Zoom will now let you live stream your boring old meetings to Twitch

If you're looking to liven up your next business Zoom meeting, the company has now revealed that users will be able to livestream video directly to popular online streaming platform Twitch.

In a blog post announcing a whole host of new upgrades and features, the video conferencing giant said that call hosts will now be able to livestream their meeting or webinar to Twitch directly, rather than manually configuring the stream as a custom livestreaming service.

Zoom says that the move will help its customers, “streamline the process of sharing content within their communities and extend their reach” although quite how interesting your weekly team catch-ups will be to a wider audience remains to be seen.

Zoom & Twitch

The feature is available to Zoom users everywhere now, but anyone looking to start a Twitch stream will need to have approval from the Zoom account owner or admin, which should help cut down on potential slip-ups.

Alongside the Twitch news, Zoom also announced users will soon be able to share computer audio and other content with breakout rooms.

This feature, which Zoom says will create, “a more cohesive experience for participants,”  can be enabled when the host begins to share content, or while sharing is in progress.

Livening up your video calls appears to be something of a trend for Zoom, which also recently announced new animated avatars. With choices ranging from cat to cow, raccoon, bunny, dog and more, the avatars not only replace the original video feed, but also mirror the user’s head movements and facial expressions courtesy of a few AI tricks.

Zoom has also given administrators the ability to configure  virtual backgrounds to reset to a chosen default after each meeting, reportedly to help avoid situations whereby sensitive data is exposed in a virtual background.

And when it comes to video, the company has also recently rolled out a feature that allows meeting hosts to add a video to the virtual waiting room. This video will play while participants wait to be allowed into the call, and admins can also now enable and disable the watermark feature in the middle of a meeting.

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Microsoft PowerPoint update will help spice up your boring presentations

Microsoft is working on an update for PowerPoint that will give users ever greater creative freedom when it comes to presentation design.

According to new entries in the company’s product roadmap, PowerPoint will soon allow organizations to add their own custom fonts to presentations. The information is sparse, but presumably these custom fonts will be made available to all employees, once set.

The feature will first be made available via PowerPoint Online next month, and arrive for the Windows and Mac clients in March and June, respectively.

PowerPoint presentations

Although PowerPoint has long been the default presentation software for many businesses, the market has become much more competitive in recent years, and all the more so as a result of the rise of remote working.

In the face of increasingly stiff competition from the likes of Prezi and Google Slides, Microsoft has pushed out a range of improvements and integrations designed to cement its position.

For example, Microsoft 365 customers can now launch PowerPoint presentations from directly within Teams, the company’s popular collaboration platform. Known as PowerPoint Live, the feature eliminates the perilous practice of screen sharing, which has been responsible for various gaffes over the years.

Even more recently, Microsoft rolled out a recording studio for PowerPoint, which allows users to practice their presentations in advance. The idea is that reviewing the footage will help people hone their delivery and identify any areas in need of improvement.

The latest update, meanwhile, covers off the presentation design process, which is as equally important as rehearsal and execution. Although the introduction of custom fonts may appear comparatively insignificant, the update will allow businesses to establish consistency across their brand, which will be particularly useful when presenting to partners, investors and the like.

Alternatively, the facility could be used to add a bit of color and personality to otherwise bland presentations, which is always welcome.

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