Breakout rooms API

I would like to hear when this has been developed as well. Thanks

It’s not an API question, but is there consideration on allowing the Alternate Hosts control the Breakout Rooms as well?

+1 for Breakout Room API!

+1 . We have educational product with sometimes 100+ students and 2-3 teachers. We need to be able to put each 4 people in a separate room and then bring them all back. The teacher needs to be able to go from room to room when requested via raised hand in our Application. The people that operate our product are not tech savvy at all, and managing one screen with our product , second for the Zoom’s room interface is major challenge even with 10 participants. With more than that it is too slow. We do not have preexisting list of participants, and if we do it hinders the usefulness of our WebApp.

QiqoChat solves MANY issues with the lack of Breakout Room functionality. There are two main scenarios which Zoom does not enable:

  • (QiqoChat supports this) self-organizing into breakout rooms - in our cases this can be predefined topics (breakfast, lunch, evening supper) or teams / groups that doesn’t change frequently. Qiqo allows registered and unregistered users to switch rooms freely (so an Open Space Format works fine, the Law of Two Feet is not broken) - this has been tried with 30 to 300 people.
  • quickly changing breakout rooms with many participants, such as the Liberating Structures: Mad Tea, and Impromptu Networking

Use Case: “Mad Tea”

  • all participants need a shared view of a document/projector
  • form two circles (or lines) of people with same amount of people in them - get people to say hi to the person across (this way we form pairs). Present the first topic for everyone to discuss in their pair.
  • after 2 minutes, everyone takes a step to their left. A new topic is presented, 2 min discussion. Rotate.

Use Case: “Impromptu Networking”

  • Everyone gets to see a single topic/question/invitation for all attendees to discuss
  • Find a partner (ie join a breakout room with 2 people in it), and discuss. 2 minutes.
  • Find a new partner, discuss same topic. 2 minutes.
  • Find a third partner, discuss same topic. 2 minutes.

Use Case: 1-2-4-ALL

  • Everyone gets to see the same 1 topic for all to discuss/reflect on.
  • Everyone gets 1 minute to reflect personally.
  • Everyone moves into pairs of 2, and shares their ideas for 3 minutes.
  • Pairs join with another pair and forms a group of 4, and share their ideas for 5 minutes.
  • Groups of 4 moves into 8, …
  • Eventually all meet back and there are ways to share what was said.

ISSUES with current Zoom support:

  • attendees in rooms are handled manually - it doesn’t scale
  • people that join late, or drop out, are hard to manage manually
  • impossible to keep track of who has already talked to whom - we need “unique” pairs for each round for Impromptu Networking and Mad Tea
  • creating new breakout rooms for 2-4-8 and manually keeping track of pairs, fours, … can work, but doing it manually is just too slow - people loose any and all flow

The only possible workaround I can think of is to somehow send chat messages with links for people to click/join.

This API is key to enable so many collaboration patterns. Whether Zoom gets to this before Jitsi is yet to be seen.

Is this the solution?

Hi #Ojus
This functionality, move users (connected through API) to “breakout rooms” is already available ?

+1 for a Breakout Rooms API from me also. Interested in facilitating a client requirement for dynamically connecting class attendees with complimentary interests.

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+1 for Breakout Rooms on Web SDK.
We host live classes for users on out platform and we really need this feature.

I saw you have it as ‘Mid Term’ on your trello.

Can we know what mid term means ?

Dude, this is a heavy lift. I’m impressed. Well played.

You make me think that depending on the HTML generated by the web version I can do something similar with CSS selectors… I’m going to explore this.

Hi there. You can upload a new CSV during a meeting!

In order for the Host to see the new CSV configuration, you have to leave and come back. That can be either joining a breakout room or leaving the meeting. So… if you open the breakout rooms, then load the new CSV, then jump to a breakout room and back, then after you close the rooms, you’ll be able to “revert to CSV” and use the new assignments.

We are using Zoom for a live classroom setting, and we need to have students in small groups without repeating group partners. I use a program to pre-assign the breakouts for each segment of class. Our issues are 1) People not logged into the client… they have no e-mail and don’t get assigned, and 2) 200 line limit on the CSV file. When someone joins with a different e-mail, they don’t get assigned, so we have a line in the CSV for every e-mail we’ve seen for each student. We can run over the 200 line limit.

Thank you Zoom programmers/tech suppport/everybody. You are doing a FANTASTIC job!

The way to go is: Chrome extension for the desktop version. The HTML generated is great, and allows you to read the chat and easily assign users to rooms (I’ve tested this with up to 120 users, the fear of it crashing always remains…).

