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Zoom’s new Immersive View puts everyone in the same virtual room

Zoom has launched a new feature designed to make virtual meetings feel more natural.

Immersion View, as it’s called, will be familiar to anyone who’s used Microsoft Teams’ Together Mode, which the computer giant unveiled last summer and incorporated into Skype at the end of last year.

It means that during a virtual meeting, instead of having everyone appear in their own box with their own background, the software will instead simulate a single environment (office, classroom, etc) and put everyone inside it, with the aim of making the encounter feel more like an in-person chat.

Zoom unveiled Immersive View last fall, though has only now launched it for its global community of users. Check it out in the tweet below.

Sometimes we need a change of scenery, even on Zoom! ????️ Now, you can use our new Immersive View to bring people into a scene, like a classroom, fireside chat, or boardroom. #ZoomProTip

— Zoom (@Zoom) April 26, 2021

The company says the feature allows hosts “to arrange video participants and webinar panelists into a single virtual background, bringing people together into one scene to connect and collaborate in a cohesive virtual meeting space.”

Hosts can select Zoom’s Immersive View in the same way they’d select Speaker or Gallery View, with up to 25 participants allowed. Any more than this and the additional participants will appear in a thumbnail strip at the top of the display.

Several different virtual spaces are offered with Immersive View, and you can also upload your own.

When Immersive View launches with the host’s chosen location, the participants will snap into place inside the virtual room. If the host wants to change the seating arrangement to place people in particular teams or groups, they can simply click and drag each participant to move them around the display.

It’s worth noting that recording of Immersive View is not yet supported, with cloud and local recordings appearing as Gallery or Speaker View (dependent upon your cloud recording settings or which was used before Immersive View was started for local recordings).

Immersive View is available now for Zoom on desktop using the latest version of the videoconferencing software. Mac users need OS version 13.3 (High Sierra) and above to get it working. When Immersive View is enabled, meeting participants on Zoom desktop or mobile apps that don’t support Immersive View will see the other participants in either Gallery View or Speaker View with a simple black background, though others in the meeting will still view these unsupported participants in the Immersive View scene with their original background, the company said.

For detailed instructions on how to set up and manage Immersive View for virtual meetings, Zoom’s support page has you covered.

For some top tips on how to get the best from Zoom, check out this informative Digital Trends article.

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Trevor Mogg
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