Microsoft Teams is continuing to ride the remote work and learning wave kicked off by the coronavirus pandemic. During Microsoft’s Q1 2021 earnings call, CEO Satya Nadella shared that Microsoft Teams has passed 115 million daily active users. That’s up 53% from the 75 million daily active users in April. A year ago, Microsoft Teams had just 13 million daily active users.
“Teams now has more than 115 million daily active users,” Nadella said. “We are seeing increased usage and intensity as people communicate, collaborate, and coauthor content across work, life, and learning. Microsoft 365 users generated more than 30 billion collaboration minutes in a single day this quarter.”
Microsoft Teams is the company’s Office 365 chat-based collaboration tool that competes with Slack, Facebook’s Workplace, Google Chat/Meet, and even Zoom. Indeed, Microsoft is in a virtual meeting war with Google and Zoom. Google Meet has seen 100 million meeting participants in a single day, Teams has seen more than 200 million meeting participants, and Zoom has seen 300 million daily meeting participants. (Unlike daily active users, “meeting participants” can count the same user more than once.)
Since 2018, Microsoft Teams has been the company’s fastest-growing business app ever, long before lockdowns started juicing up remote work and learning numbers. In May, Microsoft’s Jeff Teper told VentureBeat Teams “will be even bigger than Windows.”
Slew of new features
Microsoft has been moving quickly to capitalize on the new remote work normal. At its Build 2020 developers conference in May, the company gave business developers new tools to build Teams apps. And its Inspire 2020 partners conference in July, Microsoft launched Dataflex, a relational database that lets business developers create, deploy, and manage Power Platform apps and chatbots without leaving Teams. More recently, at its Ignite 2020 IT Pros conference in September, the company talked about mental health and promised features like virtual commutes and Headspace meditation.
On the call, Nadella highlighted how quickly features are being added to Teams. “We are accelerating our innovation for both first-line as well as knowledge workers, with over 100 new capabilities in the last six months,” he said. “Including breakout rooms, meeting recaps, shift scheduling, and large scale digital events, up to 20,000 participants. To help people transcend both time and distance, employee health and wellbeing is a top concern for every CEO. We are innovating with new experiences to help people prioritize wellbeing in the flow of work. New insights in Teams provides personalized recommended actions, making it easier for employees to create healthy work habits and for leaders to build high performing teams.”
Microsoft was already adding features to Teams at a heavy clip, but the user growth in 2020 seems to shifted development into an even higher gear. Many have observed that Microsoft has gone from chasing Slack to paving the way with new capabilities. (In July, Slack filed an EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft for bundling Teams with Office.)
More room to grow
Microsoft defines DAUs for Teams as “the maximum daily users performing an intentional action in a 24-hour period across the desktop client, mobile client, and web client. Intentional actions include sending or replying to a chat, joining a meeting, or opening a file in Teams. Passive actions like auto boot, minimizing a screen, or closing the app are not included.”
In Microsoft’s Q3 2020, Nadella reported 258 million paid Office 365 seats. It’s difficult to gauge how many of these are also Teams users given the difference between daily and monthly users. Furthermore, Microsoft has a free version of Teams and Teams for consumers in the works. Still, given that Teams is primarily a business tool, it’s clear there’s still plenty of room for the app to grow.
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