In an interview with The Verge, Microsoft confirmed that its workplace chat platform ‘Teams’ will soon feature new collaborative apps to be used during meetings by third-party developers. Integrated with Office 365, Microsoft Teams was launched in 2016 as a collaborative tool by allowing users to chat, share content, and more. In 2020, the company allowed third-party apps on Teams and now it is opening its APIs further.
Microsoft Teams will soon feature third-party apps to offer more tools for collaborative work
The report details that developers will able to build apps with in-app purchases or subscriptions for Teams. This functionality will make the app accessible on more platforms.
This means apps built for Teams will work across Windows, Mac, the web, iOS, Android, and even Linux. While we’ve seen some apps that plug into the meeting canvas previously, Microsoft is launching a preview that will allow devs to share apps like whiteboards and project boards and share apps more directly into the meetings area in Teams. Microsoft is also making it easier for devs to create these apps with greater integration into Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.
Developers will also be given access to Teams’ real-time video and audio streams to create separate apps and to offer transcription apps to process audio and video coming out of Teams, but it will also enable devs to create bespoke apps that access Teams. Head of Microsoft 365 collaboration Jeff Teper told The Verge that:
“If you can build web apps, you can build extensions into Teams chats, channels, and meetings. You can build once, run, deploy anywhere.
Somebody could build a completely custom application that is different than the Teams UI and that app can interoperate with Teams via voice, video, or chat. An example could be a hospital that wants to build a connection from their telehealth app into Teams to enable video calls.”
In addition, the company will also open Teams Store by allowing developers to set their own subscription for their apps. Without mentioning how much share cut the company will charge from developers for in-app purchases, Teper did hint that Microsoft will charge something. He said that “we may make some money in the marketplace, but our primary business model will be the Microsoft 365 licenses and the Azure and Power platform licenses that developers consume.”