Earlier this year, Microsoft launched the preview of personal features in Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android, allowing anyone with a free Microsoft account to use the mobile app to communicate with friends and family. These personal features are now rolling out in preview on the Teams desktop app and the web, making it easy for existing Teams users to start using the app to chat with friends and family.
"Now, you can add your personal account in the Teams desktop or web app and sync all your chats to your computer so you can carry on conversations on whatever device you prefer. Plus, you can use the Teams desktop or web app to call friends and family, even if they don’t have Teams installed, making it easier to connect with loved ones during the holidays,” the company explained.
To get started with these new personal features in Microsoft Teams, you can sign in with your personal Microsoft account on the web or the Teams desktop app. For those already logged in with a work account in the desktop app, you’ll need to click on your profile picture and see if the “Add personal account” is already available. “You may have to wait until your app is updated or for your IT admin to enable it within your organization,” Microsoft said.
It’s good to see that the Teams desktop and web apps will keep your work and personal activities in separate windows. As of this writing, using Teams with a free Microsoft account lets you share photos in videos in personal or group chats with up to 250 people, or create video meetings and see up to 49 people at once with the Gallery view or Together mode. Microsoft mentioned that all consumers will be able to use video meetings with up to 300 participants for 24 hours "until further specified."
"While you can use the Teams desktop and web apps to chat with or call friends and family, we are working on bringing all the other personal features available in the Teams mobile app to desktop and web soon,” Microsoft said. The company is also launching new features in preview in the Teams mobile app, including the ability to send messages with friends or family who don’t have Teams on their phones, as well as notifications when loved ones leave or arrive at designated locations.
"We are continuing our efforts to bring even more features to you across all devices as we work towards making these features generally available," the company said. Microsoft Teams recently crossed 115 million daily active users in October, and the addition of personal features will likely help the app grow even bigger in the coming months.