MS Teams - Types of Teams, Teams Versus Chat


  • What is the difference between Chat and Teams in Microsoft Teams?
  • What is the difference between a public team and a private team?
  • Should I request a team?


  • Oregon State University
  • Employee, Student or Associate
  • Microsoft Teams


Chat Versus Teams

Microsoft Teams has two main components with somewhat different features:

  • Chat
    • One-on-one or group chat
    • Includes audio, video and screen-sharing
    • You can save a group chat with a name and pin it for quick access
    • Chat does not support message threading
    • For more information, see: Six Things to Know about Chat in Microsoft Teams
  • Teams
    • Can choose Private (invite only) or Public (OSU licensed users only at this time)
    • Includes audio, video and screen-sharing, as well as document collaboration and file storage
    • Can include multiple channels within the team
    • Message threading is supported in channels
    • For more information, watch this short video: Welcome to Teams


Should I Request a Team? Private or Public?

If you are an instructor and would like to create a team for your Canvas course, you do not need to request a team starting 9/8/2022. Instead, you can automatically create a linked team from Canvas. For all other situations, if one or more of the following apply to your situation, you should consider requesting a team:

  • You have a large group (more than 10 people)
  • Your group discusses multiple topics that you would like to divide into separate channels
  • You would like a space that persists over time regardless of activity
  • You want to do collaboration on files through Teams
  • You want to integrate other apps (e.g. Planner) for your team

In general, most new teams will be Private, meaning they are by invitation only. Public teams are useful in cases where you want other members of the OSU community to be able to join a conversation without invitation. 

More Information:


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.


Article ID: 104291
Fri 4/3/20 11:49 AM
Thu 12/15/22 11:21 AM

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