For the times when text messages and emojis just don’t cut it, Microsoft has given Teams users another option for communicating with colleagues: the ability to send short video clips using the chat function.
It’s one of a handful of updates to Microsoft’s collaboration platform unveiled during its Inspire partner event Tuesday, including the addition of “stories” posts with the new Teams-based Viva Engage enterprise social network.
The video clip feature is accessed by clicking on a small video camera icon in the Teams text chat box, next to the “Send” button. From there, a pop-up screen lets a user record a short clip and edit the length before posting into the Teams chat. Similar to a feature launched last year by rival chat app Slack, it provides an alternative to typing out a message, either to save time or convey meaning more effectively.
Co-workers can then view the clip whenever they want, adding an asynchronous element to the instant messaging platform.
Following the announcement of PowerPoint Live last year, and the Live Share SDK for Teams two months ago, Microsoft also unveiled Excel Live. This brings the app into Teams meeting screen for co-editing, with participants able to load a spreadsheet and make changes to the document in real-time without switching between apps or having to open Excel separately at all.
Alternatively, if a user already has a spreadsheet open during a meeting and wants to bring it into Teams for colleagues to work on, this can be done by clicking the “share” menu and selecting the “Work Together in Teams” option.
Excel Live will be available in public preview at the end of August.
A couple of previously announced features are also now generally available: Teams Connect Shared Channels, which enables communication with external Teams users, and collaborative annotation. The latter brings tools from Microsoft’s Whiteboard app into Teams screen-sharing to allow participants to interact with content during a meeting.