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MS Teams Change: New Video only Meeting stage experience

As everyone knows, Microsoft has been improving the MS Teams experience to compete the Zoom.

As mentioned in the MC241581 published on February 25th 2021. A recent change has enabled a new Video only Meeting stage. With this new meeting layout experience, video-only participants will fill the meeting layout even if they aren't dominant speakers.

What has changed exactly?

In Microsoft Teams meetings where some attendees had videos on and some had videos off, users would see up to 9 attendees on-screen in a “mixed grid”: a mix of video-on and video-off participants. Audio-only participants (those who have their video turned off) would be shown as avatars (see examples below; avatars can be either initials or a profile picture). This occupied substantial space on the screen which could be used instead to show more video participants as available.

Image credit: Microsoft

New experience:

With the new view optimized for video experience, the meeting prioritizes showing participants who have their video turned on. This makes it possible for the user to simultaneously see up to 9 video participants in a meeting. For meetings with more than 9 participants, we prioritize participants with video to be shown on the stage. Participants with audio are clubbed and shown below the videos.

Image credit: Microsoft

I would say this is a reasonable change without having the avatars mix up on the screen. Users who want to opt for this, just need to restart the Teams client.

Please leave your opinion about this change in the comments.

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