Microsoft Teams enables chat between work and personal accounts by default

Rabia Noureen

Microsoft Teams Personal Features

The new Shared chat feature in Teams that Microsoft announced at its Ignite conference last month is now available for desktop, web, and mobile users. The new feature brings Teams for work and Teams for consumers chat interoperability, and it will be enabled by default according to the Microsoft 365 Admin center.

The Shared chat feature builds on the existing external access capability in Teams that allows users to chat, call, and set up meetings with anyone outside of their organization. This release brings the ability to invite Teams personal account users by using a phone number or email, all while keeping communications secure and within organizational policy.

It is important to note that some organizations may want to turn off this setting for all users or individual users in their tenants because it can potentially lead to data loss, spam, and phishing attacks.

To disable this feature, IT Admins will need to head to the Teams Admin center and click Users >> External access. Finally, turn off the “People in my organization can communicate with Teams users whose accounts aren’t managed by an organization” toggle button.  There is also an option to prevent consumers from contacting people with a work account.

The Shared chat feature is gradually rolling out to all Microsoft Teams, so it may not be available for everyone right away. Microsoft Teams is already interoperable with Skype for consumers, so adding Microsoft Teams personal accounts to the mix makes sense. Microsoft Teams for consumers is already built-in on Windows 11 with the new Chat app, and the fact that this app will let consumers communicate with Teams users in organizations is a pretty big deal.

Do you think this new interoperability between Teams work and personal accounts is a good thing for the platform? Let us know in the comments if you think is right to enable it by default in organizations.