Zoom’s new Studio Effects make meetings more entertaining

How to use Zoom videoconferencing.
Image: Zoom

At this point, the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on for nearly a year. Most of us are experts at working remotely and managing video conferencing tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. However, the abundance of video calls quickly gets old—especially when they occur every day with the same people.

Zoom is introducing a new feature to help with that. The popular software has a variety of new visual effects that make your calls more entertaining. As The Verge notes, the features aren’t exactly new (since Zoom announced them back in September). However, most people are just now getting a chance to explore them as they are in the beta-testing phase.

While they aren’t appropriate for every Zoom call, the platform’s new Studio Effects can certainly spruce up calls with friends and family. Even your boss might appreciate a funny filter at the end of a long work week.

How to Use Zoom’s Studio Effects

As noted, Zoom’s Studio Effects are still in beta. This means they are accessible to users but might not always work as expected and may have some glitches. Even so, the tools appear to be relatively stable and work quite well in most calls for users who can access them.

Users can find the new effects by clicking on “Video Settings” from within a Zoom call. From there, click “Background & Filters” and then “Studio Effects (Beta).”

Those who haven’t used the effects before may need to download a small file. The process shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes.

From there, the Zoom Studio Effects suite is ready to go. It includes a nice array of visuals, including things like virtual facial hair, eyebrows, and lip colorings. In essence, it’s a lot like the many Snapchat filters that utilize augmented reality to map your face and overlay a graphic.

It’s worth noting that you can set the Studio Effects to be applied during every call by default or just for one specific call. The latter is probably a better option since most of us are using Zoom both professionally and for personal reasons.

When Do Studio Effects Arrive?

Currently, not all Zoom users can access Studio Effects. Although the videoconference software features a number of filters and overlays under the “Video Settings” and “Background & Filters” section, not all users see the option to open Studio Effects.

According to The Verge, Zoom hasn’t yet confirmed how many users have access to the feature or when it will be rolling out to everyone. That being said, it appears that a good number of people can indeed access Studio Effects. The rest shouldn’t be far behind.

Whether you’re trying to celebrate a socially distanced birthday, are going on a virtual date, or just need a break from video call monotony, Zoom’s new Studio Effects are a nice way to lighten the mood. Be sure to try them out once they become available.


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