Microsoft Teams rolls out custom video call backgrounds for everyone

Microsoft says that the use of its Teams remote working platform has skyrocketed over the past few weeks as many people self-isolate in their homes. Last month, the overall number of video calls that took place through Microsoft Teams increased by more than 1,000-percent, according to the company, which has announced some changes to the product that improve the overall experience.

Microsoft Teams is a remote working platform that enables multiple people to collaborate in real-time over the Internet. Users can chat with each other, conduct video calls, send each other files, and more. The platform has proven popular with corporations that need to connect relatively large teams of people with each other.

In its latest update on the platform, Microsoft said that the custom background feature used for video calls is now 'generally available' to Teams users. With this, users who are participating in a video call can have the software automatically replace the background in the video with custom images; soon enough, users will even have the option of uploading their own images for use.

Note: The screenshots above show the true background on the left and the AI-applied custom background on the right.

In addition to the custom backgrounds, Microsoft says that it will soon roll out its 'raise hand' feature for video calls that was first announced in March. With this, users can alert others to the fact that they have something to say by clicking a dedicated 'raise hand' icon.

Beyond those features, Teams now allow meeting organizers to terminate a virtual meeting for everyone who is participating with the click of a button. Later this month, organizers will also get access to a participant report feature that shows which people participated in meetings, as well as the times they joined and left.