Zoom's new meeting option could make your video calls a lot more interesting

Zoom now has a shared virtual room feature like Microsoft Teams Together Mode, but it's available to free accounts.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Zoom has released a new feature for free accounts that places up to 25 people in the same virtual room, such as an auditorium, classroom or boardroom

The new Zoom feature matches Microsoft Teams Together Mode, which it released in July and brought to Skype in December, using AI segmentation to put participants in the virtual room with the same background. Microsoft argued that as remote work continued, the feature would help reduce video meeting fatigue and make meetings feel more real. 

Zoom announced Immersive Views in October. 

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The good news for Zoom fans is that Immersive View is available for all Free and single Pro accounts using the Zoom app version 5.6.3 or higher on macOS or Windows. It can also be enabled via the web portal for other account types. However, it's not supported on the mobile version of the app.

Zoom's Immersive View can handle up to 25 participants in the same shared scene, whereas Teams Together Mode can handle up to 49 people. 

To use Immersive Views, the host needs to start a meeting or webinar and click Immersive View behind the icon in the top right corner of the screen. Zoom can automatically add as many participants as possible or the host can manually add or remove participants from the scene. 

Any participants over the 25 limit are displayed in a thumbnail strip at the top of the scene. Zoom recommends Gallery View for larger meetings. 

Zoom has provided a few scenes that hosts can use but users can also upload their own scenes.

Zoom's revenues have exploded since the beginning of the global pandemic, which made video meetings essential for work. In March it reported Q4 FY2021 revenues of $882 million, up from $188 million in the same quarter a year ago.   

Image: Zoom
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