Those frequently working from home have most likely already heard about Zoom, widely considered one of the leading video conferencing software apps around. Zoom allows users to virtually interact with co-workers or employers when in-person meetings are not possible. This makes telecommuting feel far more natural, as it helps users feel intuitively connected. While the coronavirus chaos wreaks mayhem across the world, Zoom has become an essential tool for teams of every size wishing to keep in touch and continue their daily workflows with minimal disruption.
What is Zoom?
With more than half of Fortune 500 companies reportedly using Zoom in 2019, the app is a cloud-based video conferencing service allowing users to virtually meet with others.
This can be accomplished either by video or audio-only or both, all while conducting live chats.
The app also lets you record those sessions to view later.
A Zoom Meeting refers to a video conferencing meeting that is hosted using Zoom and users can join these meetings via a webcam or phone.
A Zoom Room is the physical hardware setup letting companies schedule and launch Zoom Meetings from their conference rooms.
Zoom Rooms require an additional subscription on top of a Zoom subscription and are an ideal solution for larger companies.
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What are Zoom’s main features?
One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings even with the free plan.
Group video conferences: Host up to 500 participants, if a “large meeting” add-on is purchased.
The free plan, however, allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 people.
Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and share your screen with them so they can see what you see.
How does Zoom work?
Zoom allows one-to-one chat sessions capable of growing into group calls, training sessions and webinars for internal and external audiences.
Zoom also enables global video meetings with up to 1,000 participants and as many as 49 on-screen videos.
The free tier allows unlimited one-on-one meetings but limits group sessions to 40 minutes and 100 participants.
Zoom offers four pricing tiers, not including a Zoom Room subscription.
Zoom Free: This tier can hold an unlimited number of meetings.
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Group meetings with multiple participants are capped at 40 minutes in length, and these meetings cannot be recorded.
Zoom Pro: This tier costs £11.99 ($14.99) per month.
Zoom Pro allows hosts to create personal meeting IDs for repetitive Zoom Meetings and also allows meeting recording in the cloud or your device, but it caps group meeting durations at 24 hours.
Zoom Business: This tier costs £15.99 ($19.99) per month and meeting host.
Zoom Business also lets you brand Zoom meetings with vanity URLs and company branding and offers transcripts of Zoom meetings recorded in the cloud, in addition to a dedicated customer support.
Zoom Enterprise: This tier costs £15.99 ($19.99) per month and per meeting host.
This tier is designed for businesses with more than 1,000 employees.
Zoom enterprise also offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms.
If you are considering setting up Zoom Rooms, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, after which Zoom Rooms require an additional £39 ($49) per month and room subscription.
Zoom app downloads:
The Zoom desktop app is available for Windows and macOS, while the mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
All the apps let you join a meeting without signing in, but also let you sign in using a Zoom account, Google, Facebook, or SSO.
From there, you can start a meeting, join a meeting, share your screen in a Zoom Room by entering the meeting ID, start Zoom Meetings, mute/unmute your mic, start/stop the video, invite others to the meeting, change your screen name, do in-meeting chat, and start a cloud recording.
If you are a desktop user, Zoom also allows users to start a local recording, create polls, broadcast your Facebook live on Facebook, and more.
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