Microsoft introduces ‘Follow,’ a new RSVP feature in Outlook

Microsoft is developing a new RSVP feature called “Follow” for Outlook. This will be an additional option to the Accept/Tentative/Decline choices when responding to meeting invitations. A similar RSVP feature was also announced for Teams via Roadmap.

The “Follow” option is designed for individuals who are too busy to attend a meeting physically or virtually but still want to remain engaged and receive information about the meeting. Although the specifics of what it will offer are not yet fully clear, it’s expected to include details such as the list of attendees, meeting location, and duration. Users may also receive a meeting summary, including action points and information about any follow-up meetings.

Meeting attendees can see if anyone is using the “Follow” function. This may be a useful option for individuals wanting to stay engaged or informed about work-related matters.

The “Follow” feature is expected to roll out in March 2024. Initially, it will be available to Outlook users on Windows desktop and web platforms, referred to as “new Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web.”

Potential benefits:

  • Users can keep track of meetings they can’t attend in person without committing to the entire call.
  • Users can save time by avoiding unnecessary in-person meetings.
  • Users can reduce distractions by not switching between different meetings and tabs.
  • Users can improve their meeting engagement by remotely following along and receiving summaries afterward.

Potential drawback:

  • The quality of the meeting summaries may vary depending on how the meetings are conducted and how well the summaries are generated.
  • Users may receive too many notifications if they follow a lot of meetings.
  • Some users may be concerned about their privacy if their meeting attendance is tracked.

This feature aims to improve the flexibility and engagement options for Outlook users, particularly those with a busy schedule and multiple meetings. 

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