Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Compressed Chat, Co-organizer, Pin and Hide Your Own Video: All now in Preview

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, take a look through the site and check back often

Written: 06/02/2022 | Updated: N/A

I have been quiet this week. Pretty much no social media apart from the odd retweet. And what’s cool about this is that I even had a few people reach out to check to see if I was all ok. But apart from a crazy amount of work – from what I hear most of us have been inundated since the start of the new year, I’ve pretty much been like one of those catholic cardinals who lock themselves in a room in the hope that they all pretty much agree on, then go off to, elect the guy. That’s right. I’ve been behind closed doors the last seven evenings focused on the schedule for Teams Nation 2022. I’m pleased to say the white smoke has been signaled. It’s done. I’ve emerged. And after going through the process once more I don’t mind admitting that this year was probably harder than any other before it given the eye watering quantity and quality of submissions. The painstaking decisions which often had to be made. In years past? This wasn’t always the case. In years past, whilst we always knew we attracted a strong vibrant core who we are indebted to for real performances and really growing the conference, I don’t mind admitting that we ourselves – as organisers – didn’t have the experience or the pedigree to land what will be – on March 23rd – an incredible and unique line up from what is the best community in tech. We look forward to announcing across social on Monday 7th February 2022 at 12.00 pm GMT (1pm CEST). I’ll leave the registration link below. So now having room to breathe I can finally get back to some things I had to reprioritize including the blog. Having just finished the schedule yesterday and going through review I haven’t had a great deal of time to dig through Teams, so having made this up about 10 minutes ago I am going to highlight several new preview features which came in about a week ago. All small, all workload specific. They all broadly fall into the box of being able to customise and manage Teams to your needs. You know, I occasionally wonder if it would be interesting if we had the possibility to go back and use Teams for a day ala 2017 when it just came out of preview itself? Rigid springs to mind.

As implied in the title, preview will need to be enabled or aligned to office preview to use these functionalities until they hit GA.

All good? Let’s go. Oh – before I forget, register for Teams Nation 2022. It’ll only take a minute

This blog will cover

  • Compressed Chat
  • Co-organiser
  • Pin Your Own Video (PYOV)
  • Hide Your Own Video (HYOV)

Note this blog may have some abridged steps which will assume some experience with Teams

Prerequisites

  • Microsoft 365 Licence which includes Teams
  • Preview enabled

COMPRESSED CHAT

The first functionality out is Compressed Chat, which uses less screen estate, much in the same experience to a compressed List in Microsoft Lists. Now, it’s important to understand that compressed chat refers to private chat, not channel conversations at this moment in time

1.) Here is your private chat without compression. Looks as expected.

1.) In the Teams Client select More Options (…) next to the Avatar and then Settings

2.) Under the General nav item select Compact under Chat Density

3.) The chat is now compressed, saving space

4.) Compression works in a popped chat

5.) It works in Group Chat

6.) Emoji’s actions and message extensions work

7.) Works with Zoom in the Settings too

8.) And supports themes

Conclusion
Good functionality and move in the right direction. Saves real estate and more visibility of a dialogue. One personal surprise is that from memory, the conversation becomes single sided to the left which oddly could make it harder to follow in terms of it being a conversation and at low enough resolution becomes hard to pick out sentences compacted together on a single coloured background. But it’s an optional setting right and not on by default.

CO-ORGANIZER

This is the ability to give other users in the meeting an organiser role – before or during the meeting. At the time of writing there are some known caveats

a.) The co-organiser needs to be in the tenant as a member or guest
b.) Co-organisers cannot do the following

  • View & download attendance reports
  • Manage the meeting recording
  • Edit the meeting invitation
  • Remove or change the Organizer’s role
  • Create breakout rooms before the meeting

c.) What they can do is bypass the lobby, admit people after the meeting starts, lock the meeting, present, change roles and end the meeting.

1.) To set co-organizer, In the Calendar open the Teams meeting (after the meeting has been set up) and select Meeting Options

2.) A browser will open and you will login to amend the meeting options. In the meeting options set

Choose co-organizers: set who will be your co-organizer

Who can present?: [This is changed by default to ‘Only me and co-organisers]. All other meeting members are set by default as attendees (but can always be promoted in the meeting).

3.) The web version of the meeting options is not the only place which is could be set. Co-organizer roles could be set dynamically within the meeting itself via More Options (…), or even in Outlook when setting up the meeting

Conclusion
Co-organizer is going to be another good feature in the future: but for now, it’s little more than a variant on the presenter role without the ability to do attendance reports or recording. It springs to mind of the first iteration of the attendance report itself, a bit unfinished. This is because for peoples use cases people want a person to book and another person (the co-organizer) to run and take the assets. So this is going to become more useful as it develops.

PIN YOUR OWN VIDEO (PYOV)

Supported on Win10/11 and MacOS it’s defined as being able to expand the ability for users to pin their own video on the stage as well as enable users to see their own video in an increased size on their screen. The act of pinning should be a familiar one for Teams users, since they have had the ability to pin attendees to the meeting stage, and pin many things in the client – from chats to channels.

1.) Join the meeting. Here you can see I am presenting a whiteboard and my video is currently in the bottom right hand corner

2.) Hover over the video and select Pin for Me

3.) The video is pinned, enlarged to the top left

Conclusion
It is important to state that pinning yourself is not designed to spotlight yourself: these are two different things. Whilst spotlighting is about drawing attention to yourself, pinning is the ability to look at yourself which you may want for performance management or to see how others see you. Others in the meeting will not see your video pinned. So this is a nice functionality: does what it says on the tin and you may be able to get an idea of how you look to other people in a meeting.

HIDE YOUR OWN VIDEO (HYOV)

This is similar to PYOV except you can hide your own video. Some people find it distracting, or difficult to look at themselves whilst performing. Body dysmorphia is also a truly serious condition which we may also be aware of.

1.) Join the meeting. Here you can see I am presenting a whiteboard and my video is currently in the bottom right hand corner

2.) Hover over the video and select Hide for Me

3.) The video recedes with an arrow which, when clicked drags the video back. The view can look different if, for example, you are sharing at the same time as hiding your video

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Conclusion
Personally, I think that this is the best add of all the ones currently in preview. As a manager, I like to try and be as thoughtful and inclusive as I can when it comes to being on video in a meeting or in a presentation, firstly whether that’s ok for them and if so, I try to understand the things they like or don’t in order to make them comfortable to give their best performance. I know one person who does not like to look at themselves when presenting. This now gives them the option. I don’t personally mind. Yet it’s all about options, and when it comes to things like confidence or self esteem, we all need to have options

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