Teams Gets Inline Playback for Stream Videos

Stream Video Playback Inline in Chats and Channel Conversations

Fresh from the artificial intelligence mysteries of the Maybelline beauty app and the prospect of losing content in teams with a thousand channels, Teams users can take advantage of the change announced in MC649917 (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 127596). The change means that videos stored in Stream for SharePoint play inline within messages posted in a chat or channel conversation.

Enabling better Stream video playback within Teams might not sound very exciting, but it avoids the need for Stream to open a browser window and launch its client to play the content (Figure 1). Most people might even consider the capability to be better than boasting red lips in a meeting.

Playing a Stream video in a team channel

Stream video playback
Figure 1: Stream video playback in a channel conversation

Microsoft is currently rolling out the update and expects all tenants to have it by late August.

Some Stream Issues with Teams

While checking out the new functionality, I ran into some problems with the links between Teams and Stream. First, the Stream app in Teams still connects to Stream classic. Given that the migration to Stream on SharePoint started last October, I’m surprised that app only accepts URLs for videos on the old platform. It would seem easy to detect if a tenant uses Steam on SharePoint and take appropriate action.

Second, the sharing options available in Stream includes the chance to share a video to a Teams chat or channel. The options works like the Share to Teams feature in Outlook in that it allows the user to select a target in Teams to share with. Unfortunately, Share to Teams in Stream couldn’t find many of the teams and chats that I use, including the test team I created to host 1,000 channels (Figure 2).

The Stream share to Teams option can't find teams
Figure 2: The Stream share to Teams option can’t find teams

When Stream managed to share to a team channel, it created a simple link to the video  (Figure 3) that launches the Stream player when invoked. There’s no sign of enhanced Stream video playback here.

Figure 3: The link written by Stream into a team channel

Obviously, the Stream team needs to do some more work to make the connection with Teams as seamless as it should be. I’ve reported both issues to Microsoft.

SharePoint Sorts Out its User Photos

Finally for the week, it’s interesting to read the message center notification MC653734 (July 21) covering “image coherence for SharePoint Online” (a truly horrible title). The update addresses user photo management for accounts that don’t have Exchange Online licenses or use Delve to update their photos to fix the problem where user photos displayed in SharePoint are different to those shown elsewhere in Microsoft 365 (hence “image coherence”).

In August 2023, Microsoft will roll out a fix to force SharePoint Online to display images fetched from the “Microsoft People System (MPS)”, just like all the other Microsoft 365 apps. In practical terms, this means that SharePoint will fetch the thumbnail photos stored in Entra ID accounts via the Graph profilePhoto API.

The impact on  users is that they will have to upload photos via Delve or using the avatar at the top right-hand corner of SharePoint pages (Figure 4). Admins can continue to update user photos via the Entra ID admin center or with PowerShell.

Where SharePoint Online users can update their photo
Figure 4: Where SharePoint Online users can update their photo

I don’t imagine that this change will affect many people. It removes a lingering piece of functionality that originated in SharePoint server and brings the app in line with the norms of the rest of Microsoft 365, and that’s good.

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