Here’s what’s announced as coming to Microsoft 365 this week: Avatars for Teams, new Teams Channel Experience, and more

Kevin Okemwa

a group of people using a laptop by the bench in a park

It’s the first week of May, and Microsoft has hit the ground running having made several announcements highlighting new features set to come to the Microsoft 365 suite. Here’s everything you need to know:

Avatars for Microsoft Teams

Back in March, Microsoft announced that Avatars for Teams had shipped to public preview and that the feature was set to hit general availability in May. However, the company has since updated the rollout time for the feature tagged 107969 in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap and has indicated that it is expected to start rolling out in late May and will hit general availability by early July.

Microsoft 365 Avatar for Teams

The feature is designed to help provide users with a break from attending virtual meetings personally. Once you’ve created your Avatar in Teams, you can use it to attend meetings allowing you to be away from the camera while in the meeting.

New Channels Experience for Teams

According to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the feature tagged 91683 is bringing a new channel experience to Teams that’s built on an intuitive design. the new experience will allow users to stay informed and remain engaged with everything that’s going on at the workplace. Here are the features that are expected to roll out in early June and hit general availability by mid-June:

  • The compose box and recent posts will appear at the top of the page. It’ll now be much easier to start a new post, keep up with the latest conversations and participate – giving users the confidence that they’ve not missed anything.
  • Every post is now a true conversation that users can focus on. Users can navigate to a conversation view that makes the discussion more engaging and synchronous, just like a chat. Users can also pop out the post, keep an eye on the discussion, while continuing to work on other topics.
  • A streamlined information pane will include all the important contextual information like channel’s members and pinned posts so new team members can quickly on-board and for all members to find the information they need, right in the channel.
  • Pin posts to make it easy for everyone to know what’s important in the channel and quickly reference it.
  • Simplified badging is making it easier for users to understand when there are new unread activities in teams. In addition, the simplified design helps users focus on the specific channels which requires the most attention, like channels in which the user was @mentioned.

Introducing Microsoft Whiteboard App in Teams

Microsoft has announced that a new Whiteboard app is making its way to Microsoft Teams. Essentially, the app will allow users to create, collaborate and share right within Teams, as well as outside of Teams meetings.

The feature started rolling out in mid-April and is expected to ship to general availability by mid-May. Microsoft had previously stated that it was meant to hit broad availability by late April.

That’s it for this week folks. We invite you to check out last week’s recap in case you missed it. Be sure to also let us know which feature you’re anticipating most in the comments.

Featured Image by Bing Image Creator