Last year, in the midst of pandemic lockdowns, Microsoft introduced Together Mode for its Teams workplace messaging app in an effort to make attendees feel more connected. To use the mode, a meeting must have at least five participants.
But it appears that the tech giant is looking to make it available even for calls with fewer attendees. People can now use the feature for video calls with as few as two participants, as first reported by The Verge, as long as they’re using the Developer Preview version of the Teams app.
Love the fact I can use together mode in #MicrosoftTeams with only two people when I’m on the developer preview 😍
I’m almost never in meetings with 5 or more people🙄
Great change 🌠 pic.twitter.com/86bAitGBTW
— 💫🌙 Amanda Sterner 💫🌙 (@amandassterner) July 1, 2021
Together Mode employs AI-powered segmentation to place all meeting participants in a single virtual space. Its purpose is to make people feel as if they are all sitting in the same room and to help them see the nonverbal cues of the other participants.
The NBA demonstrated the feature’s capabilities by simulating the atmosphere of a crowded arena without anyone physically present.
A few months after the mode was released, it made its way to Skype, allowing friends and family to use it for video calls as well. Even so, it had a five-person minimum, which likely limited its use.
Making it available to a smaller number of participants may encourage people to use it more frequently. Users can access Developer Preview by clicking the ellipsis next to their profile picture in Teams and then scrolling down to the About section.
However, some organizations may disable the option, rendering it inaccessible to their employees.