By Mike Knight
Zoom has announced that its new apps, updates, and features will improve collaboration and creativity, thereby increasing engagement and interaction among attendees of hybrid-working meetings.
Zoom says that its new ‘Collaborate Mode’ will improve engagement by elevating the screen-sharing model to be interactive, with participants seeing the host’s app view (similar to a shared screen view), along with an invite so they can preview the app experience before joining. Zoom says this mode will enable hosts to start collaborative experiences for any app during all-hands meetings, brainstorming sessions, and more.
Collaborative Mode works across all browsers, and examples of Collaborate Mode for apps (using apps together within Zoom) include:
- Using Miro‘s online whiteboard in Zoom so meeting participants can launch a collaborative workspace for everyone to interact, co-create, and capture ideas in real time.
- Having fun and breaking the ice in meetings by using Playco’s #AskAway social game designed to help co-workers get to know one another in the minutes before meetings.
- Using MURAL’s digital whiteboard and collaboration features to help teams innovate.
- Using the CODA app in Zoom for taking a vote, prioritising Q&A topics, and uncovering how the team are feeling about a meeting.
- Getting the team involved in fun activities by using Funtivity by Hermis, which also works well for new staff-member onboarding, plus customer advice.
The other new addition to Zoom to improve collaboration and involvement is Breakout Rooms. This is where meeting participants can break into smaller groups for focused discussions or tight-knit collaboration. With Breakout Rooms, the meeting host can split participants into separate groups automatically or manually, allow participants to select and enter Breakout Rooms as they please, and switch between rooms at any time.
Breakout Room Incorporating Zoom Apps
Zoom says that Breakout Rooms can also incorporate Zoom Apps to help make sessions more engaging, productive, and fun. Examples include:
- Using Welo’s visual workspace to recreate collaborative physical spaces and create a more human experience.
- Simplifying the whole process of Breakout Rooms by using twine for Zoom, an all-in-one Breakout Room management app.
- Increasing Breakout Room engagement by using Funtivity by Hermis.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
The pandemic launched a major battle between collaborative working platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Slack, all of which received a rapid and vast increase in user numbers. Now, in the post-pandemic environment where hybrid working has become popular, the battle is on to keep adding value, retaining customers, and tempting users to switch.
Allowing customers to collaboratively use a range of engaging, fun, and teamwork-enhancing apps within Zoom, along with the addition of Breakout Rooms allows Zoom to add value, complete with Teams (which also has breakout rooms and allows 3rd party apps), and hopefully retain its huge post-pandemic customer base.
Also, by allowing apps like Welo within Zoom (which features a digital house with users represented by an avatars and able to go to individual rooms for a private meeting), Zoom can compete with platforms like Meta (Facebook) and show itself to be forward-thinking and in touch with the new direction of comms platforms.