Microsoft recently announced yet another big update coming soon to Microsoft Teams, its popular collaboration app that’s part of every Microsoft 365 and Office 365 package. This one seems a little less obvious at first — you might even wonder what the point behind it is.
The new, groundbreaking integration? LinkedIn.
Yes, believe it or not, Microsoft has owned the business-oriented social network since 2016.
Up until now, LinkedIn has stayed pretty much independent from other Microsoft products (at least as far as end users can see). But starting soon, Microsoft is bringing some deeper integrations between the social network and at least one of its popular office apps.
Here’s everything you need to know about the coming update.
The Big Change: See Colleagues’ LinkedIn Profiles in Some Teams Chats
So what’s the gist of the new update?
Starting soon, Teams will gain the ability to pull in content from team members’ LinkedIn profiles. You’ll be able to surface that data during certain Teams chats.
Once the feature goes live, you’ll be able to access the LinkedIn profile of anyone with whom you’re having a one-to-one chat.
Of course, for this to work, the other person will need an active LinkedIn profile and will need to connect it to their Microsoft 365 account. So the feature won’t quite be universal. You might encounter some team members where you still don’t have the ability to see their LinkedIn profile in chat.
It’s also important to note that this feature is limited to one-to-one chats, at least for now. You won’t be able to access this data in group chats or for Team members you aren’t chatting with. We wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft expands this access in a future update, but it isn’t there yet.
What Can I Do with This New Functionality?
If you’re at a small, close-knit business, the value of this new update might not be obvious. If you already know everyone on your team decently well, it might not seem all that useful to pull up their professional profile.
Similarly, some people regard LinkedIn as an external-only network, a place where you interface with people outside your company and potentially try to find a new job. So why would surfacing that “show-window” or “hire me” content be useful?
The biggest use cases here are admittedly for larger teams and companies. Consider any environment where users might not be entirely familiar with other team members. Popping up a LinkedIn profile gives at-a-glance info that otherwise wouldn’t be available in teams. This could help with small talk (referencing college affinity or previous role/company experience) and building rapport.
Along the same lines, pulling up this data can give insights into specific skill sets within a team. Again, on smaller or specialized teams, this might not matter. (There’s no second-guessing which team member is going to do the graphic design if your team has a single dedicated graphic designer.)
But on larger teams, or when you need to look for specializations beyond those with clearly defined roles (like graphic design or web development), LinkedIn profiles could supply this information.
When Is This Change Coming?
Microsoft has targeted March 2022 for this new integration. If you haven’t seen it by April, you might want to reach out to your systems manager or your managed IT provider to make sure your apps are up to date.
Need Help with Teams Configuration? Blue Ridge Tech Is Here for You
Microsoft Teams is transforming the way teams collaborate—in the office, remotely, and anything in between. If you’re not using it yet, you’re missing out.
We can help you get Teams set up for your business in a way that fits your needs and supercharges your ability to collaborate. Give us a call today!