Breakout rooms API

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

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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!


Hi Tommy,

I’ll keep beating this drum because I am watching a number of new conferencing apps come on the market to address the shortcomings of breakout rooms, and natural networking. Please include me during the requirements gathering or alpha phase. I have plans to quickly develop an app for the Zoom Marketplace that will leverage zoom breakout rooms to create a simple, and natural networking experience to connect with individual inside a large zoom meeting. Currently I use zoom at attend 4 to 5 zoom meeting weekly with

+1 to the Breakout Room API. All we want to do initially is to query the API and see which Breakout Room each participant is in but this doesn’t look possible? Fingers crossed!

I wrote a bot/extension. I got really tired of waiting and I love the usability of Zoom:

  • people on satellite
  • 10+ people meetings with video. on some processors, it can even display 50 videos at once. nuts.
  • usability with 50% packet loss.
  • usability with 200ms+ ping
  • dynamic FPS for screen sharing with emphasis on screen quality > FPS. Discord can’t share “source” resolution without $$$$ and also emphasizes FPS over screen quality.
  • low cpu usage

Unfortunately, I based it on a use-case of reading one sentences of @scholtenotto’s README and for the Phoenix Desert Python’s monthly hackathon needs.

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As someone who wrote the bot above, I do think using the Windows / etc. API is a more reliable API. It would require the user to run an alternate Zoom client though but that may be acceptable.

I also noticed that the roadmap was recently updated to have the Breakout Rooms API in Short Term.

That’s good to know.

I saw that Breakout Rooms API is moved to the Short Term plan. Let me know if I can help in any way.

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+1 to the Breakout Room API.

A Breakout Room API would be extraordinarily valuable for those of us developing tools for online education.

There are a variety of ways of organizing students in a class to learn as individuals, pairs, and in small groups, and it works best when those groups can be remixed frequently. An API would allow developers that understand education to create intuitive tools that match the pedagogy.

Although few educators “prefer” teaching online to teaching f2f, there are affordances that you can get online that you can’t do as easily in a physical classroom—such as “instantly” remixing all of your students into separated rooms. (The fact that there isn’t ambient noise from the other groups is a real pro.)

I’m currently building a tool for software engineering education that integrates GitHub, Slack, and other tools. We are also using Zoom, and the ability to manage the breakout rooms directly would be an amazing addition.

Absolutely +1 Breakout Rooms in Zoom!! :star_struck: It is one the most requested feature of the SDK. I hope you guys push it to the first priority list. Thank you!

+1 for Breakout Room API

My use case is pretty simple and predefined breakout rooms should work in theory but doesn’t in practice. Here’s an example of my typical…

  1. Setup meeting with “Only authenticated users can join” true.
  2. Pre-define breakout rooms via CSV (Room Name / Email)
  3. Save

Expected results:
— The definition should be remembered and persist until the event day

Actual results:
— I login the next day (or days later) and it appears as though I’ve never pre-defined anything.

  1. I re-define the breakout rooms using the same CSV
  2. Save

Note: sometimes it disapears again, but let’s assume it hasn’t for the sake of this discussion.

  1. Return a few days later, having to redefine the breakout rooms. I’ve tried doing this manually and by uploading a new CSV. The results are the same.

Expected results:
— updated definition should persist

Actual results:
— somehow the changes revert back to what was defined originally. I cannot EVER trust that my definitions will persist. Sometimes they disappear entirely, requiring I upload the CSV again from scratch. Sometimes the definition changes fail to persist, which is much more difficult to figure out.

Once it comes time to send everyone to their breakout rooms, it has yet to work as I’d hope. Usually they’ve logged in with a different email address than I used to define which breakout room they’re meant to be sent to, requiring me to manually assign them last minute. This creates chaos and stress for everyone involved.

Thank GAWD for the tools which allow me to move people from one room to another otherwise it would be completely untenable. But the current situation is FAR FROM good.

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I am also developing an online learning tool that utilizes zoom API and I really want to have a breakout room functionality. When we can expect the Breakout roo. API?

How many developers there are in Zoom? Probably not more than 3/4…

This is needed for any serious conference to mimic physical conferences where people talk in small groups and move between them, or even in pairs.

This is an example without using zoom:

Yes it seems Zoom has a small developer team considering the sales numbers.
Its a simple API, the apps using the API will be much more complex and zoom webinar is very limited.

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@Michael_Purnell Any updates about the Breakout Room API ?
When can we expect it?
Thank you!

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hey @usmtech – can you describe how you go about uploading a new CSV during a meeting? I know how to upload before a meeting starts, but while the meeting is happening I’m having trouble finding the upload interface again… any help would be greatly appreciated!

As of Sunday 10/18/20, Zoom has greyed out the “Edit” button while a meeting is in progress. According to their tech support, it’s to prevent an accidental edit of a meeting in progress, but in my case, it also prevents an intentional edit. However, we did discover a workaround. You can get still edit a meeting in progress by going to the link directly. Substitute your meeting ID in : to access.

Be sure you set up the meeting with the breakout room pre-assign option. Once on the edit page, you can upload a CSV file formatted according to Zoom’s documentation or manually create rooms.

There is one trick you need to be aware of. After uploading a new CSV file, the host MUST leave the main room and come back. The host can do this by joining a breakout room, or by leaving the meeting and returning. Or you can hand off the hosting function to another co-host, and they should see the new breakouts. I recommend experimenting with it until you’re clear on how to do it flawlessly every time. :slight_smile:


@usmtech – perfect, thank you so much!! this is very helpful. Will run some experiments now :smiley: