Zoom, the video conferencing app that allows you to connect with others through video, audio, and chat, is available on a variety of platforms, including desktop, mobile, and web.
It was founded in 2011, but it gained widespread popularity in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people began working from home and using video conferencing apps for virtual meetings. Yesterday, Zoom announced the addition of human avatars in its meetings, similar to Apple’s Memoji and Metaverse’ humanoid characters.
David Ball, product marketing manager, meetings and chat, Zoom wrote in a blog post: “Avatars mirror your movements and facial expressions, allowing you to present yourself dynamically without needing to be on video and providing a more engaging alternative to static profile pictures to inject more fun and energy into your meetings.”
In march 2022, the company already introduced the animal avatars, replacing the user’s head with a 3D character that mimics facial expressions. The new feature is available in beta testing for paid accounts, and as it progresses additional facial characteristics, hairstyles, and more customization will be added.
Aside from avatars, Zoom announced new templates for meetings, “Large Meetings”, “Seminars” and “K-12”, as well as the introduction of threaded messages and reactions for in-meeting chats. Both, threads and emoji reactions will be available by the end the month, said the company.
The question & answer (Q&A) feature which was available only for webinars will be expended for Meetings as well. This allows attendees to ask questions, which hosts can view, respond to, or dismiss. It will require hosts to have a premium plan to use the feature.