For the times when text messages and emojis just don’t cut it, Microsoft Teams has given users another way to communicate with colleagues: the ability to send short video clips via chat.
It’s one of the few updates to Microsoft’s collaboration platform unveiled at the Inspire partner event Tuesdayincluding the addition of “stories” posts with the new Teams-based social network Viva Engage.
The video clip feature can be accessed by clicking a small video camera icon in the Teams text chat window, next to the “Send” button. From there, a pop-up screen lets a user record a short clip and edit the length before posting it to the Teams chat. Similar to a feature launched last year by rival chat app Slack, it offers an alternative to typing a message, either to save time or to convey meaning more effectively.
Colleagues can then watch the clip whenever they want and add an asynchronous element to the instant messaging platform.
After announcing PowerPoint Live last year and the Live Share SDK for Teams two months ago, Microsoft also unveiled Excel Live. This brings the app to the Teams meeting screen for co-editing, where participants can load a spreadsheet and make changes to the document in real time without having to switch between apps or open Excel separately. If a user has already opened a spreadsheet during a meeting and wants to bring it into Teams for colleagues to work on, this can also be done by clicking the “share” menu and selecting the “Collaborate in Teams” option.
Excel Live will be available in public preview at the end of August.
Several previously announced features are now also generally available: Teams Connect Shared Channels, which enable communication with remote Teams users, and collaborative annotations. The latter brings tools from Microsoft’s Whiteboard app to Teams screen sharing, allowing participants to interact with content during a meeting.
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