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External users can now join Microsoft Teams group chats

Teams Group Chat
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is making it easier for users of its video conferencing software to connect with others outside of their organization by expanding group chat in Microsoft Teams to external users.

In an update to the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, the software giant explained that users will soon be able to “create group chats that include people external to their organization using Teams”. However, in order to do so, they will need to “have external access capabilities enabled”.

Any external organizations that Teams users want to add to a group chat must first have an Azure Active Directory identity and use Microsoft's open federation policy. Thankfully though, open federation is the default setting in Teams, so this will likely already be enabled for most users.

Teams group chats with external users

Microsoft Teams already allows users to find, participate in one-on-one chats, call and set up meetings with external users. Now though, they'll also be able to chat with them in a group setting from within the same application.

Once two organizations are federated with one another, users will be able to start a new chat with an external user the same way they do with their co-workers. To get started, click on the new Chat icon, enter a recipient's email address and then click on the Search externally option to find an external user. 

Large-scale group chats are also possible in Microsoft Teams as the service supports up to 250 participants in a single group chat.

The ability to add external users to group chats is scheduled to roll out in Mid-May and will be complete by the end of July on the Teams desktop and mobile apps as well as on the web.

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Via MSPoweruser