Microsoft Teams now supports 20,000-person meetings

Microsoft Teams meetings can now support up to 20,000 participants following a slew of feature updates to the platform.

The updates come via an Advanced Communication plan which has boosted the tech giant's video conferencing software to deliver meetings and events at a much broader scale.

The new Microsoft Teams feature also include "branded backgrounds" and a cloud-based phone system called "Teams Calling". These new capabilities are designed to help organisations push beyond meetings into broader scale communications, such as company-wide events and conferences, according to teams GM Nicole Herskowitz.

However, while you can add 20,000 participants to your Teams meeting, once you have more than 1,000 people it becomes a "view only" affair.

"When building this capability, we were focused on your meeting experience, making sure that even as the meeting scales it is still easy to manage and listen to the speakers," Herskowitz wrote in a blog post. "Therefore, we limited the size of interactive meetings to 1,000 participants, with a seamless shift to a 'view only' mode after the limit is met."

The tech giant is also boosting admin controls for Teams with capabilities to add company branding to meetings and Microsoft Teams displays. These are dedicated Teams device featuring an ambient touch screen, high-quality calling and video, and a hands-free experience powered by Cortana.

Teams is not the only video conferencing service to release updates this week, as Zoom is also pushing out new features. These are not necessarily aimed at businesses, however, and focus more on backgrounds and filters. Participants can have unicorn horns, eye patches, or pretend they're calling from holiday.

There is also an update to suppress background noise, such as barking dogs, loud kids or traffic, which is useful for businesses and those working from home. along with a feature to share emoji reactions - similar to what is available on Teams.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognise him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.