Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing software developed by Zoom Video Communications.
It allows you to carry out, in addition to live teleconferences, voice calls and chat rooms between work groups, study groups or simply between family and friends.
Being such a versatile application, Zoom has different features that make it easy to hold video conferences. These may include:
- It is a cross platform application.
- It can be used for free or by purchasing payment plans.
- It provides the option to make calls, video calls or chat rooms.
- It includes tools that enhance any video conference.
- It can be used as an alternative communication tool.
- It allows individual or group meetings.
- It allows you to react or raise your hand in real time, while the video conference is taking place.
Advantages and disadvantages
Zoom is a video conferencing software that offers multiple advantages to its users, among which the following can be highlighted:
- It can be used on Smartphones and computers.
- It allows you to record the sessions and keep them in the cloud to watch them at any time.
- Premium plans extend the duration of meetings to 24 or 30 hours.
- It can be used personally, professionally or educationally.
- Allows you to share the webcam image and the screen at the same time.
- Only the admin or host has the option to remove members during the video conference.
- It can be linked to Outlook or Google Calendar to receive notifications about upcoming video conferences.
However, there are certain disadvantages or negative aspects of Zoom, such as the number of people that a video conference supports in its free version. In addition to this, the following:
- Enhanced features are only available with paid plans.
- It requires a stable Internet connection to work.
- It can be confusing or difficult to use for inexperienced users.
How does it work
To use Zoom it is necessary to have an account within the platform, which can be created from the official website. In the same way, it is possible to enter through a Gmail email, Facebook profile or SSO key (for business Zoom). Once you have an account, you must download the desktop version or the mobile app for Android or iOS.
How to create a meeting
After logging into Zoom, a meeting can be easily created or hosted by clicking the “New Meeting” button located among the options. It should be noted that this allows immediate chat rooms to be started, however, if preferred, it can be scheduled to take place in the future.
Note: Starting or scheduling a meeting on Zoom can use a personal ID that is sent to invitees so they can enter the chat room.
How to join a meeting
To enter a Zoom meeting, you have to open the app on your mobile or computer and press the “Join” or “Enter” button, if the session is already started. In either case, the meeting ID must be provided to join the room. It is given by the system to the host, who must share it with the forum participants.
Although the main function of Zoom is to make video conferences, this application incorporates other quite useful functions, among which are the following:
- Share screen: Allows you to show the screen to the other participants in the chat room.
Record meetings: it is one of the most outstanding attributes of Zoom. It allows recording the live session so that it can be seen by those who cannot enter.
- Schedule meetings: allows you to schedule meetings in Zoom in the future, establishing certain criteria for the entry of guests or the start of the forum.
- Virtual blackboard: this option offers the possibility of creating a blank “blackboard” to draw or write in real time, to explain more comfortably to the participants.
- Virtual background: with this function any of the participants can replace the background of their scenario with an image available in the Zoom gallery.
- Simultaneous screen and camera: Allows you to share the screen and the camera image simultaneously. It is useful if you want to explain what is displayed on the PC monitor.
- Chat session: provides the option to start a chat in parallel to the videoconference to clarify doubts or concerns.
- Live Streaming: This is a Premium feature that can be used to broadcast live via YouTube or Facebook Live.
- Linking to Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar: with this option it is possible to receive notifications about upcoming events in Zoom, through the Google or Microsoft calendar, if you have an account on any of these platforms.
- Reactions/Raise hand: Allows you to react to comments or raise your hand to intervene during the video conference.
- Zoom Apps: It is a recent feature that allows you to add apps to Zoom to perform various tasks, including Bingo to have fun with friends.
Costs and memberships
Zoom has a free version that is available to all users, however, it has certain limitations, such as the number of people admitted to the room, for example. Well, “Free” accounts can only hold video conferences with a maximum of 100 individuals, during a time limit of 40 minutes.
However, this platform also incorporates payment plans with which you can access more functions or improve existing ones. These include:
- Enterprise: Provides unlimited cloud storage for video conference recordings. It is specially designed for companies with a large number of employees and costs $19.99.
- Business: its purchase value is $19.99, it has no time limit and it integrates the transcription function of teleconferences stored in the cloud. In addition, it allows you to create a specific link for company meetings.
- Professional: it costs $14.99 per month and allows meeting time to be increased to 24 hours. It also provides cloud storage for recorded conferences and allows you to tag conference participants individually.
Zoom is a cross-platform application, so it easily adapts to different devices and Operating Systems. The different platforms supported include:
- Smartphones: mobile application for Android or iOS.
- Desktop version: Windows compatible meeting client.
- Browser extension: Chrome and Firefox.
- Zoom Rooms: For video conferencing and touch screen presentations, compatible with Mac.
- Controller for Zoom Rooms: Installs on tablets to control Zoom Room video conferences. It is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows.
It should be noted that all of these can be downloaded for free from the corresponding official store or by visiting the Zoom download section.
As a dedicated editor for Global Web Wire, I bring a wealth of expertise to my role in covering technology, gadgets and social media trends. Since September 2022, I have been committed to producing well-researched and thought-provoking articles and reports in these areas, leveraging my in-depth knowledge and passion for these subjects to deliver insightful and valuable content to our readers. Whether exploring the latest advancements in technology or delving into the social media landscape, I approach each topic with the goal of providing a nuanced and well-rounded perspective that engages and informs.