Zoom Gets a Green Room and More

April showers bring Zoom flowers with a flurry of new features. If you’re a Zoom Webinar user you’re about to get the keys to the “room where it happens.” It’s a backstage/green room area where your panelists, speakers, and production staff get to hang until they go on stage, but can still watch the live event’s feed while they are sequestered. It’s meant to be used to prep, sort out tech issues, and warm up before the show. This feature supersedes the older Zoom “practice area” which you could only use before, not during, the show. 

Other new features include the ability to brand a Zoom webinar with a common wallpaper and provide uniform name tags for each panelist. In-webinar reactions can now be posted to the bottom-right corner of the main webinar window. 

The creepiest new feature is something called Zoom IQ for Sales. It lets a sales team grab the recorded session and do some serious sentiment analysis on the conversation. (Sentiment tracking is also done by third party programs like Clipr.aiCogito and Uniphore.) Zoom’s conversational AI software is built in-house using its own automated speaker recognition and natural-language-understanding system. Metrics are available for things like patience, longest sales spiel, talk/listen ratio and more. Plus, it’s integrated with Salesforce. Makes me worry that built-in performance evaluation will be next. 

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