Microsoft Teams, which launched worldwide in March 2017, has 13 million daily active users and 19 million weekly active users. This is the first time the company has released daily and weekly usage metrics for Teams. Microsoft also announced some new features for Teams, specially targeting health care organizations and firstline workers.
Teams is the company’s Office 365 chat-based collaboration tool that competes with Google’s Hangouts Chat, Facebook’s Workplace, and Slack. Back in March, Microsoft shared that Teams is used by 500,000 organizations, just two years after launch. For months, Microsoft had called Teams its fastest-growing business app ever, but it refused to share how many individuals were using Teams — until today.
We have guessed for a long time that Microsoft Teams was bigger than Google’s and Facebook’s offerings. Google launched Hangouts Chat in February 2018, when 4 million businesses paid for G Suite, and it still hasn’t shared how many organizations use it. In February, Workplace by Facebook passed 2 million paid users.
But we assumed Slack was bigger, and that Microsoft would share user numbers once that had changed. As of January, Slack had 10 million daily active users. It’s safe to say Microsoft Teams is now the most-used chat-based collaboration tool.
In addition to the usage reveal, Microsoft Teams is also getting a slew of new features. They are rolling out now, this month, next month, or “soon.” Here is a quick rundown:
- Now: Announcements allow team members to highlight important news in a channel and are a great way to kick off a new project, welcome a new colleague, or share results from a recent marketing campaign.
- Now: The new time clock feature in the Teams Shifts module allows workers to clock in and out of their work shifts and breaks right from their Teams mobile app. Managers have the option to geo-fence a location to ensure team members are at the designated worksite when clocking in or out.
- The Teams client is now available to existing installations of Office 365 ProPlus on the Monthly Channel.
- July: Priority notifications alert recipients to time-sensitive messages, pinging a recipient every two minutes on their mobile and desktop until a response is received.
- July: Read receipts in chat displays an icon to indicate when a message you have sent has been read by the recipient.
- July: Channel moderation allows moderators to manage what gets posted in a channel and whether a post accepts replies.
- August: Targeted communication allows team owners to message everyone in a specific role at the same time by @mentioning the role name in a post. For example, you could send a message to all cashiers in a store or all nurses in a hospital.
- August: A Teams trial offering will allow Microsoft 365 partners to initiate six-month trials for customers.
- Soon: Channel cross posting allows you to post a single message in multiple channels at the same time.
- Soon: Policy packages in the Microsoft Teams admin center enable IT admins to apply a predefined set of policies across Teams functions, such as messaging and meetings, to employees based on the needs of their role.
Whether you use Microsoft Teams daily or just once a week, you’ll probably end up using at least one of these.