Microsoft could be looking to take on Facebook and Discord with its new Communities feature for Microsoft Teams.
Today, the company launched the new Communities feature, which will be available to everyone for free. It will allow users to use the calendar, meeting, and chat features of the communication service in order to create groups.
While the group or communities feature is rife with competitors like Discord, Facebook, and Reddit, Microsoft thinks it can differentiate itself. In an interview with The Verge, Amit Fulay, VP of product at Microsoft, said that the company is looking to target groups “looking to get things done” with its spin on communities.
“What we’ve learned so far as we’ve been building this is that there is a set of communities who are looking to get things done. These are very distinct from pure fan communities or discussion communities, and where I think our strengths are as a company… is our ability to provide those productivity tools.”
According to the report, Microsoft is looking to take a similar strategy to Discord which asks that its communities largely moderate themselves while still being supported by the company itself.
“We actually have a centralized digital safety team. We have a lot of experience across Xbox and services like Flipgrid that have been working on the moderation stuff. The way things get flagged and moderated, we have central teams for that.”
Manik Gupta, CVP for Teams consumer at Microsoft, said that, when it comes to Communities for Teams, “we’re just getting started. We’ll see where our users are coming in and how to drive our roadmap. We’ll look at how people are using the product and iterate on that.”
Discord has established itself as the go-to place recently when it comes to communities, so we’ll need to wait and see if Microsoft can establish itself in this area.