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‘Follow’ Teams Meeting Option Available Soon in Outlook

Microsoft Outlook users will soon be able to choose to ‘follow’ a Teams meeting in response to meeting invitations.

Currently, invitees have a limited range of responses, such as ‘Accept’, ‘Decline’, or ‘Maybe’.

The new Follow option will allow users the added possibility of simultaneously rejecting a meeting invitation while also expressing their desire to stay informed, meaning they will automatically receive post-meeting recaps.

The tech giant has published an explanation of how to follow meetings in Outlook via its online Support pages:

“If you’re unable to attend a meeting, you can select Follow as your response to help you stay informed of the meeting events.

“Following a meeting reminds the organiser to record the meeting and alert you to any follow-up items.

“For meeting organisers, you’ll receive email responses letting you know which of your attendees responded with Follow.”

According to the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the feature will be made generally available this month across both web and desktop.

How to Follow Meetings

For attendees to follow meetings, they will. Simply have to select the Follow option, which will be beside the Yes and No responses in meeting invitations.

Attendees will only see the Follow button if the meeting in question if the organiser has sent  response requests and when the meeting has two or more participants.

When an attendee has chosen to follow a meeting, they will have access to that particular meeting’s recordings and transcripts.

The attendee will also have access to the meeting and chat if they wish to take part, however their calendar will reflect that they are free at that time.

It is worth being aware, therefore that unless you manually change your calendar to show yourself as ‘busy’ when you follow a meeting, you could easily end up scheduling another meeting for the same time that would then take away the possibility of joining the followed meeting live.

From an organiser’s perspective, they will receive the attendee’s Follow response and a reminder to record the Teams meeting and take collaborative notes.

If you choose not to hide the attendee list when you request responses from invitees, they will all be able to see who has chosen to Follow the meeting.

For meeting organisers that are using Outlook on a Mac, Outlook mobile or classic Outlook, you will receive email responses from attendees who choose to follow the meeting but these will appear as ‘tentatively accepted’.

Teaming Up with Teams

Microsoft Outlook has taken a couple of steps closer to Teams already this year by enabling Teams Chat in the new Outlook App, as well as the addition of a unified Teams App  Manager available via Microsoft 365, Teams, and Outlook.

In February 2024, Microsoft introduced a new feature that will allow Teams chat in the new Outlook for Windows app.

In meetings set up from either Outlook or Teams, with Teams designated as the meeting platform, participants can engage in real-time Teams chat directly within Outlook.

Users can commence meeting chats from several entry points, such as calendar peek, meeting details, context menu, My Day, and reminders.

Earlier this month, Microsoft also announced plans to launch a unified Teams app manager across Microsoft 365, Teams, and Outlook in May 2024.

The new update will enable admins who maintain Teams apps from Outlook and Microsoft 365 to be able to manage them all from across the three platforms: Microsoft 365, Teams, and Outlook.



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