A brand new Whereby meeting experience — and a new brand!
Exciting changes coming to Whereby
In August, we announced that appear.in would change name to Whereby and now the change is complete; today we are introducing the new visual profile for Whereby! Along with the facelift we are also rolling out a major upgrade to the in-room meeting experience, with several improvements to make your meetings even better.
A major facelift for our meeting experience: new responsive web version
With more than 10 million users and more than 50 million meetings held yearly, our current in-room meeting experience has served us well over the last several years, but it was coming of age. Now, we have redesigned the in-room experience from the ground up with a lot of ‘under the hood’ improvements to make it even better and more performant.
Whereby has always been about removing the friction from starting a video meeting, letting users join meetings with one click. We’ve now invested even more in this by expanding our new web version to be responsive and work on both mobile and desktop.
iOS browser support lowering the barrier to joining a meeting
We are extremely happy to finally announce the ability to join Whereby meetings in the browser on iOS. Guests with iOS 13, will now be able to join meetings in Safari on their iPhone and iPad, without having to install the iOS app. For our regular users, we will continue to invest in ensuring our iOS app is a five-star experience. Our Android experience has also gotten an upgrade, as we have designed all pages to work on mobile. We’ll continue to improve this going forward.
Building trust and confidence with new welcome pages
There is one downside to a “click the link, you’re in the meeting” experience. After supporting our users for more than 6 years, we know that many struggle with getting their camera and microphone configuration right, which can disrupt or delay a meeting. We want our users to be confident that the guests they invite to a meeting will have a good experience.
That is why we have built a new experience for the welcome pages leading into a meeting: first guiding guests through giving microphone and camera permissions in their browser, checking that their devices are working, and reassuring them that they have come to the right place. For Pro and Business customers, branding will get a more prominent place in the welcome pages, letting guests feel like they’re meeting you, not your video service. We hope this will let you start meetings in a stress-free way, and inspire confidence when inviting new guests. For repeat guests this will remember your preferences from the last meeting, so they can join straight away. Regular users can choose to skip this step.
Responsive navigation and menus
In order to give a good experience on all devices, the in-room navigation has been simplified to one ‘Settings’ menu that can be opened both from the room information next to the logo, and from the ‘Settings’ icon next to the profile picture in top right corner. Information about the room size and locked status is now shown next to the room name. The toolbar has new icons, but the same functionality.
We have also made lots of upgrades of the video layout, and given video frames rounded corners for a softer and more human look. To give more space to videos, participants who have both camera and microphone off will be minimized to a small avatar tile. Chat messages will now be shown as a speaking bubble next to the person posting a message.
In order to spark more engaging meetings, we’re introducing Reactions. Reactions put an emoji on your video frame so you can share input while others are presenting or talking. If there are many participants, or you have camera and microphone off, an animated reaction will fly off your avatar. We believe this will be great for giving feedback to presenters during a presentation, without interrupting. More seasoned users of Whereby may remember a feature called Stickers, that we had to remove to rebuild — it is now back by popular demand!
Larger meetings with up to 50 participants
It is no secret we’ve been working hard to let you have bigger meetings on our platform. We’ve created a new meeting experience which allows for up to 50 participants; and we’re inviting our Business customers the opportunity to try it out in our closed beta. This mode is designed for meetings where only a few people need to present and be on camera, while everyone else listens and asks questions. Set up a Business account and request to be part of the beta to test it.
A new look for Whereby
In August, we changed our name and domain from appear.in to Whereby. From December 2nd, the old appear.in domain will not be available anymore.
Due to a legal trademark issue, we were forced to stop using the appear.in domain before we had a new visual identity ready for Whereby. We have spent the past several months working together with the extremely talented folks at design agency Heydays, and are very excited to now roll out a new look for the whole product and introduce our new logo!
Our team is currently spread across 12 locations and collaborate remotely every day. Everyone in our team enjoys the enormous benefits a flexible work policy brings, and we truly believe that the future of work will gravitate in this direction. When designing a new brand identity for Whereby, we have built it around our vision of enabling people to work and live where they thrive. We hope you will take part in shaping the future with us as we work to introduce more flexibility in work-life!