Microsoft Teams is about to receive an update that will establish a whole new use case for the collaboration and video conferencing platform.
As explained in the latest addition (opens in new tab) to the official roadmap, Microsoft Teams will soon support a new meeting type called “virtual appointments”. The idea is to give B2C businesses a simple way to schedule consultations with their customers.
“When using the meeting type, guests will get a meeting invitation that includes important appointment details to make joining easy,” explained Microsoft. “They can join from any device – no need to install Teams – and experience a comfortable pre-appointment virtual waiting room until you’re ready to begin.”
Not just for business
Like many other services in the collaboration and communication sector, Microsoft Teams has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since the pandemic brought about a shift to remote and hybrid working. The latest figures suggest more than 270 million people now use the platform each month.
However, in an effort to expand the reach of the platform even further, Microsoft has in recent months put a significant amount of energy into developing use cases for consumers too.
On top of building Teams into the heart of Windows 11 (the Chat app is now a permanent fixture in the taskbar), Microsoft also gave the desktop client a visual overhaul to make the platform more approachable for a non-business audience.
Separately, the company recently made it possible to blend consumer and business accounts, allowing corporate users to launch chats and meetings with clients and partners that might be using their personal Teams login.
And although Microsoft has branded the launch of 3D avatars for Teams as a measure to improve meeting engagement and immersion, it’s also a feature non-professionals will want to play with too.
The move to create a new type of meeting specific to B2C appointments is the latest step in this broader process, creating a new reason for both businesses and consumers to interact with the now-familiar platform. Whether or not people will take to the idea, though, is a separate question.
The virtual appointments feature is still currently under development, but should make its way to all Teams users by the end of the year.