Microsoft Admin Center / Message Center got a bulletin today that view-only attendees are coming to Microsoft Teams meetings. On default these are OFF (there has been reports it is ON after all) and needs to be checked / enabled by Teams Admins.
The Teams view-only experience allows attendees to:
- Listen to the participants in the main Teams meeting.
- See the video feed for the active speaker (if the active speaker is sharing video).
- See content being shared using the share desktop functionality.
Some points from the bulletin
- Applies if organizer has E3, E5, A3 or A5 license
- Until end of June 2021 there can be 20 000 view-only attendees
- Beginning 1st of July there the number is reduced to 10 000
- Attendees can use any Teams Meeting capable client (Desktop on Windows/Mac, Teams on the web or Teams mobile (Android & iOS)
- First 300 (currently) attendees in the Teams meeting are interactive. After that people get to attend as view-only
- When the capacity of the main meeting has been reached, the meeting organizer and presenters will see a banner informing them that the meeting capacity has been reached and that new attendees will join a view-only attendee.
- Attendee counts will not be reflecting people attending in view-only mode
- Make sure attendees can bypass the lobby (turn Lobby off if you expect > 300 attendees)
- When the capacity of the main meeting has been reached, meeting attendees will be informed on the pre-join screen that they’re joining in view-only mode.
- Rolling out!
- I was already able to run the PowerShell command to enable Streaming Attendee mode (it will be enabled by default).
Recommendation: check if the status is enabled/disabled according to your needs
Here is the bulletin text from Message Center in full:
Teams meetings to support view-only attendees
Microsoft Teams will soon support up to 20,000 meeting attendees as view-only participants when the attendee is accessing a meeting via a Teams desktop application (Windows or Mac), Teams on the web, or Teams mobile (Android and iOS). This feature applies to those with E5, E3, A5, or A3 licenses.
This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 65952.
When this will happen
- Phase 1, a temporary increase to 20,000 view-only participants runs from late February through the end of June
- Phase 2, view-only participant capacity will revert to 10,000 view-only participants the first of July
How this will affect your organization
Currently, Teams meetings are limited to 300 users. If someone tries to join a meeting after it reaches capacity, they are unable to do so. With this update, meeting organizers who are assigned an appropriate license will be able to host a Teams meeting that has overflow capacity.
- Up to 20,000 view-only attendees may join a meeting from late February through the end of June
- Up to 10,000 view-only attendees may join a meeting after July 1, 2021
Similar to Teams Live Events limit increases, during this peak remote work time, we have temporarily increased attendee limits.
Meeting organizers will not see view-only participants in attendee counts or reports; this feature does not support the e-discovery of data. Organizers cannot remove view-only attendees from a meeting.
When a meeting organizer enables this overflow feature:
- After a meeting reaches capacity (300 users), people will be able to join as view-only attendees, with the maximum number limited by the phase
- View-only attendees will not impact the normal interaction available for regular attendees (those who joined before the meeting reached capacity).
- Once the view-only attendee limit is reached, no additional view-only attendees will be able to join.
View-only attendees do not need a special SKU to join the meeting in a view-only capacity. However, they do need permission to bypass the Lobby based on set Lobby Policies or Options.
- View-only attendees will follow all lobby and security policy mechanisms.
- View-only attendees will have limited access to meeting features. For example, view-only attendees will be able to listen to all audio and view a screen or window shared during the meeting. However, they will be unable to share audio or video, and they will be unable to see chat or other applications that are shared during the meeting.
What you need to do to prepare
This feature should be OFF by default for your users. There has been some info that this has been in fact ON by default! Admins: Check that you have it in the state you want for your organization!
You may use PowerShell to enable this feature for your entire tenant while you prepare to assign the licenses.
- Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -StreamingAttendeeMode Enabled
Note: The view-only attendance feature is provided using Teams live events streaming services.