More and more websites and web services have been launching a way for users to add and display their pronouns recently. The latest addition to the list is Zoom, which has just unveiled the "pronouns" feature for version 5.7 of the video conferencing platform. Zoom exploded in popularity after coronavirus lockdowns across the globe prompted work-from-home arrangements with frequent video call meetings. Up until now, though, users have had to manually edit their display names either during a live meeting or via their profile to show their pronouns.
Problem is, some organizations prohibit members from editing their display names altogether. Plus, the method could be troublesome and doesn't give users control on when to show or hide their pronouns. This new feature adds a dedicated text field on the profile page where users can type in their pronouns and a drop-down menu with sharing controls for the feature. They can choose to automatically share their pronouns at every meeting or to have Zoom ask before every session. Users can also choose not to make their pronouns visible during meetings at all, though their response to the custom text field will still be visible to their Zoom contacts as part of their profile card on the platform.
"In introducing the Pronouns feature, we hope this will help everyone feel better able to express themselves and respectfully address others, which ultimately leads to a stronger culture of connectivity and an improved communications experience," Zoom wrote in its announcement.
Like Zoom, Slack also introduced a dedicated text field for pronouns back in May after years of users having to be creative with their work descriptions to be able to display theirs. The professional networking website LinkedIn added a dedicated space for pronouns in March, while Instagram and Twitter launched their own take on the feature last month. Zoom's pronouns field will be visible by default for free accounts and accounts with a single licensed user. For accounts with more than one user, administrators will have to switch it on first.