The ways in which we interact with one another have certainly shifted over the last few years. Thanks to technology, we have the ability to work from almost anywhere and minimize nonessential face-to-face appointments. But some things haven’t changed in a hybrid world: our need for human connection and community.
Today, we’re excited to announce communities in Microsoft Teams—a new experience that enables people to come together, connect, share, and collaborate. 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. Communities is currently rolling out in the free version of Microsoft Teams.1
Share information, organize events, and keep your community groups in sync
In addition to everything you can already do in Microsoft Teams—including sending chats, calling people, and sharing photos or files—you can now create a space for community groups to come together, organize, and share ideas.
Communities in Microsoft Teams
Easily bring together your communities in one place.
With this new community experience, you’ll be able to:
- Easily post messages to everyone in the group.
- Organize events and add them to the community calendar for everyone to see.
- Share and store documents dedicated to group activity.
- Filter content to quickly access photos, videos, events, and links.
Get started with your community
It’s easy to get started. Simply create a community with our suggested community types on the home screen.2 You can also add branding elements like a group picture for your community. Then, invite group members through their email address or phone number, or by sharing a link or QR code so they can join directly.3
You’ll be able to easily manage the online community, too. Community owners have the ability to manage settings, set community guidelines, and moderate content by adding or removing participants and posts as needed to help community members feel safe.
Organize and host community events
Communities in Teams includes a new events experience for organizing virtual, hybrid, or in-person events. For instance, you can add new events or meetings to your community calendar, invite guests, track attendance, and follow up with attendees through direct private chats. When it comes to online events, you can easily add dial-in details and a link so your participants can join seamlessly. And for in-person events, you can add a location and give attendees precise directions with a visual map.
Hybrid and virtual guests can join events from any device through audio or video. And features such as adding an event cover image, together mode, and screen sharing can help you foster a sense of unity and engagement during meetings—no matter where everyone’s located.
Learn how others are using Teams to connect as a community
Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’re working with organizations such as the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO); USA Hockey; California School for the Deaf, Riverside; Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras); and AISECT.
- AYSO plans to use Teams to help connect volunteers, centralize communications, and create a single location for its 500,000-member community group off the field. Coaches can learn more about their players, set practice schedules and field availability, make announcements about upcoming practices, and discuss enrollments for next season.
- USA Hockey, the largest youth-based hockey organization in the US, plans to use communities in Teams to advance and grow the game of ice hockey beginning at the youth grassroots level. Their vast coast-to-coast network of volunteers, coaches, officials, and parents will use Teams to ease the coordination of games, trainings, and development programs, on and off the ice.
- California School for the Deaf, Riverside uses Teams to connect staff, students, and families. The staff uses Teams to share ASL vocabulary videos, weekly events, and details about upcoming classes, and to conduct Q&A sessions. Teams is helping families bridge the gap and stay connected.
- IIT Madras will be using Teams to enable mentorship-led communities for its data science program. Mentors will be able to help students with course curriculum and technical questions, both asynchronously and with live online office hours, in one place.
- AISECT is one of India’s leading social enterprises and aims to upskill women, job seekers, people with disabilities, and nano entrepreneurs to improve workforce participation. With Teams, AISECT will be able to publish training calendars, schedule and share details about recurring classes, broadcast announcements pre- and post-sessions, run surveys on training quality, and address other needs in real-time.
In 2023, people can access SignUpGenius within Teams to recruit volunteers, coordinate events, and manage a variety of sign ups. SignUpGenius is a leading solution within the Lumaverse Technologies platform, which empowers people to change the world together by simplifying scheduling, volunteer and member management, event planning, and fundraising.
We look forward to partnering with more organizations and communities in 2023 and beyond as we continue to build out new and exciting experiences in Teams.
Use the communities in Teams features for your small business
A tight-knit small business with a dedicated following can function similarly to a community group. Help nurture and support these more friendly working relationships by enabling your team and customers to come together in shared spaces online.
With communities in Teams, your small business can move seamlessly from customer calls to team events and everything in between. You can create a virtual community group with diehard customers to announce a new sale, or just as easily create a Carpool Community for coworkers who want to share a ride to the office.
Whatever you need to collaborate on, communities in Teams allows you to create different places and organize groups to meet, chat, share, and plan—together.
How to access communities in Teams
The new community experience empowers communities to come together to achieve more—whether you’re a virtual, hybrid, or in-person community, Teams can help you connect simply and securely. Communities in Teams is available for all iOS and Android customers using the free version of Microsoft Teams.1 It’s also coming soon to desktop.
When signed in with a Microsoft account, you can access communities in Teams through the Home tab in the mobile app. To switch between accounts, tap on your profile picture and add your Microsoft account.4
To create a community, click on Home to get started. If you already use Microsoft Teams for work or school on mobile, simply switch accounts. There’s no need to download another app, and no data is shared with your employer.
1Communities is available in Microsoft Teams (free), Teams Essentials when you sign in with a Microsoft account, Microsoft 365 Personal, and Microsoft 365 Family.
2Learn more about creating a community in Teams.
3Learn more about sharing and joining a community.
4Learn more about a Microsoft account.