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Is the zoom hard to use? I’m happy to send a reaction! Two free apps to use right now

・This article is about how to use ZOOM with reactions like images.
・If you want to do it right away, please go to “Necessary Apps and Settings“.

Zoom, are you having trouble speaking!

With the influence of Corona, more and more people are taking their meetings online. There are various online conference tools, but among them, zoom is the one that is gaining the most users, with its stable connection, high quality of picture and sound quality, and its unprecedentedly easy to use UI, such as the ability to display participants’ faces on a single screen.

However, as you continue to use it, you may find that there are various points that are difficult to use, and you may find that you wish it were more like this.

I’ve been using it for a year now for internal meetings, but as I’ve seen and experienced it, I’ve come to realize that its use has expanded to include meetings outside of the company, starting with greetings to people you’ve never met before, external events, seminars, and entertainment such as plays.

This article is a summary of my own experiences, my realizations and suggestions for how it could be solved, and how to use it right now.

In this article, we will summarize the scenarios in which speakers and audiences are divided into two groups. For events, seminars, etc., where there is a clear separation between the speaker and the audience, there is usually no expectation that the audience will speak outside of question time. The role of elevating the discussion in relation to the topic is what is expected of the speaker, and some audiences may want to focus solely on listening to what the speakers have to say.


1. notice “easy to participate, but not talkative

Online events have lowered barriers to participation because of the ease with which both speakers (speakers) and audiences (listeners) can connect on the spot without having to travel from home. This is a great benefit of going online, and I’m sure many organizers say that once they’re online, it’s easier to attract attendees and they don’t have to worry about canceling.

However, ZOOM’s current UI is for conferences, so the weight of participants’ remarks is flat, and the window that reflects the faces of the speaker and the audience is the same size. You can also set it to show a larger person talking, but I’ve never seen it used. This may be good when the speaker is fixed to one person, but it may be difficult to see when the window changes violently due to multiple people’s conversations.

But at an event, the audience wants to see the speaker, not the rest of the audience. The weight of the utterances is not flat, and the speakers change with each other. So, a window layout like this one would be good.


Because the gaze is focused at the top, the audience won’t have to look for the current speaker with their eyes, and it’s easier for the speaker to find himself or herself. It will be less stressful for everyone because they will be able to quickly find the person they want to find.

However, as those of you who have had the opportunity to actually come up and speak will know, the problem now is that it’s hard for speakers to grasp the reaction of the audience. When reactions are hard to grasp, it’s hard to talk about. In a real-life setting, you can feel the response of your talk while watching the audience’s reaction, and you may change the content of your next talk. It’s easy to read the expressions of the people sitting in front of you because they’re probably participating favorably, and the people behind you are getting bored, so you’re going to make a stronger voice, or you’re going to read the atmosphere of the place and instantly think of your next move, just like in a real-time session. However, you can’t do this online.

You can ask the audience a question and ask them to raise their hands, but you can’t really see if they’re raising their hands or not. In the first place, the audience’s microphones are all muted to prevent noise from entering the room, so I’m not sure if the interesting story I’ve vetted in advance is being well received. There was no laughter. I feel like everything I say is a no reaction, everything is slurred. This hurts. If the speaker is painful, the talk becomes less interesting, and the audience becomes bored listening to it. It’s not good for either party.


2. The solution: “The speaker is looking for reaction. I’ll deliver it.

You can’t just laugh normally when a speaker says something funny. The window is so small that you can’t see the change in expression. Your favourable reaction will not reach the speaker. In order to deliver, you have to react in a very exaggerated way. Maybe an exaggerated clap of the hand, or a buzzing of the neck and a nod of the head. But it’s painful in its own way. It’s very tiring to use so much care. I need to be able to react more comfortably and make it easier to reach the speaker. It is urgently necessary for the audience to be able to react comfortably and for the speaker to be able to see the reaction well.

So this is the image at the beginning.

Large letters that look good on a small screen, and effects that are not too loud, not too funny, but still convey emotion. With these, you will be able to deliver the feeling that “I’m listening to you”.

Others can convey these sentiments as well.


It would be fun for the speakers to have a good time and get a lot of excitement out of their talk if they get a variety of reactions from all over the place. I only have to switch between effects and text, so my hands and neck don’t get tired. Speakers are looking for reactions at events. If you can get your reaction to the speaker, he or she will feel more comfortable speaking. Everyone in the audience is happy to hear a fun story.

I just wish this feature was in ZOOM from the beginning, but it’s not currently offered. There are only two emojis. Even if you want to make your own app, the current ZOOM doesn’t seem to provide an API that allows you to add pictures or text to the video screen… please provide an API and I’ll make one! Please, someone in the zoom!


3. Actual usage methods that can be used right now

Now, you’ll have to do this and that on your own while you wait for the feature to be provided by the official. You don’t have to write any code, just install and configure the app. What’s more, it’s free.

(If you want to improve the quality of the video, you will need some equipment. Please refer to the article here. I think it’s worth the investment, so please give it a go!)

・Necessary applications and settings

SnapCamera(Official Site

There are other effects in Win, but I chose this one because there are few effects for Mac.

OBS(Official Site

This application is used for live game distribution on Youtube. It is open source software for streaming.

Let’s install it, SnapCamera is easy enough that you don’t need any instructions. However, if you think about using it when you’re attending an event, it’s unlikely that you’ll have many usable effects (we call them lenses in SnapCamera). I’ve added my favorite effects at the end, so if you have a hard time finding them, please refer to them. (If you search by lens name, I think you’ll find it.)

Next, we’ll use the OBS to communicate the SnapCamera video to the zoom. I can’t use it as it is, so I’ll add a virtual camera plugin.If you’re on a Mac, download and install pkg from the release notes on github and launch the virtual camera.The Win version is here.

OBS Virtual Camera was selected in the update of version 5.1.2. You can now.


If the connection works, you can select a virtual camera from ZOOM.


Then add and edit the text from Sources in OBS.


I’ve made several kinds of them, and it’s nice to be able to respond quickly when I separate the show/hide.


The overall flow is like this. Camera footage -> SnapCamera for effects -> OBS input to SnapCamera with text -> Zoom to show OBS virtual camera.



It takes a lot of preparation in advance, but once you’ve made it, you can simply operate it while listening to the conversation. However, the preparation is a hassle, so I’m going to want it in the official.

As more and more people use online meeting tools that are not limited to meetings, I think that the most appropriate UI will be considered for each use case. I think the “reaction function” introduced in this article is a good fit with events. I hope you’ll consider it!



SnapCamera’s Favorite Lenses


It’s amazing to see a lens that turns into a man or a woman. I don’t know what to do with it, but it’s a good idea!


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