Zoom adds tools to let you block, report people disrupting your meetings

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Zoom will now let you temporarily pause meetings so you can kick out “Zoombombers” or disruptive individuals, the company announced. As Zoom usage skyrocketed during the pandemic, pranksters and hackers found ways to invade Zoom calls and display shocking videos and disruptive content, a practice that has become known as “Zoombombing.” With Zoom’s new security feature, you’ll be able to suspend a meeting to block bad content from being shown and also report the Zoombomber to Zoom. Zoom says the new feature is being enabled by default for all free and paid users and is available on the clients for Mac, PC, and Linux, as well as Zoom’s mobile apps. In April, Zoom announced a 90-day feature freeze to fix privacy and security issues on the platform that came to light following the massive surge in users relying on it during the pandemic. Many of Zoom’s resulting improvements, such as turning waiting rooms on by default for basic, single-license Pro, and education accounts, could help make it harder for Zoombombers to infiltrate meetings.

Twitch is testing ‘multiplayer ads’ that creators can use to make money

Twitch is rolling out something, its calling “multiplayer ads” in closed beta. They’re ads triggered by streamers that all viewers watch. After one of these ads plays, creators can run a poll for their viewers that awards the streamer bits depending on how many viewers participate. “In true Twitch spirit – we want our creators and fans to have the opportunity to experience everything together, and support their favourite creators along the way,” wrote a Twitch spokesperson. Twitch has been tinkering with its ads a lot this year. Between September and November alone, the company has gone from testing unskippable midroll ads to breaking ad-blockers. Also, multiplayer ads are a pretty logical development because nobody is happy with the state of Twitch ads right now. They’re intrusive, and they also don’t benefit most creators. Multiplayer ads will benefit creators more directly, presumably at higher rates than traditional CPMs – even if those payments are coming in the form of Twitch’s own currency. The Twitch spokesperson confirmed that bit payouts on multiplayer ads are additive to traditional CPMs, so running these ads will pay out twice. It’s nice to see Twitch experimenting with new ad formats beyond traditional, targeted video ads.