Zoom has launched a new feature for free accounts that allows up to 25 people to be placed in a single virtual room, such as an auditorium, classroom or meeting room.
This new feature competes head-on with Microsoft Teams’ Together mode, launched in July and introduced in Skype in December, using AI segmentation to place participants in a virtual room with the same background for everyone. Microsoft argues that with the pursuit of telecommuting and distance education, this feature would help reduce video meeting fatigue and make it more real.
Zoom announced Immersive Views in October. 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 activated via the web portal for other types of accounts. However, it is not supported on the mobile version of the app.
Up to 25 participants
Zoom’s immersive view can handle up to 25 participants in the same shared scene, while Teams’ Together mode can handle up to 49 people. To use Immersive Views, the host must initiate a meeting or webinar and click “Immersive View”, behind the icon in the upper 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.
All participants over the 25 limit are displayed in a strip of thumbnails at the top of the stage. Zoom recommends the “Gallery” view for larger meetings. Zoom has provided a few scenes that hosts can use, but users can upload their own scenes as well.
As a reminder, Zoom’s revenues have exploded since the onset of the global health crisis, which made video meetings essential for work and education. In March, the company reported revenue of $ 882 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, up from $ 188 million for the same quarter a year earlier.