Microsoft is bringing one of its best Teams video calling features over to Skype this week. Together Mode, which uses AI to segment your face and shoulders and place you together with other people in a virtual space, is now available in Skype. You’ll need at least five people all with webcams to enable the feature, and it will place everyone into a virtual environment as if they’re sitting next to each other.
You don’t even need the Skype app to take advantage of Together Mode, as it works through the web version of Skype without the need for an account. Skype users can create a Meet Now meeting and share the link with anyone to join.
Microsoft first launched Together Mode back in July for pandemic-era meetings, and the NBA started using the feature to bring basketball fans courtside in a virtual experience during live games. Still, it’s surprising to see a Microsoft Teams feature make its way to Skype.
Millions of people flocked to Zoom earlier this year when the pandemic forced many to work from home and socialize with friends through video calls. Skype largely missed out on this big moment, as Microsoft has increasingly turned its focus toward Teams for video calling and collaboration.
Alongside this new Together Mode feature, Microsoft is also adding its Large Grid Mode feature to Skype so you can see everyone’s video stream at the same time. This latest version of Skype, available across Windows, Mac, Linux, and the web, also includes more background options and lets people add friends to ongoing calls by using their phone number.