Microsoft refreshes Teams meeting experience with new animated backgrounds

Kevin Okemwa


Aside from debuting Teams Avatars in public preview which is designed to help users bypass the need to be on camera or to possess a webcam, Microsoft has announced new backgrounds coming to Teams. The feature is designed to “enhance collaboration, well-being, productivity, and focus, empowering people to be comfortable and bring their full selves to work.”

“With over 300 million monthly active users, Teams is currently available in 181 countries and 44 languages, and the group designed this collection of backgrounds through a global lens. The reimagined visual library for Teams has been thoughtfully designed to represent the people that use them and how they work best,” says the Microsoft Design Team.

Per the company’s findings, users are now turning on video in Teams meetings two times more than they did pre-pandemic. As such, the need to revamp virtual backgrounds in Teams is imminent. Microsoft has termed the release of the new Teams backgrounds as the “most extensive update since the first collection released in 2020.”

According to Microsoft:

The new backgrounds that are beginning to rollout reflect Teams’ continued desire to elevate personal expression and they’re tailor-made to address top concerns of the modern workforce: collaboration, well-being, productivity, and focus. Every detail is crafted so you can turn on your camera with confidence, empowered to connect and collaborate amidst an atmosphere that supports your personal needs and style.

Alongside the new backgrounds that have already started rolling out, users should also expect animated backgrounds to ship to Teams starting next month to complement the still images.

A collage of four unique 3D-rendered imaginary landscapes.

Microsoft further stated that:

Featuring all-new images, the reimagined visual library for Teams has been thoughtfully designed to represent the people that use them and how they work best. Looking at the popularity of certain images, we noticed that customers are equally enthusiastic about being depicted in fun and imaginative scenes as they are being portrayed in realistic spaces like a coworking space, office, or home.

With the new update, Microsoft Teams backgrounds have now been bumped up to six, that is, ones that focus on wood and light, others that have contemporary backgrounds, and some that are colorful clouds or mountains.

What’s more, this new update also ships with new backgrounds that are specifically designed to cater to users with autism which can be found under the “belonging” category. The category also features smaller sections catering to people with visual and hearing impairments, as well as those with mental issues.

Featured image via Microsoft