Microsoft Teams is getting video filter effects and avatars

Microsoft Teams video filters
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Three years after the world went into lockdown and video conferencing software saw a huge boom, Microsoft Teams continues to be a popular platform for many business meetings and informal catchups. It’s no surprise, then, that Microsoft continues to invest heavily in developing what it hopes will be the best video calling app.

The latest addition to the Teams app is filters, which the company hopes will allow users to express their own personality, and more importantly, hide the parts that they don’t like!

According to the blog post, visual effects include animated frames and video hue altering, on top of existing tools that allow users to blur backgrounds and soften the video feed to mask and obscure blemishes.

Teams filters and avatars

The new filters first entered users’ hands in January when the company made them available in public preview, however they will become generally available very soon.

While the changes seem somewhat underwhelming, this is just the start for Microsoft, which is working next on bringing avatars to Teams.

These digital characters are designed to give Teams users a “much-needed camera break”, according to the related roadmap entry.

“You can add a new layer of choice to your meetings and represent yourself the way you want with customizable avatars and reactions.”

Overlaying a digital character on top of a human video feed is nothing new, and FaceTime users have long been able to apply their own Animoji or Memoji whilst on a video call. But is this too much for a platform that’s designed primarily with businesses in mind?

Regardless, Microsoft says avatars will be generally available by May 2023 across desktop platforms (including macOS), around the same time that spatial audio will be enabled for a more life-like digital meeting. 

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!