Zoom releases new updates to improve security and add features

Zoom regularly updates its platform to introduce new features and improve security. On this page we've highlighted the features that may be of interest to the HMS community.

Please update Zoom to the latest version to take full advantage of these new features.

For a more information about a specific update please view the Zoom Releases by Date page. To see examples of the new Zoom features visit the Zoom blog.  As for all other HMS Zoom information visit our Zoom website.  

June 2021 Update

  • Support for gender pronouns - If enabled by account admins and added to their profile by either the user directly or through SAML mapping, a user’s gender pronouns are displayed in their contact card and as part of their display name in meetings and webinars.
  • Mobile Blurred background - There is now mobile support for blurred backgrounds. 
  • Improved low-light adjustment for backlit environments - To improve video in low-light situations, participants with a backlit environment are brightened while the lighting behind them is unaffected.
  • Full emoji suite for Reactions - Any emoji available for Zoom chat can be used as a reaction in a meeting. 

February 2021 Update

  • Enhancement to alternative host feature - If the original host joins after the alternative host, the original host will always regain control of the meeting and become host. In addition, the alternative host will change roles. If the co-host feature is enabled for the meeting, the alternative host will become a co-host. If the co-host feature is disabled, the alternative host becomes a normal participant..
  • Share mono or stereo sound - When sharing content and wanting to share computer sound as well, users can select between mono or stereo audio.
  • Blurred background - Users can now choose to blur their background rather than selecting a specific virtual background, providing added privacy when a branded background is unavailable or unnecessary.

October 2020 Update

Security updates

To improve security, Zoom will require all meetings to be protected with a passcode or waiting room starting Sunday, September 27, 2020. Since April, most newly scheduled Harvard Zoom meetings have been passcode-protected by default. However, this change may impact: 

  • Meetings—including recurring meetings—scheduled before April 8, 2020
  • Meetings hosted using a personal meeting link or ID (PMI)
  • Users who have deactivated the default passcode protection

To ensure that these changes don’t disrupt your upcoming meetings, add a passcode to your Zoom meetings

After September 27, Zoom will automatically add a waiting room to any meetings that are not passcode-protected. Waiting rooms require the host to admit individual participants before they can join a meeting. You can learn more about waiting rooms in documentation from HUIT.

New and enhanced features