Microsoft Teams Now Lets You Chat With 300 Friends and Family for 24 Hours



Microsoft really wants everyone to use Teams as their video chat service of choice over Thanksgiving and Christmas. With that in mind, it’s allowing calls to friends and family to last up to 24 hours and with up to 300 participants for free on desktop and the web.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it’s bringing the personal features found in Microsoft Teams to desktop and web users. What does that mean in practice? It’s now possible to start a personal chat or create a group chat with up to 300 people. That chat can “seamlessly sync” between devices, allowing you to switch from a desktop PC to a smartphone, for example, without leaving the conversation.

These chats can also go on for a very long time, with Microsoft setting the limit at 24 hours. And it will work even if participants don’t have a Microsoft or Teams account (although you’ll need one to setup the call in the first place). Gallery view or Together Mode allows for up to 49 friends to appear in one frame, which should cater to the majority of user’s needs, and you can upload and share photos or videos with them all.

Other new features being introduced include the ability to chat with people on phones who don’t have the Teams app installed. By entering their contact name or phone number in the Teams iOS or Android app you can unlock the ability for them to send and receive message from a chat via SMS. Loved ones can also allow alerts for when they arrive at or leave specific locations.

All these new feature are available in preview for the desktop and mobile Team apps. They will all leave preview and be fully rolled out “in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, rival Zoom is lifting its 40-minute free call limit for Thanksgiving.

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