Zoom will now let you join as a cartoon animal

Cartoonify yourself.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
May 26, 2022

The new avatars of Zoom allow you to attend meetings dressed as an animated animal. The new function is intended to make meetings more enjoyable, but it may also have practical applications for those of us who are not always interested in showing our face. So now that you can appear in your Zoom meetings as an animated animal avatar, maybe it’ll be more enjoyable for everyone.


In a blog post published in March, Zoom described its new Avatars function as a means to infuse fun and lighten the mood in meetings and webinars. Similar to Apple’s Memoji, the animal avatars automatically replicate your head motions and facial expressions. Zoom Avatars currently only offer animal characters such as a fox, cat, rabbit, or raccoon, but future upgrades are expected to include a wider range of avatar options. Avatars can provide a practical answer to the dilemma of “Zoom fatigue,” in addition to bringing a pleasant, whimsical aspect to meetings.


The function can also provide a “good middle ground for users who don’t want to appear on camera, but still want to express body language and facial expressions,” according to Zoom. Teachers may use Avatars to better engage kids in online classrooms, and clinicians can use them to help youngsters relax during online pediatric sessions, according to the company’s blog post.


The company shared:


“When you turn on the Avatars feature during a meeting, Zoom’s technology uses your device’s camera to detect where a face is on the screen and apply the selected avatar effect. Images of your face don’t leave your device when using this feature, and they are not stored or sent to Zoom. This feature does not use facial recognition, which means that it does not identify who you are. So while the Avatars feature can tell what is or is not a face, it does not recognize or distinguish between individual faces.”


To enable your Avatar, make sure the software on your desktop or mobile app is version 5.10.0, then:

  1. Enable video on your camera by turning it on.
  2. From the meeting toolbar, select your video choices.
  3. Select Virtual Background or Video Filter from the drop-down menus.
  4. Select Avatars from the drop-down menu.


Even though it seems that we are transitioning out of the time where Zoom is needed, this is still a great alternative to not wanting to appear on camera when you’re on a Zoom call.


In other related reading, here’s your grooming guide to hiding a hangover for your Zoom call.


Photo via Zoom