Starting Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business IM sessions from a link

An interesting question was raised by a colleague recently:

Craig, How do you start an IM session from a link on a web page?

We all know that you can create a mailto: link that users can click to open their Outlook (or other mail) client and automagically pre-populate the to: field with your email address, but did you know you can do the same thing with Skype for Business?

Skype for Business

To create a clickable link that automatically opens a Skype for Business chat window to you, or anyone else for that matter, use the following format:

<a href=”“>Click here to IM me via Skype for Business</a>

Here’s how it looks: Click here to IM me via Skype for Business

The text in purple is the SIP address where you want to send the IM. The orange text is what will appear on the web page or within your email signature as the clickable link. You can even get fancy and use a picture or Skype logo if you wish! To do that, simply use the following:

<a href=”“><img src=”skype-logo.png“> Click here to IM me via Skype for Business</a>

This time, the green text points to the location of your Skype logo, or any other icon that you wish to use.

Here’s how that looks:

Microsoft Teams

Right now, Microsoft Teams doesn’t support the ability to directly start a chat session with a user from a link. I imagine that if/when this is introduced, it will look something like the following:

<a href=””>Click here to IM me via Microsoft Teams</a>

If you’d like to see this feature within Teams, vote for it over on UserVoice!

A Few Things To Note

For the above to work, the user will need to ensure they have Skype for Business installed. If they don’t the links won’t work. Federation will also need to be enabled if the user is outside your organisation.

Microsoft Teams Q&A

This page is a collection of Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business related questions and answers. It’s regularly updated as more information becomes available.

Microsoft Teams Q&A – Last Updated: 15th March 2018

Q: What is Microsoft Teams?

A: Microsoft Teams is a complete communications platform, that takes the best bits of Skype for Business, Yammer, SharePoint, Email and other web sources and presents them in one easy to use application. You can send IM’s, make voice and video calls, phone calls, Share documents, and collaborate all from within the one application.

Q: How do I get Microsoft Teams?

A: Simple! Sign up for an Office 365 plan over at you’re already an Office 365 subscriber, check to see if Teams is available – it more than likely is!

Q: We currently use Skype for Business and Yammer. Should we make the switch to Teams?

A: Yes, but gradually. At some point in the future, Microsoft Teams will likely completely replace Skype for Business online from Office 365 (on premise versions of Skype are safe for now). It’s wise to start evaluating Teams now so that you can familiarize and prepare yourself once your organisation moves across.

You can also check out this short video on the subject of Yammer and Teams.

Q: We currently use Slack, and our devs aren’t going to want to give up slack easily.

A: Sure, change is scary. However, the ability to collaborate so simply in multiple ways within Teams makes it the ideal platform for dev teams to effectively work on. Give it a go!

Q: What about the investments we have made in Skype for Business hardware (phones, meeting room devices) and licensing?

A: Vendors are working hard to ensure their devices are compatible with Microsoft Teams. Right now, if the device is a year or two old and works with Skype for Business, there’s a good chance that with a firmware update from the manufacturer, it’ll work with Teams too.

Q: Are we able to develop custom applications for Teams?

A: Absolutely! There’s an entire section dedicated to creating custom applications for Microsoft Teams over at

Q: I want to be able to send an SMS from Teams

A: Sure. You could write a custom application!

Q: Teams to Standard SIP video InterOP, will there be a open API available to develop one?
or should we depend on the Teams Partnered service providers only?

A: My understanding is that right now there’s only Teams/Skype integration. Whether that will change is a great question. Keep your eyes peeled on the Office 365 Roadmap.

Q: Will Teams support open Federation with other (on-premise or 3rd-party hosted) Skype for Business deployments?

A: Federated communication between other teams and Skype for business environments is on the Office 365 road map ( and is currently in development.

Q: Should I be able to copy and paste Screenshots into the Wiki Feature? They keep disappearing.

A: From my testing, I am able to copy and paste screenshots that I took with the snipping tool in Windows into Wiki pages, and they remain in place.

Q: Am I able to invite people from other organisations into Teams chats, file sharing and other things?

A: Yes! Microsoft recently announced that guest access in Microsoft Teams is now fully rolled out, meaning you can now invite anyone into a Microsoft Teams team to chat, share files and more!


Do you have a question about Skype or Teams? Leave a comment below or tweet @cchiffers