Zoom, Skype, FaceTime: 11 great tips to make video calls actually fun

As lengthy as you are video chatting, you would possibly as nicely profit from each function.

César Salza/CNET

Millions of individuals working from home and working towards social distancing to keep away from coronavirus are benefiting from free video chat apps to remain in contact with coworkers, family and friends. But looking at your personal face framed by your messy front room or plain residence workplace on the display screen can get uninteresting — for you and for them. 

Luckily, in style video chatting and conferencing platforms like Zoom, Skype and FaceTime supply some methods to boost your chats with enjoyable options and settings. We break down the ideas for every app under.

Read extra: How to stay healthy and entertained at home during the COVID-19 pandemic


What’s extra enjoyable than beaming into convention calls from outer area?

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET


1. Change your Zoom background

Virtually transport your self to the seashore, outer area or wherever else you possibly can think about by altering and customizing your background whereas on Zoom calls — everybody’s doing it today. You can learn our step-by-step guide on how to change your Zoom background on the desktop and mobile app, however mainly, you go to Settings > Virtual Background, and choose or add the one you need from there. 

2. Loop your self paying consideration throughout a gathering 

Not that we might ever suggest doing this, however when you needed to create a personalized background that’s only a loop of your self nodding alongside to a gathering, you technically may try this, as David Zhou of Mailchimp tweeted. To get the video background choice, comply with the directions for customizing your background above and simply add in a video file as a substitute of a photograph. You would possibly want to ensure your Zoom is up to date and that you just meet minimum system requirements

3. Turn your Zoom mic on and off with the area bar

Want to really feel like a DJ who occurs to work of their PJs from their kitchen desk? Mute your microphone, then press and maintain the area bar each time you could speak. 

4. Look your finest with a Zoom magnificence filter

You’ve most likely heard all the do business from home recommendation by now — get up on time, bathe, dress prefer it’s a day on the workplace. But if it is a kind of days the place you do not assume you are wanting your finest, Zoom has a solution: a function referred to as Touch Up My Appearance. Basically, it is a softening filter, such as you’d discover on Instagram, FaceTune or your phone’s selfie digicam. 

To flip it on, click on the up arrow subsequent to Start Video. Click Video Settings, and below My Video, verify the field for Touch Up My Appearance


The background blurring choice will be activated throughout a Skype name.

Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET


1. Blur your background on Skype

On Skype, you possibly can blur the background of your video to cover any mess. The background blur function (which is identical on Microsoft Teams, as Microsoft owns each platforms) makes use of AI to maintain the give attention to you. To use this function, click on or faucet on the digicam icon on the backside of the display screen and toggle on Blur my background

2. Send a video message on Skype as a substitute of reside chatting

If you need to video chat with one other Skype person however cannot get your instances to match up, you possibly can ship a video message for them to look at once they can. To do that on the desktop model, click on on the contact you need to message, click on the three dots on the underside proper nook of your messaging historical past and choose Send Video Message to file a clip of as much as three minutes for them to look at. 


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3. Talk with buddies and family members overseas with the Skype Translator

Skype has a Translator service that may translate all the pieces you say or kind in actual time for the individual you might be speaking to. The textual content translator is on the market in additional than 60 languages, whereas the voice translator is on the market for 10 languages (together with English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian). You can allow it by going to Tools > Options > General > Skype Translator

4. Uncover Skype’s hidden emoticons

In its messaging function, Skype presents various animated emoticons that enable you enliven your dialog or higher specific your temper. While most of those are seen while you click on the smiley face on the backside left nook of a chat window, some are solely accessible while you kind a sure shortcut in — together with ones which can be a bit extra PG-13, like a center finger, a smoker and Santa providing you with his full moon. You can find all of the hidden emoticons on Skype’s assist web page. 

Apple FaceTime for iPhone and Mac


FaceTime as your Memoji or an Animoji. 


1. Chat as your Animoji or Memoji in FaceTime

If you’ve got created a customized Memoji avatar, you should use it to exchange your precise face throughout a FaceTime name. To try this, begin a FaceTime name, faucet your phone’s show and faucet the Effects button (it seems like a star, and is on the backside left of the display screen). Tap the monkey icon above that to decide on the Memoji or Animoji you need to use and you will see your face get changed by that selection. Tap the Effects button once more to cease utilizing the character, or to modify to a different one. 

2. Add filters and results to your FaceTime chats

Make your FaceTime video name look a bit extra attention-grabbing by including filters and results — just like how you’d on Snapchat or Instagram. To do that, begin a FaceTime name, faucet the show and once more faucet the Effects button. You’ll see completely different choices by way of results, options and stickers you should use throughout your name — which can keep in impact all through the decision, or till you determine to take away them. 

3. Take a reside photograph throughout your FaceTime video name

Keep a shifting snapshot of your time together with your pal by taking a live photo throughout your FaceTime name. To do that, faucet the digicam icon on the backside of the display screen. It will say “You took a FaceTime photo” in your display screen. The photograph will then seem in your Photos app. Live Photos is enabled by default, however you possibly can flip it off or again on by going to Settings > General > FaceTime

For extra ideas to assist get you thru social distancing and self-quarantine, try whether or not it’s best to use Zoom or Skype for working from home, our guide to everything you need to stay healthy and entertained while practicing social distancing, and all of the practical tips to help avoid coronavirus when you leave the house.

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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