Tech Updates 2022

Versatackle logo and name on blue background with white nodes and lines to look techy
December 31, 2022
Julian Dockhorn

The Year in Review

This year we've done so much great work on improving Versatackle.

We built our Closed Caption feature and released it to all users. We're seriously excited and proud of our work on this! Please let us know what you think of it, and how it can do even better at creating a more inclusive experience.

We've rolled out a number of improvements to the experience: Based on feedback, we've optimized the view to make other people's videos as large as possible, while also ensuring screenshares are kept in their original format. The active speaker is now automatically highlighted by our system. And we expanded and clarified our pronoun options.

We've improved the mobile experience in lots of big and little ways. The buttons fit better on smaller screens, scrolling works everywhere we could test it, and we've found a better balance of what's always visible, and what's in a menu.

We've added a room type: Encrypted Rooms. They're secured end-to-end, which we understand those users who are security enthusiasts do appreciate. These rooms work best with a small group, since one implication of the privacy is that the servers can't redistribute your video feeds, so your device has to send them to each other person. And another result of all that privacy is that the system can't tell who the active speaker is, so you won't get that highlighting feature. Since the group is pretty small, we've found that most users are happy with the tradeoff.

We've made chat messages easier to copy-and-paste, which was highly requested especially when people want to share links. Chat notifications also help people stay up-to-date in their text conversations on the site.

We updated our infrastructure to reduce the risk of problems, and to make it easier to resolve them when they inevitably do happen. We also added a privacy-and-consent-oriented analytics system, to help us do a better job learning what devices, browsers, and systems people are using.

And we've released a new prototype feature for rearranging video tiles. We've heard people ask to drag-and-drop things freely, and that's what the new feature does.

As always we're glad to have any feedback. Tell us what you love and what you don't!

Thanks and best wishes for the coming year,

Julian and the Tech Team

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