Down sides: The host has to be on the desktop version, which is clumsy, harder to navigate and slow. So if you let the chrome extension assign 120 people, it works great. But if you then have to manually add another 10 late attendees, it can be slow to do so. (Luckily co-hosts, can share their screen and manually select who to allow into the room. And do some of the other tasks that you wouldn’t want to do on the desktop version)

Be careful with the desktop chat (regarding css selectors), it only loads a few messages, and they disappear after a certain amount are shown. The same goes for if you scroll up, then the newer messages don’t show. Hence I recommend you store user input from the chat, every time a new message shows up. Another hiccup is, that when you open the “participants” tab when the chat is open, the html of the chat “changes” (so to speak), aka the container div.

Good luck!

I was looking through recent updates and I found mention of breakout room APIs for Mac, Windows and Android SDKs:

Are the APIs listed in these announcements useful for solving some of the use cases people have posted here? Or are they for something else? Thanks.

+1 for a Breakout Room API

We use Zoom to host conferences with multiple sessions, with everyone needing to get assigned to a breakout room for each session. We’d like to keep the time between sessions reasonably short (enough for people to go to the bathroom or kitchen, so 5 or 10 minutes). Currently one person needs to manually assign everyone to their sessions and then wait for those to terminate and then manually assign everyone to their next sessions, which drives the amount of time between sessions to be 15 to 20 minutes, and which has obvious scaling problems. As we host more people we could easily hit 45 minutes or an hour between sessions, which is a problem.

Things that would make this much easier:

  • Allow co-hosts to help with the assignments. It would still be a pain, but at least we could have multiple people typing at once. This does fix the scaling problem, as we could simply add more cohosts as we add more people.

  • Ideally, I would like an API that would allow us to script up all the breakout rooms we need at a given time, and the assignments of people to rooms. That way we could do all the work days ahead of time and just run a script on our Linux box to make all the assignments happen as each session is scheduled to start.


Another +1 to breakout room API here!

And keep up the great work! So many of us and our team members are counting on Zoom right now. Thank you!

+1 to breakout rooms API!

  • For BreakOut Rooms API.

Breakout rooms API is becoming essential to our workflow. Please add this feature as soon as possible.

This has been requested by so many people for well over a year and zoom doesnt even have a roadmap for it? It’s really time saving if a script can move people between breakout rooms mid-meeting. Currently it takes upwards of 15 minutes to switch 100 participants.

Any ETA for breakout room API feature pleas ?

+1 for at least some breakout room api coverage.

My use case is for online test sessions, with multiple rooms through which a candidate is processed. I’m working with a team doing online testing for FCC Amateur Radio Licenses. The process for large groups involves:

  • greeting a candidate in a welcome room, where their displayed name is changed to include their candidate ID and the tests they’re taking
  • moving them in small groups to one or more pre-check rooms to validate their information, make sure their camera is adequate, share their screen to arrange windows and check for adequate computer set-up
  • the examinee may be shunted to a separate waiting room if they have to work out payment for the tests and haven’t paid in advance, or if there are technical issues with their hardware or connection that need to be resolved by a specialist
  • move them back to the welcome room or another waiting room one at a time, as they’re checked in, to await an exam room opening
  • move them to one of a number of exam rooms (we’re heading towards as many as 20 rooms, if there are enough testing staff) in each of which are 3-4 volunteer examiners, who proctor the test on custom exam software, watching the examinee on Zoom while they share their screen; the examinee takes from 1-3 tests
  • move the examinee to an exit area after their test results are given to them and the proctors and examinee have signed their test documents.

We’re heading towards 100+ examinees in a session, with almost as many staff and proctors in various rooms. Some examinees may have two devices signed in to Zoom, if their primary camera is not moveable, to allow proctors to get a view of the room the examinee is taking the test from.

We have extensive back-channel tracking and communication support for the admin team running the test session, but we’d love to have a faster interface for moving examinees from room to room. This isn’t a problem that can be solved with pre-assignment; there may be some transitions we can automate based on status information, but given the large number of participants, even manually moving people from room-to-room with the current UI is frustrating.

Given an endpoint that lets me move a participant to a specified room, I’d probably build a simple CLI to do this, with the ability to specify participants and destinations with strings derived from info in their displayed name.

Thanks for everything you’re doing to make our remote work possible, thanks for all the progress you’ve made in such a short period of time, and thanks for listening to off-the-wall requests from people like me!