Video communication, collaboration, and workplace apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams were already being used by various businesses and companies for teleconferencing, telecommuting, brainstorming, etc. It enabled them to include members who are not able to be physically present for multiple reasons. However, now during this pandemic and lockdown, these apps have gained tremendous popularity. Almost everyone is using them for professional or personal purposes.

People all around the world are stuck in their homes, and the only way to connect with people is via these video conferencing apps. Be it hanging out with friends, attending classes or lectures, conducting business meetings, etc. everything is being done on platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet. Every app is trying to introduce new features, app integrations, etc. to improve the experience of the users. The perfect example of this is the new Together mode introduced by Microsoft Teams. In this article, we are going to discuss this new interesting feature in detail and learn how to use it.

What is Microsoft Teams Together mode?

Believe it or not, but after prolonged periods of staying at homes, people have started to miss their classrooms. Everyone is craving to get together, sit in the same room, and feel the sense of belongingness. Since that won’t be possible any time soon, Microsoft Teams have come up with this innovative solution called Together mode.

It allows all the present in a meeting to get together in a virtual common space. Together mode is a filter that shows meeting attendees sitting together in a virtual auditorium. It gives people that sense of togetherness and feels close to each other. What the filter does is that it cuts out the section of your face using AI tools and creates an avatar. This avatar is now placed on a virtual background. The avatars can interact with others and perform various actions like high-fives and shoulder taps. At present, the only available location is an auditorium, like a classroom. However, Microsoft Teams plans on introducing more interesting backgrounds and features.

The main benefit of Together mode is that it eliminates background distractions and improve productivity. In a typical group video call, everyone has something going on in the background that creates a distraction. A common virtual space eliminates that significantly improves the aesthetics of the interface. It makes it easier to understand who is talking and understand their body language.

When will Microsoft Teams Together Mode be available?

Microsoft Teams has already released its new update that introduces Together mode. Depending on your device and region, it will gradually reach you. The update is being released in batches, and it could take anywhere between a week or a month until the update is available for all. Microsoft has announced that every Teams user will be able to use Together mode by the end of August.

How many participants can join in on Together mode?

Currently, Together mode supports a maximum of 49 participants in a single meeting. Also, you need at least 5 participants in a call to activate Together mode and you must be a host. If you are not the host, then you won’t be able to activate Microsoft Teams together mode.

How to Enable Together mode on Microsoft Teams?

If the update is available for your device, then you can enable or activate Together pretty easily. Follow the steps given below to see how:

1. First, open Microsoft Teams and login with your username and password.

2. Now update the app to its latest version.

3. Once the app has been updated, Together mode will be available for use.

4. There is, however, one set that needs to be enabled before together mode can be used. To make sure that this setting is enabled, tap on your profile picture to access the profile menu.

5. Here, select the Settings option.

6. Now scroll down to the General tab and make sure that the checkbox next to “Turn on new meeting experience is enabled”. If this option is not available, then it means that the latest update with Together mode is not yet available on your device.

7. After that, exit the setting and start a group call like you usually do.

8. Now click on the three-dot menu and select Together mode from the drop-down menu.

9. You will now see that the face and shoulder segment of all the members present in the meeting being displayed in a common virtual environment.

10. They will be placed in an auditorium, and it would seem like everyone is seated on a chair.

When to use Microsoft Teams Together mode?

  • Together mode is ideal for meetings in which there are multiple speakers.
  • Together mode is ideal when you have to attend a lot of video meetings. People experience less meeting fatigue when using Together mode.
  • Together mode is helpful in meetings where the participants have trouble staying focused.
  • Together mode is perfect for speakers who reply on audience feedback to progress in meetings.

When not to use Microsoft Teams Together mode?

  • If you want to share your screen to show a presentation then Together mode isn’t compatible.
  • If you’re moving a lot then together mode doesn’t work properly.
  • If you have more than 49 participants in a meeting then Together mode isn’t suitable. As of September 2020, Together mode currently supports 49 participants.
  • It doesn’t support one to one meetings, as you need a minimum of 5 participants to start Together mode.

How many backgrounds will come with Together mode?

As of September 2020, Together mode only supports one background which is the traditional auditorium view which you can see in the above image. Microsoft plans to release more backgrounds for Together mode with different scenes and interiors, but right now there is only the default background available to use.

Minimum System Requirements for using Together mode

Microsoft Teams Together mode for Windows users:

  • CPU: 1.6 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Free space: 3GB
  • Graphics memory: 512MB
  • Display: 1024 x 768
  • OS: Windows 8.1 or later
  • Peripherals: Speakers, camera, and microphone

Microsoft Teams Together mode for Mac users:

  • CPU: Intel dual-core processor
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Free space: 2GB
  • Graphics memory: 512MB
  • Display: 1200 x 800
  • OS: OS X 10.11 or later
  • Peripherals: Speakers, camera, and microphone

Microsoft Teams Together mode for Linux users:

  • CPU: 1.6 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Free space: 3GB
  • Graphics memory 512MB
  • Display: 1024 x 768
  • OS: Linux Distro with RPM or DEB installs
  • Peripherals: Speakers, camera, and microphone

Here’s a conservative interpretation of the current launch dates from the Microsoft 365 roadmap:

Feature Launch Date
Together Mode September 2020
Dynamic view September 2020
Video filters December 2020
Reflect messaging extension August 2020
Live reactions December 2020
Chat bubbles December 2020
Speaker attribution for live captions August 2020
Speaker attribution for live transcripts December 2020
Interactive meetings for 1,000 participants and overflow December 2020
Microsoft Whiteboard updates September 2020
Tasks app August 2020
Suggested replies August 2020

With that, we come to the end of this article. We hope that you find this information useful. We are as excited as you would like to try Together mode as soon as possible. So, make sure to update the app as soon as it is available. At present, Together mode can only accommodate 49 people in a shared virtual space. As mentioned earlier, Together mode currently has just one virtual background that is an auditorium. Still, they have promised more exciting and cool virtual spaces like a coffee shop or library in the future.

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We hope this guide was helpful and you were able to gain a better understanding of Microsoft Teams Together Mode. If you have any more questions for us, feel free to reach out using the comments section.