While Zoom was originally created as a serious meeting application for businesses, it has since become one of the most-used services during the pandemic for anyone who wants to have a face-to-face virtual conversation. As a result, the company has been adding more fun stuff, such as weird backgrounds, to use for online family gatherings, friend chats, and well, for business meetings. And now, it’s come up with a feature called Studio Effects that gives you the ability to add a variety of eyebrows, facial hair, and lip color to your video image during Zoom sessions.
The feature, still in beta, isn’t really new — Zoom announced it in September 2020 — but this is the first time many Zoom users are first discovering it. At any rate, it’s easy to find. Start up a Zoom session and go to Video Settings (which is found by hitting the arrow next to “Stop Video” at the bottom of the screen). From there, select “Background & Filters” and look for “Studio Effects (Beta)” in the lower right-hand corner. (You may need to download the effects package first — go ahead, it will only take a minute.)
After that, you can affect any look you want. Always wanted Groucho Marx eyebrows or a villainous goatee or bright green lipstick? It’s there for the trying. And you can set your facial effects for either just that meeting or for every meeting you’re in (which may not be a good idea if you think you may have a last-minute job interview coming up).
We’ve reached out to Zoom to find out how widespread this new feature is (so far, several staffers here at The Verge have reported seeing it in their Zoom applications). Personally, while this is a lot of fun, I’m hoping that Zoom will add hairstyles to its Studio Effects — those of us who are still suffering from pandemic hair (in other words, who haven’t visited a hair salon in about a year) would be extremely grateful.