With over 300 million people using Microsoft Teams for online meetings and chats, it stands to reason that there will be more of a need for customization for each of those users. Today, the Microsoft Design team announced it has created a new and large collection of virtual backgrounds for Teams that have started rolling out worldwide.
In a Medium post, the Microsoft Design team says this is the largest update for the Teams virtual background feature since it was added in 2020. It stated:
Featuring all-new images, the reimagined visual library for Teams has been thoughtfully designed to represent the people that use them and how they work best. Looking at the popularity of certain images, we noticed that customers are equally enthusiastic about being depicted in fun and imaginative scenes as they are being portrayed in realistic spaces like a coworking space, office, or home. By mapping out a series of user needs and meeting types, the Teams crew applied a fresh lens to craft and organize the new backgrounds into six categories.
The Microsoft Design team put a ton of thought into these new backgrounds, including using research from Microsoft and its LinkedIn and GitHub subsidiaries. It stated:
Crafted with your position in mind, the new backgrounds avoid obstructing key elements and awkward framing. You are the hero of the scene, for example, smaller archways are intentionally off-centered to ensure you’re not blocking the most engaging part of the image. The new Teams backgrounds have been built to not only be a delightful tool for self-expression but an effortless way to enhance your digital presence.
Of course, Teams users are still free to upload and use their own images for virtual backgrounds. Microsoft recently added over 20 Snapchat-based lenses for Teams users to customize their looks in online meetings.