Last Thursday I saw a press release announcing functionality enhancements for GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, and GoToAssist. There were a few details that were unclear to me from the announcement, so I got clarifications from Daniel Waas, the director of marketing for GoToWebinar. It looks like the expanded functionality will further differentiate the Citrix GoTo family of products, as features are not shared between the various conferencing platforms.
CALL ME - In addition to being a bouncy tune from Blondie, this designates a feature planned for availability later this year in GoToMeeting only. It will give meeting attendees an option to have the conferencing software call out to their telephone as an alternative to making an inbound call to the conference and punching in a bunch of identification codes. I have used this functionality in other web conferencing products and I find it very convenient and handy. I'm hoping that once it gets validated in GoToMeeting, it will eventually make the jump to GoToWebinar as well. But there is no such announced transition plan (yet!).
iOS SCREENSHARE - For the first time, GoToMeeting presenters will be able to share their screen from an iPhone, iPad, or other iOS mobile device. That is going to make mobile app demos a lot easier for tech salespersons and marketers! This one is also slated for late 2016 availability. I'm not quite as concerned about this feature making the jump to GoToWebinar, as I don't believe mobile devices are optimal for presenting to a large webinar audience.
BROADCAST MODE - If you have felt constrained by the upper limit capacity in GoToWebinar for 1000 participants in a webinar, you will appreciate the option to use "Broadcast Mode." This will double your webinar capacity, with space for 2000 participants. But it constrains several features when activated… Attendees can only listen via computer, they must use the web browser app to join instead of the installed desktop app, their microphones cannot be unmuted, and they cannot be promoted to panelist or organizer authority levels. The feature is currently available in beta mode, with full production status targeted for Q1 of 2017.
SOURCE TRACKING - Heck, I covered this feature in August. It is also slated for production availability in the first quarter of next year. Again, this applies only to registration pages set up in GoToWebinar.
MOBILE APP ATTENDEE FEEDBACK - This feels like baby steps on the way to an eventual larger, more useful feature set. The idea is that GoToWebinar attendees can use a separate app on their iOS or Android mobile device to send a "heart" while watching a webinar.
I don't like the cutesy little floating hearts in the provided screenshot above, and I think it has the potential for all kinds of misinterpretation and misapplication ("Ooh, I think the presenter is SOOO cute!"). This takes an existing Facebook implementation of a permanent status indicator on a static post and tries to turn it into a real-time feedback tool.
Presenters are then supposed to look at their own mobile device to see a miniature display of the current screen content with tiny indicators for overall audience attentiveness and the number of hearts that have been tapped.
I can't imagine many presenters wanting to split their attention between devices in order to try to keep track of instantaneous indicators providing such dubious value. But I can definitely see this growing into a larger feedback mechanism for submitting and viewing poll results, votes, and more useful feedback indicators.
GOTOASSIST UI UPDATE - I don't have the details, as I don't cover remote support tools, but it looks like GoToAssist is getting a significant user interface update this month to make the experience more consistent and convenient across web and mobile devices.
I remain quite encouraged to see the ongoing emphasis on development and feature enhancement as the GoTo products transition away from Citrix corporate ownership. This bodes well for the health and viability of the entire product family.