Skype for Mac updated with new Zoom-like custom virtual backgrounds

One of the features that has made Zoom such a popular solution for video calls recently is support for custom backgrounds. After implementing similar Zoom-like features earlier this month, Skype is now adding support for custom backgrounds.

As pointed out by Thurrot, Skype has started rolling out a new version of its app for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Web that adds support for custom backgrounds. This new capability joins Skype’s long-standing support for blurring your background during a video call.

Skype explains the Zoom-like feature:

This could be anywhere: Want to look like you’re calling from the beach, or from space? Now you can, with custom backgrounds for your video calls.

Here are the steps to customize your Skype background while in a call, with Microsoft points out that landscape images work best and that the image must be saved locally on your Mac:

  1. During a call, hover over the video button or click the more menu.
  2. Click Choose background effect.
  3. You can Blur the room you’re in currently, choose an image you previously added, or add a new image to customize your background effect.

The update also makes it easier to share files. “Now you can share files directly from your Mac to your Skype contacts, as well,” Skype says in the release notes.

As Zoom has faced numerous security concerns over the last several months, Skype has worked swiftly to accommodate the newfound need for video conferencing caused by COVID-19. Earlier this month, Skype ditched its accounts and download requirements, adding a new link-based option for free video calls.

You can get more details on this week’s update to Skype on the Microsoft website.

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