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Zoom killer upgrade lets you change your appearance in real time

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(Image credit: Zoom)

There are plenty of ways to spice up your daily Zoom calls, especially where backgrounds are concerned. But what if you could make a few virtual changes to your own appearance as well?

No longer the super-serious meeting app, Zoom has been adding extra features over the past year to make things more fun. The latest is called “Studio Effects” and lets you add extra bits to your own face.

The feature isn’t new, per se, and has been in beta since last September, but it has been rolling out to more users recently, some of whom have flagged the update on Twitter. 

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With Studio Effects you can alter your own face by adding eyebrows, facial hair, and changing the color of your lips.

It’s not ideal for most professional settings, but if you’re using Zoom to contact friends and family it can help add a bit more style to an otherwise pretty mundane conversation. Because your boss or a client may not appreciate you adding turquoise eyebrows to your face, but your friends may get a laugh out of it.

How to use Zoom Studio Effects

To get started, load up a Zoom session, hit the arrow next to “Stop Video” and select Video settings. From there select Background & filters on the menu, and click Studio Effects in the bottom right corner.

If it’s your first time using the effects you’ll need to download the assets. But once done, clicking Studio Effects again will let you start adding decoration to your face.

Obviously, Zoom can’t remove any eyebrows or facial hair you may have, but it will layer them over your existing features. They'll also follow you around as you move, provided you don't move too fast. Because like backgrounds, Zoom tends to glitch a bit if you move around faster than it can keep up. Remember to alter the opacity of the effects as well, otherwise your new yellow lips will be slightly transparent.

Once you’ve finished setting up your new look, make sure to click the “Apply to all future meetings” box at the top of the page. That way your fashionable (or comical) new look will follow you around from call to call. 

Of course, you may want to keep it switched off if you ever use Zoom for work meetings that wouldn’t stand for those sorts of shenanigans. Because you don’t want to turn up to an important meeting only to find you still have a bright pink beard. Or maybe you do; we live in strange times. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.