Microsoft Teams started out as a communication tool for workplaces, but it’s slowly expanding to personal use, too. Teams is now rolling out a ‘Communities’ feature, which works a bit like Facebook Groups or large group chats.
Microsoft Teams already supports basic chats without a work account, and that functionality is heavily promoted in Windows 11. The new communities feature builds on that with features you might use in a larger group chat, Facebook group, or Discord server. You can create a community and invite others, post messages that everyone will see, organize events and add them to a shared calendar, share and store documents, and search through everything posted to the group.
Microsoft said in a blog post, “whether your group is a recreational sports team, event planning committee, parent-teacher association, or even a small business, this new experience gives groups of all kinds a digital space to stay connected before, during, and after gatherings.” The functionality is only available in the Teams app for Android and iPhone right now, but should eventually come to desktop platforms too.
The communities feature is primarily aimed at small organizations that might not want to set up managed Teams accounts for everyone, but also works for small groups of friends and family. It might be Teams’ most significant push outside the corporate world since it was included with Windows 11 — another sign Microsoft wants everyone to use Teams. Meanwhile, Skype is still kicking around.
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