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Build more connections with new communities in Microsoft Teams and GroupMe features

Technology has had a profound impact on how communities interact by building bridges between people, regardless of geographical location. We can now more easily collaborate on shared projects, exchange ideas, and pool resources. But some things haven’t changed in a hybrid world: our need for human connection and community.

In December 2022, we launched communities in the free version of Microsoft Teams, adding to existing features that allow you to host and join meetings, chat, call, and host and join events. Communities in Teams helps people come together, connect, share, and collaborate. Already, you have created hundreds of thousands of communities around the world.

Your feedback told us communities in Teams gave your groups a new, secure digital space to stay connected before, during, and after gatherings. You also gave us lots of feedback on what we could improve, including new features, greater accessibility, bug fixes, and more.

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New features in the free version of Microsoft Teams

Today we’re announcing the most significant set of updates to the free version of Microsoft Teams since December 2022, which will begin rolling out to customers now.

You can now collaborate with communities in Teams on Windows 11 devices, in addition to iOS and Android. On Windows 11, community owners can create communities from scratch, share and invite members, create and host events, moderate content with critical trust and safety features, and get notified about all important activities. Support for communities in Teams on Windows 10 and macOS devices, as well as web, is also coming soon.

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Microsoft Designer

Try it now

We’re excited to announce support for Microsoft Designer (Preview) in Teams on Windows 11. Powered by generative AI technology, Designer allows you to craft unique and personalized designs effortlessly. By describing your idea’s vision in words or utilizing an uploaded image, you can create captivating one-of-a-kind visuals. Simply create an announcement post in communities to design your own banner with Designer.

The latest update also brings a host of new camera functionality. Community members can now record videos from their mobile devices using Microsoft’s new capture experience. This capability includes updated filters and markup tools. Also, beginning on iOS, community owners can scan and invite multiple emails or phone numbers from an online document, paper directory, or whatever list they have using the mobile camera.

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Find communities to join and new features for community owners

You will be able to explore and join featured communities in Teams. Rolling out in the coming days, and beginning on Windows 11, iOS, and Android, you can join communities focused on topics like parenting, gaming, gardening, technology, remote work, and more. Community owners will be able to set their community to be visible, starting on iOS and Android, enabling it to be discovered on Teams.  

Based on your feedback, we’re also investing in enhancing other community owner controls as well. Owners can now approve or reject requests to join their community and assign owner controls to others in their community. We added an option to share posts as emails so owners can easily reach members even if they’re not using Teams every day. Lastly, community owners can now easily gather consensus from community members with Polls, powered by MSForms.

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Learn how others are using Teams to connect as a community

Today, we’re pleased to announce new organizations adopting communities in Teams (free), in addition to existing ones such as American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), AISECT, and IIT Madras. New organizations include Bevy Labs CMX, Cofolios, Pilani Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Society (PIEDS) BITS Pilani, ProductLed, StartupGrind, USA Water Polo, and VOICE & AI Conference.

  • PIEDS BITS Pilani, a community that supports entrepreneurs and technology startups in India, is using communities in Teams to connect with startups, provide mentorship to founders, and promote accelerator initiatives.
  • ProductLed, a network for product-led founders, is using Teams to more easily communicate with their core audience and create a safe space where product-led growth professionals connect, learn, and grow.
  • StartupGrind, the largest startup community in the world, spanning more than 500 chapters, is using Teams to engage its network of founders by posting discussions around key trends, sharing photos, and coordinating events.
  • USA Water Polo is utilizing Teams as part of its Olympic Development Program (ODP) to enable coaches, athletes, and parents to connect, share best practices, collaborate, and receive feedback.

Driven by the feedback from these organizations and others, we’re adding new features for community owners and members almost every week. Some make it easier to invite people into Teams, like adding the ability to sync your Google contacts to Teams. Other features make it easier to interact. For example, community members can now translate messages from another language into their own language and we’ve added a new set of meeting backgrounds to make calls more fun and engaging. There are lots more to come!

Microsoft Teams calling in GroupMe

Lastly, we’re announcing an update to GroupMe, a Microsoft service used by millions of people every day. GroupMe connects groups in your life, big and small, and is especially popular with student and university groups on college and university campuses. Over the past year, we’ve made major advancements to the app, with an all-new design, new Topic chats for large group conversations, and a vibrant group discovery ecosystem. Now, we’re bringing even more value to the GroupMe community—today, you can create Microsoft Teams calls inside GroupMe. Simply start a group call from inside any of your group chats to join a video call powered by Microsoft Teams without leaving the GroupMe app.

Whatever your collaboration needs, Microsoft Teams allows you to create different places and organize groups to meet, chat, share, and plan—together. Try Microsoft Teams today.

Communities in Microsoft Teams

Create a private place to connect with friends and family.