Avatars for Microsoft Teams is finally rolling out

Kerem Gülen
May 30, 2023

As we've reported last month, Avatars for Microsoft Teams have made their debut, bringing a notable shift to the visual dynamics of workplace calls.

In light of an ongoing rollout of a new feature, the visual aspects of your Microsoft Teams workplace calls are poised for a significant transformation. The renowned video conferencing platform recently unveiled the introduction of virtual avatars, accessible to all users of the Microsoft Teams desktop app on Windows and Mac platforms.

This fresh offering endeavors to enhance the overall meeting experience by granting users a wider range of customization choices and elevating the visual appeal of phone interactions.

As highlighted in its official entry on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Microsoft highlights that the upcoming feature aims to offer users "the option of a camera break while encouraging engagement and fun." The company underscores that the avatars will be customizable, and new personalized reactions will be incorporated.

Expanding on the existing functionalities that allow users to blur backgrounds and soften video feeds to conceal imperfections, the addition of visual effects introduces animated frames and video effects that alter hues.

Microsoft acknowledges that the introduction of the new Microsoft Teams avatars presents an alternative to the current binary choice of "video or no video." Notably, FaceTime users have long been able to employ their own Animoji or Memoji during video calls. With this new feature, Microsoft anticipates attracting a greater number of users to the Teams platform as a whole.

During the recent Microsoft Build event, Microsoft made an additional announcement regarding the introduction of "immersive spaces" for Microsoft Teams calls. Utilizing the newly developed Microsoft Mesh platform, these spaces are designed to offer a truly immersive experience for Teams meetings, catering to those who seek a level of separation from their physical office environment.

The announcement reads:

Today, we are excited to announce key milestones on the journey to bring Mesh to life – progress with the Mesh product as well as by early adopter customers. First, an update on the latest product news:

  • Avatars for Microsoft Teams is rolling out to general availability in phases starting this week. It will be available to Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3, Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 Business Standard, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, Teams Premium customers.
  • Immersive spaces for Microsoft Teams is in private preview – available for Teams Technology Adoption Program (TAP) customers.
  • The Mesh platform is available in private preview. Interested organizations and developers can register their interest here.
Image courtesy of Microsoft

Immersive spaces

Available through a PC or a virtual reality headset, these experiences are said to encompass expansive virtual locations, enabling users to navigate between various rooms or spaces to engage with different teams or individuals. With the inclusion of spatial audio, users will be able to participate in one-on-one conversations or participate in larger discussions with multiple conversations happening concurrently.

Consequently, the introduction of these immersive spaces has the potential to enrich communication within a single team or act as a fundamental component for virtual conferences and company events. It can facilitate seamless collaboration and foster an engaging environment for participants.

Microsoft plans to offer a preview of these immersive spaces in the coming days, allowing users to have an early glimpse of their capabilities. A broader release is scheduled for later this year, making the feature accessible to a wider user base.


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  1. Gerold Manders said on May 31, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Teams is indeed a piece of crapware. Far too bloated for what it needs to do. Microsoft does seem to have the idea that Teams is a product used by professionals and most likely in professional environments.

    Avatars are commonly used in chat software that is mostly intended for informal use. Avatars are also used in games, forums etc.

    So….who at Microsoft thought that avatars would be a good idea in Teams? That person or entity fully deserves to be taken behind the shed and ‘happily live on big farm’ afterwards. I can surmise now already that in any online meeting the one(s) that provide an avatar instead of video, they are not regarded in the necessary esteem by the rest, who do not need to hide behind one.

    Avatars are a weak move from Microsoft. No matter which way they spin their rhetoric about implementing these.

  2. Micro$oft said on May 30, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    In the past 30 years, this is one of the worst software I have ever had to support. Every day, problems and bugs are reported by end users. I wish it never existed.

    1. Ryan Spooner said on July 13, 2023 at 2:50 pm

      I assign zero value to a opinion of somebody who childishly writes Microsoft as Micro$oft.

      In terms of the actual topic of this story though, I find little value in Avatars so we’ve turned them off.

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