Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 great tips to make video calls actually fun

Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 great tips to make video calls actually fun
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Change your background, beautify your face and discover hidden emoticons with these video chat tips.

Millions of people working from home and practicing social distancing to avoid coronavirus are taking advantage of free video chat apps to stay in touch with coworkers, friends and family. But staring at your own face framed by your messy living room or plain home office on the screen can get dull — for you and for them.

Luckily, popular video chatting and conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime offer some ways to spice up your chats with fun features and settings. We break down the tips for each app below.

Zoom 

1. Change your Zoom background

Virtually transport yourself to the beach, outer space or anywhere else you can imagine by changing and customizing your background while on Zoom calls — everyone’s doing it these days. You can read our step-by-step guide on how to change your Zoom background on the desktop and mobile app, but basically, you go to Settings > Virtual Background, and select or upload the one you want from there.

2. Loop yourself paying attention during a meeting

Not that we’d ever recommend doing this, but if you wanted to create a customized background that is just a loop of yourself nodding along to a meeting, you technically could do that, as David Zhou of Mailchimp tweeted. To get the video background option, follow the instructions for customizing your background above and just add in a video file instead of a photo. You might need to make sure your Zoom is updated and that you meet minimum system requirements.

3. Turn your Zoom mic on and off with the space bar

Want to feel like a DJ who happens to work in their PJs from their kitchen table? Mute your microphone, then press and hold the space bar whenever you need to talk.

Source: CNET

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