New Zoom features: Tweak your appearance and stop background noise with these additions


Zoom has introduced new features to help keep video meetings fresh, which are now available in Zoom version 5.2.

Zoom has pushed out new features designed to inject some fun back into the humdrum experience of virtual business meetings.

Filters, reactions, improved lighting capabilities, and enhanced noise suppression are the latest addition’s to Zoom’s video meet-up platform, seemingly in an effort to keep things fresh while face-to-face interactions with colleagues remain off the table.

“We believe that people connect better on video, but feeling connected when working from home is still challenging,” the company said in a blog post.

“The casual and fun elements that bring us together in the office seem to be missing from virtual meeting culture…Zoom wants to empower you to feel your best in virtual meetings, express your individuality, and build moments of fun into your day with some new features that up-level your video game.”

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Zoom push out new customer-facing features, mainly because the company has (rightly) spent the past several weeks 
shoring up the platform’s security

. In the meantime, we’ve seen an almost constant stream of
updates from Microsoft Teams

, arguably Zoom’s number one competitor.

Perhaps most notable among the new Zoom features is enhanced noise suppression, sure to be welcomed by anyone whose Zoom call
has been abruptly interrupted

by a wailing child, needy dog or inconsiderate neighbours. Zoom’s improved background noise suppression features low, medium, high and auto settings, which can be adjusted according user’s individual needs. Google offers a similar option within its own video call software,
Google Meet.

SEE: Video teleconferencing dos and don’ts (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

By way of example, Zoom said the high suppression option offered “distraction-free audio for important meetings and presentations,” whereas the low setting feature allowed “soft background music [to] complement a yoga class or game night.”

The new noise suppression feature can be accessed within the Audio settings, under ‘Suppress background noise’.

Users can adjust their brightness to suit their settings

Zoom

Zoom has also added new tools for making meeting participants video look better, including lightning adjustment and filters to help optimise the appearance of users’ video panels based on their own light settings. An adjustment slider has also been added to Zoom’s ‘Touch up my appearance’ setting, giving users a greater degree of control over the intensity of the touch-up settings.

zoom-touch-up-2.gif

Zoom users now have greater control over touch-up settings

Zoom

For keynote and PowerPoint presentations, Zoom now allows presenters to overlay their video on top of whatever they’re sharing on-screen – sort of like a virtual greenscreen – and then move this video to any part of the screen as well as resize it.

ppt-virtual-background.gif

Users can overlay their video onto their presentations, weathercaster-style. 

Zoom

Finally, new emoji reactions and Snapchat-style filters have been added to Zoom’s feature toolbox.

To access the new features, customers are required to upgrade to Zoom 5.2. Admins who want to limit this functionality can disable meeting filters at the account, group, and user levels in the Zoom web portal.

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