Microsoft Teams to show 9 conference participants at once

Don Sharpe
by Don Sharpe
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  • Soon you'll be able to see up to nine Teams video conferencing participants on a single screen.
  • Zoom, which can display up to 49 thumbnails of conference participants on a screen at once, poses stiff competition.
  • Visit our news section for a more in-depth coverage of Microsoft and Windows-related insights.
  • Check out our Microsoft Teams page to discover more about using and troubleshooting the enterprise collaboration tool. 
Silhouettes holding hands

Up to 250 people can participate in a Microsoft Teams meeting. But only four can appear on a video conferencing screen at once.

Well, that is about to change as Microsoft is working on extending that limit to nine participants.

Microsoft Teams to display up to 9 video conferencing participants simultaneously

Soon you will be able to see up to nine Teams video conferencing participants at once. That will come to pass if a recent Tweet by Microsoft is anything to go by.

The company made a similar promise last week in response to concerns over the inability of participants to see each other during Teams video meetings.

Then, Alex, a Microsoft Teams engineer, responded that the tech giant was working on extending the limit beyond just nine.

We will start rolling out our first update to view nine participants simultaneously by the end of April. In parallel we are continuing work to increase this limit even further. Stay tuned!

Teams user concerns

Team users calling for the increase of video chat participants that appear on the screen are eyeing much more than just collaboration.  They are asking for the ability to see each other and the reactions of others, which can enhance the effectiveness of business communications.

A typical application would be learning where teachers or instructors would like to see everyone in their class. Unfortunately, you cannot see 30 or so members of your class at once via Teams for now.

It is also critical for users to appreciate the fact that a video-intensive conferencing session has higher hardware and bandwidth requirements.

Teams’ competition

Teams recently attained 44 million daily users, partly thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic. But the platform faces stiff competition from Zoom when it comes to video conferencing.

As at now, Zoom supports up to 49 thumbnail displays of conference participants on a single screen. So, Microsoft has a long way to go before catching up with its main rival.

Nine, though, would not be bad for Teams customers that can only see a maximum of four participants at once currently. You may expect the feature to be available in the next one or two weeks as Microsoft promised.