Introducing Microsoft Stream

Duane OdumOffice 365 has introduced a new application to its suite in preview for First Release tenants: Microsoft Stream, a video service that effectively replaces Office 365 Video (the two services will coexist temporarily, but you should learn how to transition your videos to Stream).

Stream provides a secure, centralized location for businesses to create, upload, store, manage, and view videos to share with other users in their organization to encourage faster and easier collaboration. You can also connect Stream with other Office 365 applications, such as Yammer, SharePoint, and OneNote.

Other features include:

  • Functionality called “Channels” to organize videos
  • Integration with Office 365 Groups
  • Stream preselects several thumbnail options, but you can also upload your own
  • Closed captioning in English and Spanish
  • Easy to leave comments, tag timecodes, and refer to specific points in a video

There isn’t a mobile app (yet), so I had to use Stream on my phone by accessing the content through mobile browsers. I used Stream on my Galaxy S7 using Chrome and 3rd generation iPad using Safari and had a good experience, although the sound wasn’t as loud as it is in Office 365 Videos and SharePoint Online by default.

Here are some of my thoughts on Stream:

  • Appears to be an attempt to rival YouTube for internal business usage
  • UI is very modern and responsive
  • Takes a long time time to upload even with a decent connection
  • If you choose your own thumbnail, you have to pull the image from an outside source
  • Tagging is done using hashtags in the Channel
  • No way to create a Group or Channel during the upload process to permission/organize videos, both need to exist beforehand
  • Users can have a max of 5,000 videos and each video maxes out at 50 GB (you can view more detailed quotas and limitations here)

Overall, I think Stream makes a nice addition to the Office 365 suite. As video grows more and more popular in online spaces, companies need a hub to share and organize video, and it seems like Stream will be a good place to do so.

To learn more about Microsoft Stream, visit their website.

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