Microsoft Increases Teams Membership to 10,000 Users

New Teams Limit Will Apply Worldwide by the End of May

In a March 27 announcement (MC207957) in the Office 365 Message Center, Microsoft said that they will soon increase the current 5,000 membership limit for a team (and the underlying Office 365 group) to 10,000. Microsoft says that the change will roll out to tenants at the end of April and expect worldwide deployment to be done by the end of May. The limit includes both tenant users and guest users (if allowed for a team).

Microsoft’s announcement doesn’t say if the new limit applies to org-wide teams, which are currently restricted to organizations with fewer than 5,000 members, but I expected that this will be the case.

Recently Added Roadmap Item

The new limit is also documented in Microsoft 365 roadmap item 62549. Interestingly, the roadmap item was added on March 27, which might indicate that the increase in membership limit is a response to the upswing in customer demand for Teams due to the Covid-19 virus and the need for more people to work from home.

Roadmap item for Teams membership increase
Figure 1: The recently added roadmap item for the 10,000 user limit in Teams (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Large Enterprises Driving Teams

When Microsoft disclosed that Teams now has 44 million daily active users, they also said that 650 customers have more than 100,000 users while Accenture leads the pack with 440,000 users. Large enterprises like these need to run big teams, and it’s likely that some accelerated deployments in large customers contributed to Microsoft’s decision to lift the maximum size of a team. Sometimes, as in the case of the team shown in Figure 2, five thousand members simply isn’t enough.

Very large Team membership
Figure 2: A very large team – but not large enough for some (image credit: Tony Redmond)

Impact on Yammer

The new limit will put more pressure on Yammer. Although Microsoft refocused Yammer away from interactive chat to areas like knowledge sharing and leadership agreement in its “Year of Yammer” initiative, many Office 365 tenants still see overlap between Teams and Yammer. Organizations that embrace the Yammer concept and invest in its implementation do well and like the application, but most tenants see a simple choice whether to use Teams or Yammer as their collaboration platform.

It’s obvious that Microsoft is putting more resources behind Teams, especially to help enterprises get off Skype for Business Online ahead of its July 2021 retirement. Adding federation with Skype consumer is a recent example of a feature introduced to help the migration. Yammer is getting new features too (like interactive notifications of Yammer conversations in OWA), but the sheer pace of Teams development leaves Yammer well behind.

Upwards and Onwards

When Microsoft introduced Teams in 2016, the limit for a team membership was 999. Now it’s ten times larger and who knows where the limit might end up? Anyone for a 100,000-member team?