Zoom deploys a wave of updates with the goal of increasing meeting attendee engagement as hybrid work grows.
New changes are a collaborative mode and breakout rooms. Collaboration mode allows hosts to launch a creative experience for attendees and have them interact with an app. Breakout rooms are breakout spaces separate from the main meeting room where people can have a more focused conversation.
Both features will be available on all browsers that host Zoom. There’s no full list of apps that will get the update, but Zoom does show some key examples.
For starters, the Miro whiteboard app will have a new collaborative workspace where participants can gather ideas and notes in real time. There are templates available for structured discussion or you can let people play freely with various visual tools.
To break up awkward introductions, Zoom is adding developer Playco’s #AskAway app to its platform. Basically, the game is a series of rounds where a person is asked a question about their personal life, favorite foods, and more to get to know them better.
And the latest remarkable collaboration mode can be seen in the Coda app. Coda is a word processing application where you can write documents and take comments while you are having a meeting. In the new mode, you will be able to bring in new people to write the document alongside you.
Breakout rooms seem to be more creative. The feature is not only sophisticated private rooms, but some integrate games into meetings.
Funtivity by Hermis offers a series of meeting games where people can play one-on-one or in teams. It’s a way to break the ice or train people, according to Zoom. As an example, Funivity has Star Wars and Escape Room trivia games with more on the way.
If you’re interested in a metaverse-like setting, the Welo app is now on Zoom. Welo integrates a digital home where people are represented by an avatar and can go to individual rooms for a private meeting.
You can switch between private meetings by asking your avatar to switch to the other group and automatically connect. It’s supposed to feel like a party where you leave and join groups smoothly (ideally). Welo is currently in beta. The developer admits that some features may not work as expected, but they are working on it.
If you want something similar to Welo but more stable, there’s Twinkle for Zoom that uses an algorithm to match people based on criteria. But Welo looks a lot more fun.