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Zoom Introduces Avatars For Video Conferencing

Zoom meetings now have our everyday work firmly in hand. These should no longer only be loosened up with virtual backgrounds or filters. As the company has announced, avatars are now coming to Zoom. The video conferencing platform Zoom has become an everyday work tool during the corona pandemic. Today it is almost impossible to imagine our daily life without it.

As the company announces, avatars should now also help “to bring fun to meetings and lighten the mood.” Avatars are available for Zoom meetings and Zoom webinars. With the new function, users can transform themselves into virtual animals that imitates movements and facial expressions.

They also provide an excellent middle ground for users who don’t want to appear in front of the camera but still want to express body language and facial expressions.

The video recordings of the face created while using a Zoom avatar are not stored or transmitted to Zoom. Face recognition is also not used. The function only recognizes that it is a face – not which one. Currently, users can only select animal avatars, but further options will follow according to Zoom.

This Is How The New Avatars Work On Zoom

The new zoom function is currently available for Windows and macOS devices and all iOS mobile devices. Avatars from version 5.10.0 are supported if the account owner or administrator has activated them.

When your camera is on, you can use the new avatars as follows:

  • From the video options on your meeting toolbar, click Stop Video.
  • Then click on “Choose Virtual Background” or “Choose Video Filter.”
  • Here you will find the new option “Avatars.”

If you are fed up with your avatar, you can turn it off again in the same place. Simply select “none” in the “Avatars” option.

The Omnipresence Of Zoom In The World Of Work

Zoom is an indispensable part of today’s working world. The omnipresence of the video tool in our everyday lives is also reflected in the company’s global sales figures.

In 2019, sales were still $330 million. Thanks to the corona pandemic, the number climbed exorbitantly over the next three years.

In 2020, the tech group almost doubled its sales to $622 million. Just one year later, sales were already at 2.65 billion US dollars.

In the 2022 financial year, which ended in January, Zoom was even able to report sales of around 4.1 billion US dollars.

Is Zoom Problematic For Our Everyday Work?

But even with the video conferencing tool Zoom, all that glitters is not gold. Phenomena such as so-called zoom fatigue already occurred early in the pandemic. Behind the phenomenon is a kind of fatigue that has its roots in the overuse of virtual services. Videotelephony is particularly affected, as the name already indicates.

Video communication is a modern marvel, but the magical and spontaneous moments that make face-to-face interactions so particular can be elusive in a virtual environment. After filters and virtual backgrounds, the new option to join a Zoom meeting as an avatar could be another attempt to counteract the Zoom Fatigue phenomenon.

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