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Entrepreneurial Lifestyle, Working From Home

Video Calls Get a Serious Upgrade With These Virtual Backgrounds

Across the world, friends, families, and coworkers are gathering virtually to stay connected while staying apart — whether it’s to discuss the latest work project, have a virtual coffee break, or celebrate a birthday… There have even been virtual weddings! 

Now you can make your video calls more fun with the help of our Namecheap characters. Spike the hedgehog, Henny the hen, or Yeti can videobomb your conference calls for more smiles all around. 

But what are Video Call Backgrounds? How can they be used, and when is it better not to?

What are Video Call Backgrounds?

Work-from-home policies, social distancing, and government lockdowns have increased the demand for video conferencing across both business and personal use. According to App Annie, business conferencing smartphone apps recently topped 62 million downloads in only one week.

With their increased popularity, it was only natural that some of the most popular conferencing apps to introduce features that make video conferencing look more fun and less like a chore.

Besides fun filters to make you look like an emoji, or to make a rainbow come out of your mouth, the possibility of adding custom backgrounds to live video was immediately welcomed by millions of people around the world.

Thanks to computational photography, what was once a difficult trick involving a green screen and some video retouching skills now can be done with a couple of clicks. Depending on the platform of your (or your company’s) preference, there may be different ways to turn this option on. It’s usually under Settings > Audio&Video. But you can always check out the specific instructions for Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

There are many reasons why you would want to add a custom background to your video conference, including:

  • It’s fun — Especially for calls with friends and family or as a virtual coffee break with colleagues, you may want to spark some more joy with a colorful and quirky background.
  • It’s good for privacy — Not everyone has a dedicated space at home to work — never mind make video calls. And your coworkers don’t always need to know what’s hanging on your walls, or what your living situation is. With a blurred or custom background, you can protect your privacy.
  • It makes a good impression — So you didn’t tidy up your apartment and you’re supposed to join a last-minute video call? Maybe your vacation was canceled and now you’re stuck at home? With a custom background, you can beam yourself to a more appropriate place — or to the beach you’re still dreaming about. It may not be real, but who said you shouldn’t daydream?

When to Keep It Professional

There are times when your video call set-up must be flawless. If you’re currently interviewing for a new job, for instance. Or when you’re about to present your business plan to authorities or potential investors.

That’s when you should probably avoid custom backgrounds and opt for a decent blurred background (or just make sure you have the perfect conditions for that important call).

Luckily, this is where the popular comparison site Wirecutter comes to help. They have an extensive guide to pulling off a professional video call from home.

Download Namecheap Backgrounds

Even before work-from-home policies had been introduced almost everywhere, a big part of Namecheap’s workforce was working from home or remotely. And in just three weeks, we transitioned 1300 team members before any government decisions.

It goes without saying, therefore, that video conferencing is part of the Namecheap working culture. We loved the flexibility of this solution even before it became mandatory for many others.

That’s why we created custom backgrounds to use during our Skype calls. Whether it’s to discuss the latest domains rollouts, plan the new features of EasyWP, or manage team members 1:1, they help bring video calls to life.

But we’re not keeping them for ourselves. You can also download them to inject some fun into your next video call. Each background has its own personality. My favorite features Yeti, our Namecheap hosting mascot, working on his tablet while sitting in a comfortable chair. Maybe that’s because it’s what I wish my home-working actually looked like these days.

Which is your favorite? Download it now for free.

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Download standard version here, and mirrored version here
Download standard version here, and mirrored version here
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