Microsoft Teams' Together Mode to Gain Support for Smaller Groups

Microsoft is working to allow smaller meetings to take place in its Together Mode, which uses artificial intelligence to put multiple users in the same virtual space.

together mode teams
Launched last year during the peak of the global health crisis, Together Mode for meetings uses AI to place everyone on a call in a shared room-like environment, like a coffee shop or an auditorium, rather than the patchwork gallery view that typically comprises large Teams meetings.

The idea behind the feature is to better replicate real face-to-face meetings by taking people out of their home environments and custom backgrounds, thereby making it easier to pick up on facial expressions, body language, and other non-verbal cues.

Together Mode can accommodate up to 49 people at a time, and currently only becomes available when at least five people have joined the meeting. Soon, however, Microsoft is making it so that the feature can be used with just two people.


Support for smaller gatherings in Together Mode is currently limited to the developer Beta preview, but will soon be available for all. If you want to try accessing the preview, click the ellipsis next to your profile picture, select About, then tick Developer Preview. If the option doesn't appear, it may be because of the way your work account is set up.

Top Rated Comments

GigabitEthernet Avatar
12 months ago
That first image is creepy as hell
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lefkonj Avatar
12 months ago
MSFT Teams is a horrific product. While this feature may appeal to some the lack of basic features and stability, especially on a Mac is pathetic.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
12 months ago

MSFT Teams is a horrific product. While this feature may appeal to some the lack of basic features and stability, especially on a Mac is pathetic.
In terms of features and stability, Teams seems to work quite well on my Mac.

It's… some of the UI decisions that get me. It really feels like a web app (because it basically is), and like few of its developers understand all the nice things you can do with a GUI app.

Just off the top of my head:


* if you scroll up in message history, instead of fetching from a local cache, it keep asynchronously downloading more messages from the server (and sometimes, very slowly at that). Imagine if your mail client, when scrolling down your inbox, needed to keep looking for more messages, rather than keeping them all local. This makes it very annoying to scroll back to "hey, what did we talk about the other day?" scrub scrub scrub wait wait wait ugh. At least let me configure this.
* it took them a long time but you can finally pop out a single conversation into its own window. But for some reason, they decided to keep this in sync. So don't think you can scroll up there to look something old up, then in the regular window stay at the bottom. As soon as something new happens, both windows will scroll to the bottom. What?
* whoever implemented viewing images hasn't yet had this insight of multiple windows. The image opens within the main window. There's no resizing it unless you also resize the regular window. There's no popup. Why wouldn't you open attachment previews in a separate window?
* why are menu items like Settings in a weird "…" menu when the menu bar is right there? (Firefox also does this. Worse, it puts some items in both a hamburger menu and the regular menu bar. Why?)


But things like conversations, video calls, screen sharing, file transfer, etc. do work quite well.

Still, it's frustrating. A decade and a half, Adium wasn't great at file transfer and didn't do video calls or screen sharing. But its usability, customization and just joy of using it were vastly superior.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hcherry Avatar
12 months ago
Together mode is terrible and weird. The stock/promo photo of the feature doesn’t show the typical use. Every time I’ve used the feature, different people are sitting at different angles/distances from their cameras, so the whole effect comes off as rather ill-proportioned and awkward.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WWPD Avatar
12 months ago

That first image is creepy as hell
Microsoft does creepy really well, but it's missing that Steve Ballmer awfulness it used to have.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
12 months ago
I would have liked the news article to read
[HEADING=2]Microsoft Teams' to Gain Support for Smaller Resource usage on the Mac because it's a hog[/HEADING]
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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