Zoom is a platform for making group video calls and has become a popular tool for: remote work meetings, distance learning or virtual catch ups between friends (during this period of social distancing), you can even organise a conference call for up to 100 people at a time. However, not everyone knows about one feature offered by Zoom: you can change your background and hide the clutter of your living room! Here's how to do it.
In the Mobile App
Open the app and start your session. When you join a meeting, tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen (More). Choose the “Virtual Background” option. You can choose from a number of predefined backgrounds, or upload your own personal photos.
In Your Desktop App
A menu will appear and the last option will be “Choose a Virtual Background”. Select this option and you will be able to choose between the aforementioned default backgrounds or upload a photo from your PC.
It is important to note that this feature is best suited if you are going to be in a quiet and motionless environment, because for example, someone passes behind you, or bursts onto the screen, the people sharing your video call will see the interference in the background of your video.
See here for a list of system requirements for using this feature. Unfortunately old systems are not supported, you can see if your device is suitable.
If you want some great background ideas for your Zoom calls, have a look at these fun backgrounds for Zoom calls!
You may not be aware that Zoom also includes a beauty filter similar to other apps and social networks that include video calls, such as Instagram or Facetime. The function "Retouch my appearance" will allow you to improve your appearance, smoothing features and imperfections to give you a more professional look.
To use it, do the same procedure as for activating the virtual background and click on Video settings> My video. Check the "Retouch my appearance" box and it will start working.
If you have seen the viral video of a Texas lawyer accidentally using the Zoom Cat filter, you may be interested in using a cat filter. Whilst it may not be possible to use the exact filter (it appears to be for Dell PCs), you can use a variation.
You need to download Snap Camera, an app from Snapchat, which has filters (downloadable from the Snap website).
Once installed, choose the filter that you want. There are a number of cat and kitten photos.
Now you need to activate the filter in your Zoom settings. Go to preferences, click Camera, and choose Snap Camera.
On your next Zoom call, Zoom will use the Snap Camera, with the filter applied, and you should look like a cat.