Start a call from Teams channel view

Occasional Contributor

So, i've been talking with few firms adopting Teams and we haven't figured out yet the usage of Teams and Channels. 

Bottom line, the goal is to be able to share files, chat and have calls. 

Chat is great, also meetings are easy to schedule, but Channels are still unknown.

We are using today Skype for standup, scrum calls and also for chatting about various issues.

In Teams, i can setup a meeting, chat within that meeting and make a call, but that meeting doesn't show up regularly on the side bar.

So i thought the Channel would be great place for that! have a channel to have the files, chat and have a call! but NO, calls cannot be made from channels. WHY?? Do i need to replicate every group of people that i have in Channel to be in the chat, to make calls? 

Also i don't want to schedule a meeting every time i want to call the team about something. Again, it works from chat but doesn't work from the Channel. 

Anyone has a solution for that? What would be the best practice here?


27 Replies
best response confirmed by Juan Carlos González Martín (MVP)
This is exactly what the meet now button does on the chat bar. You click on this and it starts an Adhoc meeting and posts a conversation. People on the team see the video icon by the channel a meeting is going on and if they favorite or follow the channel they will get a regular message of the meeting post. Then they can easily join. You can also @mention the team or channel or people in the chat to get them to see it as well.

Video recording is slick too as it will after the call post the recording as a reply to the conversation so others can watch it.
Okay! A channel is part of a team which can contain of various people! For chat to the whole team, the conversations tab is used for each channel! To have a meeting in a channel just click the meet now button at the bottom and everyone in the team can join in without having to schedule! The chat during the meeting will end up in the channel it took place!
Private chat is outside of teams itself and you can chat with everyone here not dependent on members of any team! Also when you have a private meeting the chat will en up here ( chat tab ) you can easily create a group chat with up to 50 people ( 20 for audio/video ) , name the group to you liking and pin it, so it will always be accessible from the chat tab!

Also if you don’t have the meet now button make sure that it isn’t turned off in a policy!



so we started using channels to manage our internal communication and this raises another related question: With chats i see on the left side "chat" with number of unread messages, so i know i haven't read all messages, but with Teams i have no indication i have a unread messages so it's difficult to find the threads and conversations i'm missing. Any idea about it?





You do get unread flag's based on either using your activity feed if you have a channel / thread followed. Or if not, but you look at a channel they will bold when there is unread messages, There is a uservoice around for showing how many unread you actually have, but there is the bold channel for unread and some other informational icons on those channels such as @mention etc. Being shown.
So I would vote for that but also the notification for channels messages don’t have the actual text information but just that someone wrote in the channel, both on phone notification and desktop, which again discourage the usage of Channels and Teams. I wish they would prioritize it.

@Yossi Leon you aren't expected to read every message in a channel, if you have been part of a thread or @mentioned as its relevant to you then alerts and counters will show, but other people's threads shouldn't need you to review.



@Steven Collier i expect that if i'm following a channel and it's in my favorites, instead of just showing a notification popup on my desktop with "you have notification at XXX channel" it will actually show the message that was sent, otherwise it's worthless and requires me to click the notification and read the message only in the channel. 

The behavior for followed channel to be exactly as a chat i'm part of in terms of notification content and UX. 

Coming back from a product forum in NYC, we're one of the few FinTech companies that adopted Teams (80% claimed they're using Slack), and we really try to make an effort to stick with it, but we need more support from Microsoft to make it work. 

@Yossi Leon So far I can see 28 votes on UserVoice for this, I suggest you vote too ...


There are actually 149 people voting to remove the message from instant messages ...

I do not see a "Meet Now" button. Where might one find "policy" to turn it on?



The meet now doesn't call but rather posts a Join Meeting post on the channel. 


I need to know how we can initiate calls via a channel. Without having to create new groups in the call tab. In skype you can call an entire group that's in a chat

You can't call through a channel, the only thing you can do to call groups of people is having a group chat just like Skype for Business and clicking call on it.

The alternitive, is create a Meet now, then @mention your channel or tag if you create one as a reply to the meet now so people see it and go to it and can easily click Join.

@Chris Webb  Do we know if adding a call now feature will be added at the channel level? 

It just seems easier to do that rather than having to not only create your channel, but then a call group.. 



Not anytime soon since channels don't have memberships, only full Teams and this is what you can use the Meet Now button for in a channel, it will show up on the channel for anyone that has it "Shown" which I like to refer to as "joined", the only issue is you cannot see who has the channel shown to use the @channel mention or know who may or may not see it. I'm hoping that they bring this functionality back since they used to have it in the product the first year or so it was out.

@Chris Webb 


It doesn't help either that the Calendar within teams doesn't allow you to setup a meeting for a private channel you are in.. 


Also, setting up a Teams meeting via outlook, if using the Channels email address, doesn't allow the users of that channel to accept the meeting. It just comes up on their calendar.. 


Do you know of a way to bridge the channel members to creating new chat groups? so that i don't have to manually do it? 


I thought that having the channels would allow us to call up meetings from them, but as you've noted it isn't possible. And adding the @ in the channel doesn't guarantee that members will see it.  End users need to hear something to alert them of an incoming call.. 

If it's the same group of people you are working with then create a Team around that group of people?

As for if you wanted to start a group chat with a group of people you can utilize tags, by tagging a subset of people in a larger Team such as "Managers" then you can start a chat using that tag, and you can also @mention that tag in any channel / message in the Team as well. it's useful for doing subsets of people like this.

@Chris Webb 


"If it's the same group of people you are working with then create a Team around that group of people?"

The way we are approaching the use of Teams is:


Company name (team)

general channel (where all org members can communicate in public), used for company announcements 

Then we created private channels for groups of pple that need to communicate with on a daily basis including have standups.. 

We have some public channels that any one can jump in for help. 


I will try the @ in the chats but based on what I've provided above, are we using the wrong approach? 


We do have other teams but we use it to communicate say to another external org with the same structure as above 


Having a Team like that is common but I wouldn't have private channels for different groups I would break it out into Teams, you are really limiting yourself to the channel for that group instead of being able to break out your discussions into more channels by topic etc. I mean it might work if you are very small and be fine, but Even smaller Teams, Like my IT group we have multiple channels for our group just to organize things better.

We have the org wide Team, with Channels for open communication between departments / topics etc. Private channels are saved for special topic items, and then we have Teams for Each business unit / project. Your running into it now with the meeting thing. If you had a Team for that group you could just schedule a channel meeting, or do a meet now and use @team mention when you start it and everyone in the Team is guaranteed that notification vs. the channel way you are trying to do now.

@Chris Webb 


We are so deep in the setup that asking to break off into teams would cause a whirlwind of well you know... Plus the group of pple is always changing.. But you have given me something to think about.. Though we are deep, i may be able to figure out a way to make it happen.. If it means giving them the functionality they seek. Ultimately would be nice for Microsoft to allow calls from private channels. As i said before, i can't even setup a meeting in the Teams Calendar for private channels.. 


What i have done is changed the meeting policy to be enabled for all. Now users, when they try to setup a meeting in outlook, are able to setup a Teams Meeting.. The only thing though is that they have to add each person manually.. I tried to add a channel email address but that didn't work out well. 

Now that they know to do this, pple get meeting reminders as they normally would. 

They just miss the whole skype group call ... Which i know means I'd have to setup call groups in teams..