Microsoft Teams has announced a new feature that it hopes will appeal to more informal groups and collaborative parties.

After spending much of its time tweaking its business-facing products, the video conferencing platform is now hoping to help build connections with its new Communities section.

The company promises its newest addition can provide opportunities to connect, share, and collaborate with people outside of work in a world where many people take on additional roles, including recreational sports teams, event planning committees, and more parent-teacher events and associations. .

Microsoft Teams Communities

Communities appear to be a hybrid of traditional Microsoft Teams features with less formal group chat, where admins will be able to set up dedicated spaces that can be branded and more.

Speaking to The Verge (opens in a new tab), Microsoft's vice president of products, Amit Fulay, explains that "there are a set of communities that are looking to get things done" that are "very different from communities of pure fans or discussion communities.

The company has already started collaborating with organizations like the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), USA Hockey, and the California School for the Deaf, Riverside, and is currently rolling out user communities with the free version of Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android devices. . Plans to expand desktop support were also announced.

In addition to free accounts, Microsoft offers upgraded accounts for Teams Essentials, as well as Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) Personal and Family.

Looking ahead, the tech giant intends to integrate SignUpGenius tools to help users recruit volunteers and coordinate events, as well as "partner with more organizations and communities."

Microsoft CVP for Teams consumer Manik Gupta added that the company is "just getting started" and plans to test usage of the product with potential for expansion in the future.

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