Troy Batterberry, VP of Microsoft Teams Meetings and Calling Program Management, wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Starting today, we are providing a digitally native way for attendees to express their emotions in meetings of all sizes in the form of Live Reactions.”
With Live Reactions, participants will now be able to use emojis to react in real-time during a meeting. These emojis will appear on top of the participant’s picture or video so others can see them. If the content is being shared, the reactions will float over the content to deliver a more engaging experience. This applies to the window, desktop, Whiteboard, and PowerPoint sharing.
To try out Live Reactions, click the new "reactions and raise hand" flyout available in the control bar at the top of the meeting window and select a reaction to send it. The feature is turned on by default for users who have enabled the New meeting and Calling experience in Teams.
Nevertheless, Live Reactions is a great way to collect instant feedback and make meetings more engaging, but it comes with certain limitations. As of this writing, this capability is not available for Web meetings, and it will come in the coming months. The company is also planning to add more reaction types based on the feedback from its users.