Adobe Connect users can now log in with Facebook and Google

Connect's new version, due in 2014's first quarter, also lets people register for webinars using their Google and Facebook credentials

An upgrade to Adobe's Connect Web meetings product allows people to log in using their social networking accounts and adds new options for how participants are displayed on the screen.

Adobe Connect 9.2, which will be announced Tuesday and ship in the first quarter next year, gives a meeting host the option to let people register using their Facebook and Google credentials.

Today they have to register with a unique user name and password on a landing page created by the host. Allowing people to register using their Facebook or Google accounts could make it more likely someone will sign up for a webinar, by making it faster and more convenient.

In addition, registration fields can be populated automatically with information from the users' Google and Facebook accounts. Adobe plans to let people register with Twitter and LinkedIn accounts in the future.

The "social registration" capability has been added to a Connect add-on called Event Manager that's sold separately and lets customers create microsites and landing pages.

Adobe has also added options to the way video conferencing participants are arranged and sized on the meeting screen. Currently, participants appear in a grid, so for a 15-person session, for example, they're placed in a block of three rows and five columns. Each video feed appears the same size, but the active speaker can be highlighted with a blue outline.

With Connect 9.2, speakers will be able to occupy most of the video screen while other participants appear in a filmstrip underneath. Hosts can also choose which participants appear on the filmstrip and which don't. The existing grid review will remain as an option.

Connect 9.2 also lets hosts do a full-screen view of the video conferencing portion of the meeting, removing all the other elements from the session.

Connect, which is aimed at large enterprises, competes directly against similar products like Cisco's WebEx Meetings and to an extent against broader unified communications servers like Microsoft's Lync. It can be deployed on Adobe's public cloud infrastructure, on private clouds or on premises.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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