By Tom Fazzio
No question Zoom was inundated with new customers this year and they rightfully slowed down feature updates while they learned to manage the increased user load. Now, Zoom is ramping up their feature and security updates. Below are some of the more impactful updates I’ve seen during the fall, so be sure to update your version to receive access to these items. These options and features will make Zoom more versatile, but it does mean there are more options to consider while setting up your meeting or webinar. Please continue to reference Answers and Zoom Support for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org with SU Zoom account questions or email@example.com for event-specific assistance.
- Participants can now self-select which breakout room they would like to join (requires host & participant on version 5.3.0 or newer)
- Share multiple desktop windows simultaneously instead of having to share the entire desktop
- Pin chat messages to the top of the chat window
- Custom gallery view organization with click-and-drag videos to position them (hosts can allow participants to do the same)
- High fidelity audio, an option in Advanced Audio to enhance the Original Audio mode, adding stereo, disabling echo cancellation & post-processing, and raising audio codec quality for professional audio transmission in music performance applications
- Multi-pin and multi-spotlight (with host permission)- users will now be able to pin up to 9 participants on their end. The host can also spotlight up to 9 participants for everyone in the meeting.
- Host can unmute participants using pre-approved consent from each participant
- Enhanced video processing options including video brightness and skin smoothness
- iPad Zoom gallery view now supports 4×4 video grid (5×5 on larger iPads)
- Beta feature- use PowerPoint slides as virtual background
- Suspend participant activity- essentially “pause” all participants including mute all video and audio, stop screen sharing, end all breakout rooms, and pause recording
- Time limits for Join-before-host- you can restrict access to the meeting until the start time is within 5-15 minutes
- Meeting organizers will receive an email if Zoom finds a meeting link publicly shared on websites or social media. The email will explain options for how to proceed depending on the organizer’s desire.