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(Pocket-lint) - Want to be a fox in your next Zoom call? What about a dog? Well, now you can, because Zoom has rolled out a Memoji-style avatar feature that overlays a virtual character on top of your face. The feature, which is included in the 5.10 update, is limited to animals, but new avatar options will be added in the future. Here's how to get started using avatars in Zoom.

Why would you use avatars in Zoom?

Beyond potentially helping with Zoom fatigue, because you can obscure your face with a fox or cow, Zoom thinks that showing up in a video call with an avatar filter could add "some fun to your team-building meetings" or, rather specifically, help pediatrician appointments be less stressful for young children. Whatever your reason or use case may be, it's easy to use avatars in Zoom.

How to turn on avatars in Zoom

To turn on avatars, follow these steps:

  1. Open the latest version of Zoom.
  2. Select the ^ button next to the Start / Stop Video button.
  3. Select Choose Video Filter.
  4. Pick the animal you want from the Avatars tab.
    • You can even decide whether your avatar wears a hoodie or T-shirt
    • You can also choose to always apply the filter whenever you enter a meeting.

When using an avatar, virtual backgrounds can be used at the same time, but video filters cannot.

How to change or turn off avatars in Zoom

To change your avatar, visit the Avatars tab and select a new one.

To remove the filter, select None in the Avatars tab. Users can also select Turn off avatar from their self-view video tile in a meeting, as well as the Stop Video menu in a meeting.

Which animals can you be in Zoom?

Using its new avatars feature, Zoom will let you show up to your next meeting as a rabbit, fox, dog, cow, or another type of animal. New avatar options will be added in the future, Zoom promised.

ZoomHow to use avatars in Zoom: Be a dog or a fox in your next call photo 6

Do avatars work in Zoom's mobile app?

Yes - on iOS, anyway.

Currently, avatars are supported in the following Zoom clients:

Zoom desktop client

  • Windows: 5.10.0 or higher
    macOS: 5.10.0 or higher

Zoom mobile app

  • iOS: 5.10.0 or higher

Want to know more?

Check out Zoom's blog post and support page for more detailed instructions.

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Writing by Maggie Tillman.