Zoom wants to extend its reach beyond the end of meetings

Video conferencing
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Zoom has announced a handful of small but useful changes to its collaboration platform that provide users with alternative ways to communicate, both internally and with customers.

In a blog post, the company describes a new survey feature that gives attendees a chance to provide their perspective after a meeting has ended, in the form of written comment or poll response. The idea is to help meeting hosts gather immediate feedback that can then be applied to future sessions.

Zoom has also introduced emoji reactions to in-meeting chat, creating a quick way for users to respond to one another without interjecting verbally. The return of the coffee mug alert, meanwhile, lets people indicate when they have stepped away from their screen temporarily.

Beyond video meetings, the company’s text chat service (Zoom Chat) will benefit from improved search capabilities that allow users to hunt down files and information across chats and group channels. And at long last, Zoom Chat now offers native video playback, which means there’s no need to download raw files to local storage or watch via web browser.

Zoom updates

According to Zoom, alternative avenues of communication are vital to maximizing the value of video calls, acting as an all-important supplement.

“Providing solutions that empower our customers to create deeper connections and get more done together is at the core of our mission to deliver happiness,” the company said.

“Video offers several unique opportunities for dynamic collaboration, communication and instruction, so we’ve provided a few updates to help you and your meeting participants create deeper connections and express yourself.”

Zoom has focused on delivering fresh ways for businesses to communicate with customers too, via extensions to its Zoom Phone service.

New Team SMS functionality allows receptionists and customer support staff to handle simple queries via text or multimedia message, minimizing the amount of time spent handling customers over the phone. In a support context, Zoom says the feature works in much the same way as a traditional call queue.

The new feature could prove particularly useful for smaller businesses, which are unlikely to enjoy the luxury of a dedicated customer support team, but would still benefit from the ability to share information with customers directly.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.