Microsoft Teams is making some big changes - here's how they'll affect you

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Using Microsoft Teams is about to get a whole lot more personal after the collaboration app revealed a new expansion aimed at life outside the office.

Despite most people only using Microsoft Teams to keep in touch with work colleagues, the company is now launching a new "personal life" version of the app that looks to sever these ties.

But the app could also see more changes after Microsoft confirmed it was opening up Teams to third-party app developers, potentially bringing a whole new world of services and tools.

Microsoft Teams personal

"Microsoft Teams isn't just for work anymore," Microsoft wrote in a message to users. "Stay connected and organized with family and friends all in one place with the Microsoft Teams mobile app, now with new features available in preview."

The new version of Microsoft Teams isn't an entirely new app, but instead uses your personal account to log in and build a new profile within the service. Users can then switch between work and personal profiles, allowing them to seperate work and home usage, with the latter helping you stay in touch with friends and family.

The app has several functions to help facilitate this and differentiate it from the "work" version of Teams. There's tools such as photo and document sharing, shared calendars, group chats, and even location sharing, so your family always know where you are. Chats are also framed more like they would be on a mobile device, rather than the threads seen in the enterprise version

Microsoft Teams for personal life is rolling out to iOS and Android devices in preview now, and you don't need a Microsoft 365 account to use it just yet, though that may change soon.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The service is also set to widen its reach with the integration of third-party apps into Microsoft Teams meetings.

Microsoft has revealed that outside apps will soon be able integrate directly into Teams meetings during video calls, and even before and after meetings. Third-party apps will also be able to display content during Microsoft Teams calls, such as real-time notifications, screen sharing and more. The feature is rolling out now, with Microsoft hoping that the first third-party integrations will launch soon.

Both these new expansions aim to help Microsoft Teams keep its spot among the leading players in the collaboration and videoconferencing space that has exploded in popularity during 2020.

Although still lagging behind market leader Zoom, Microsoft Teams still enjoys a healthy user base across the world, with the company recently revealing it has topped 75 million active daily users.

Via Windows Central / The Verge

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.