Microsoft Teams is making its most awkward feature a bit easier to stomach

Microsoft Teams on an iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock - Natee Meepian)

Your large-scale Microsoft Teams calls and meetings might soon look a little less crowded thanks to a new update.

The video conferencing platform has announced it is working on an "improvement" to its Together Mode, one of the most divisive features added in recent months.

Launched in the summer of 2020, Together Mode for Microsoft Teams brings all attendees into a shared virtual background, such as a virtual lecture hall or meeting room, with the goal of “making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else”.

Microsoft Teams Together Mode tweak

This view had come in for some criticism, with users reporting it often left their screens overly cluttered, and made it harder to see shared content, particularly on smaller screen-devices.

Now, a new update looks to fix this issue by moving the Together Mode display under any shared content, meaning that users will be able to see the participants in Together mode and shared content simultaneously in what the company says is a "completely new way".

The update won't affect the classic Together Mode experience, with users still able to carry out actions such as raising their hands, sending reactions, and setting individual name labels - this seems to be purely a cosmetic change (for now).

The change is listed as being "in development" for the time being, but has a scheduled rollout start date of December 2023, meaning users shouldn't have to wait too long. Upon release, it will be available for Windows desktop and Mac users alike.

The update looks to be the latest in a series of changes made to Microsoft Teams in recent months to make the platform more engaging for users everywhere.

The video conferencing service also announced in March 2023 that it would be bringing green screen technology to help boost the detail and accuracy of virtual backgrounds and blur effects without the need for any additional software or hardware.

Several weeks ago, the company also unveiled a new-look Microsoft Teams app for Windows and Mac that promises a smarter, better way to work, running up to twice as fast and consuming up to 50% less memory and disk space than the "classic" Teams.

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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.