Microsoft is now rolling out the Virtual Breakout Rooms feature for its Teams collaboration platform. At launch, the feature will be available exclusively to Government Community Cloud (GCC) customers, and the company will expand its availability to all Teams users in the coming days.
The brainstorming room feature, which allows meeting organizers to split participants into smaller groups associated with the main meeting, was announced in July. The functionality is designed to support simultaneous group discussions, such as business meetings, projects, brainstorming sessions, and more. Here’s a video that shows brainstorming rooms in action:
Microsoft says organizers can choose the number of brainstorming rooms (up to 50) and assign a specific number of participants (manually or automatically) to each room. In brainstorming rooms, participants have full access to all meeting features, such as chat, Together mode, and whiteboard. On the other hand, the meeting organisers will have the opportunity to follow these discussions, participate in them and make announcements.
It’s important to note that presenters and attendees can participate, but only the meeting organizer can create brainstorming rooms with the desktop client. However, to use virtual brainstorming spaces, IT administrators must first enable a number of settings in a Teams meeting policy. This helps ensure that users can schedule private meetings.
- Allow scheduling private meeting = on
- Allow channel meeting scheduling = on
- Allow meet now in channels = on
- Allow Meet now in private meeting = on
The experience of the brainstorming rooms is one of the most requested features and has been delayed several times. This is not entirely new, as team competitor Zoom has long supported brainstorming rooms.