Zoom’s Immersive View looks a lot like Teams Together Mode, and that’s good

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Zoom’s latest update brings support for a new feature called Immersive View. The feature allows up to 25 people to share a virtual background within a meeting. Immersive View is now enabled by default for all free and single Pro accounts using Zoom 5.6.3 or higher, including Zoom on both Windows and macOS. Zoom outlines the feature in a new blog post.

Even if you have the best Windows webcam, your background can appear boring on a call. Meetings can also feel isolating because a bunch of people are just floating in windows. Zoom’s new Immersive Mode should improve the feel of meetings.

Immersive View, which was initially announced at Zoomtopia 2020, is designed to make virtual meetings feel more cohesive. Hosts can resize participants and move them around a scene to make it look more natural. Some of the scenes simulate an actual meeting, such as two people sitting behind a table, while others are more fun, like having each participant appear within a picture frame.

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All of this may sound familiar to people who have used Microsoft Teams. Teams has a similar feature called Together Mode. The feature rolled out to Teams on Android devices in November 2020 and was available on desktops before that. It’s also on its way to Teams on the web.

Zoom and Microsoft copying features from each other is nothing new. This certainly isn’t the last time we’ll see similar features on each communication platform.

For Immersive View in Zoom, if you happen to have more than 25 people join a meeting, people that don’t fit within the view will appear in a thumbnail strip on the top of the screen. The maximum capacity of a meeting does not change when Immersive View is enabled; it just means that some people will appear as thumbnails.

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