Microsoft introduces Instagram-like stories feature for Teams

Viva Engage will be rolled out on Microsoft Teams in the coming weeks. The stories feature is free for Office subscribers.

Microsoft will allow users of its Teams workplace communication platform to post their own video stories. They will be able to document their activities in the same way that stories features in other apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat.

Professional networking site LinkedIn also introduced stories for a while, before shutting down last year. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Twitter also had a stories feature called Fleets, which was discontinued shortly after launch.

Microsoft’s story platform will be called Viva Engage, it said yesterday (July 19). It aims to inject new energy into Teams, which is mainly used by employees.

The feature will be rolled out for free to Office subscribers in the coming weeks. It will be an improved version of Microsoft’s existing Community app, which has integrated the Yammer for business social network into Teams.

Users can access Viva Engage through the Teams and Yammer apps on their mobile devices and on their desktops. They can record stories with PC webcams to share with colleagues. There is no way to share a story from Viva Engage on Instagram or TikTok yet, but it is possible to embed web links and PowerPoint files in Viva Engage videos.

Image: Microsoft

According to Dan Holme, product leader for Viva Engage, the feature will make workplace communications more appealing to younger employees who are used to using short videos in their daily lives.

“There was a real interest in using video as a richer way to express messages and thoughts within an organization, whether it’s something to keep your team going, whether it’s capturing or recording meetings, or at a broader level within an organization, Holme told CNBC. “Because video allows people to express things in their own voices and captures much richer body language and cues there.”

Viva Engage is slightly different from Instagram and Snapchat in that videos are not deleted after 24 hours. They remain on a creator’s page until manually removed. There is also no way to limit the audience for Viva Engage videos.

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