How to Let Participants Choose Their Own Breakout Rooms in Zoom


Letting participants choose their own Breakout Rooms in Zoom can be great for a couple of reasons: participants can choose what they want to discuss, with whom they’d like to speak with, and - if done right - the host can be a little more hands off. 

The easiest way to set up Breakout Rooms in a way that lets participants choose is by using a Zoom App - an extension onto Zoom’s ecosystem - that does the work for you. 

twine for Zoom allows participants to select their own Breakout Rooms

twine for Zoom enables Zoom hosts to set up themed Breakout Sessions using a map-like depiction of tables. Tables - or Breakout Rooms - can be named based on topics, age groups, departments, goals… anything the host chooses. 

Once generated by the host, the themed tables populate on the side of participants’ Zoom window. Attendees can then pop in and out of whichever table they like by clicking “join” under a table. As they move from room to room, each participant’s profile icon and name appears at the table. This way, hosts can track where everyone is at all times, and participants can identify other participants they would like to speak with at a table. 

Here’s how to set it up: 

  1. Download twine for Zoom via the Zoom Apps marketplace. 

Pro-tip: make sure you’re updated to the latest version of Zoom.

  1. During your meeting, open the app & invite all meeting participants.

Participants struggling to download the app due to IT restrictions? No worries– as long as the host has the app, all meeting attendees can still participate!

  1. Select “Create New” in the Breakouts section of the app, then select “Map Mode”

  1. Choose your table size, name them however you like, and launch the map. 

Participants can now move in and out of whichever room they please. Whenever they click to “join” a table, they will automatically be transported into that room.

When the host wants to end the Breakout Sessions, they simply click “End Matchmaking” and all participants will be brought back to the main Zoom room.

Setup for twine for Zoom takes about a minute. It’s the easiest way to allow participants to choose which Breakout Room they join, and allows for meaningful, focused discussion and networking.

twine for Zoom is free for up to 5 participants– give it a try at your next Zoom Meeting or event! 

Written by Lawrence Coburn, CEO and Co-Founder
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