Microsoft’s new “Communities” feature expands the reach of Teams’ collaborative capabilities.

Microsoft introduced Communities as a new feature for Microsoft Teams on Wednesday. It expands on Teams’ present fundamental function as a communication platform. Users may now form communities for particular organisations with this new feature, including teams for recreational sports, committees for arranging events, parent-teacher associations, small enterprises, and more. It resembles Facebook and Discord in some ways, but Microsoft’s existing communication and collaboration feature resources set it apart.

Microsoft constantly promotes Teams as the ideal collaboration tool for businesspeople, but it also wants to go beyond. Through the Communities function, it now hopes to leverage the platform to connect with more people from all walks of life.

In this day and age, the idea is not new. Users can immediately create their own groups on Messenger and other platforms, where the same feature is accessible. However, Microsoft specifically emphasised community collaboration when designing the functionality. Having said that, community members also have access to event scheduling, attendance tracking, visual map location sharing, group calendars, and document/photo sharing in addition to video calls/meetings and private chats. Microsoft intends to expand on the idea of the feature in 2023 by giving it the SignUpGenius, which will make it more community-friendly by allowing for volunteer management and event planning.

Those who already have Microsoft accounts will find it appealing because joining communities simply requires them. Even the free edition of Microsoft Teams allows access to it.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Simply select the “Create from scratch” option under “Create new community” on the Home menu of the Teams mobile app to begin creating groups. Users can establish their own name, description, avatar, and rules for the communities they have founded. Then, administrators can welcome anyone to join the community by simply emailing them URLs or QR codes, albeit these can be modified in case someone shares them with someone who isn’t allowed to. Microsoft also pledges to make it available on PC shortly, even though it is only currently available on mobile (both iOS and Android) at launch.

The information was revealed following suspicions that the Redmond business was exploring building a mobile “super app” that would help it compete more effectively in the Google and Apple-dominated mobile market. The Information’s sources claim that the rumoured app will provide users access to a communication feature. The super app, however, will be an all-in-one location where users will be offered different services, from games and messaging to shopping and more, in contrast to Communities on Teams and Microsoft’s other chat apps. The Chinese WeChat app is credited as being the inspiration for the idea, but Microsoft may have trouble pushing the notion because of a number of factors.

Christopher Woodill

About ME

Enterprise technology leader for the past 15+ years…certified PMP, Six Sigma Black Belt and TOGAF Enterprise Architect. I collaborate with companies to help align their strategic objectives with concrete implementable technology strategies. I am Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Klick Health.

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