What you need to know
- Microsoft Teams now supports chatting with people outside of an organization, even if the other person has a Teams personal account.
- Teams already supported commercial users chatting with other commercial users outside of an organization.
- Admins can control external access to ensure the security of communication.
Microsoft Teams users can now chat with more people outside of their organization. Teams already supported commercial users chatting with commercial users from other organizations. A newly announced capability allows commercial users to message individuals outside of an organization, even if the other person is using a Teams personal account.
To get started, you can enter the full email address or phone number of the person you're trying to connect with to start a 1-to-1 or group chat. Microsoft highlights that you don't need to switch tenants to message in this way, which should streamline communication. If the person you try to connect with is not on Teams, they will receive an email or text message that invites them to set up a personal account.
Despite the use of the word "personal" in "Teams personal accounts," many small and medium businesses use these accounts for communication. The new capability for Teams should help professional users connect with a wider range of people using Teams for business use.
IT admins can control external access within an organization. The admin center has a couple of options for Teams accounts that are not managed by an organization, both of which are outlined by Microsoft:
- Outbound chat: enable/disable users in the organization to initiate a chat with external Teams personal accounts users (e.g. users who are not invited guests through Azure AD B2B collaboration). (Enabled by default)
- Inbound chat: enable/disable external users with Teams accounts not managed by an organization to initiate a chat with your users. (Enabled by default)
The new functionality is available starting today.
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