As the world became bigger more and more companies relied on improving and finding more efficient ways of communication. Live video conferencing had already become prominent. Now as social distancing has become a factor, companies more than ever are relying on solid forms of communication to keep their businesses running.
Zoom, since COVID-19 started wreaking havoc on the world of business, has entered the spotlight as one of the main go-to video conferencing companies.
As much of a great tool Zoom can be for collaborating, not every meeting needs to be about crossing off items from the to-do list. Make sure to incorporate meetings where the sole purpose is to catch up and interact with coworkers.
Since thousands of companies have started to use Zoom many of them have come up with creative ways to add some joy to having to work home, away from their peers. Some companies have implemented “Bring Your Pet to Zoom Day”. Chipotle has even given Zoom users access to have a virtual lunch with them while inviting celebrities to make guest appearances.
Is Zoom Free?
Yes, Zoom does have a free version however it is limited compared to the features on the paid plans. Pricing can be seen below and by clicking here.
The main difference between the basic package and the pro version is the amount of time and participants allowed for each meeting. If you will need more than 3 participants in a meeting as well as forty-plus minutes of meeting time then you will need the pro version. For the basic version, you can have up to 100 participants but you will need to make sure the length of the meeting does not exceed 40 minutes.
The notable differences between the business version and the pro package are the number of participants as well as more support. Companies that exceed these limitations will need the Enterprise package.
How To Use Zoom
The Zoom app is available in the app store for Apple and Android users. However, if you would like to download zoom on your desktop you can simply go to their website at https://zoom.us/download.
Once you arrive at this page you can click on the Download button. Once the download is complete, select the file to open the application.
After clicking on the file the application will begin installing. Once finished a window pop up like the one below. You can then join a meeting if you have a meeting ID or a personal link.
Or you can sign in or sign up by selecting the Sign In option.
Zoom makes this process simple and quick. Once you have downloaded and signed in or signed up on the desktop app, you will be brought to this page.
You have four choices but in order to schedule a Zoom meeting, you will click on the Schedule option.
When clicked, a pop-up form will appear. Simply select the choices according to your preferences. When complete press schedule.
If you choose to add the meeting to your Google Calendar you will be automatically redirected to sign in your account to give Zoom permission to add the event to your Google Calendar.
If you select other calendars you will not be redirected. Instead you will just be given an invitation to to copy and send to your future attendees.
Click Schedule when finished.
In order to be fully prepared and to know what a Zoom meeting looks like click on New Meeting.
This window will then pop up. Select Join With Computer Audio
Allow Zoom access to your camera by pressing OK.
If your camera is on your picture will display in the middle of the screen.
On the bottom of the screen you have a number of options:
- Clicking on the participants button will allow you to see a list of names who are on the Zoom meeting.
- The chat option will allow you to, of course, chat with other Zoomers.
- If you click on Share screen it will give you the option to choose which window you would like to share to all audience members.
- Clicking Record will allow you to record the meeting. Once pressed you will also see options to pause and stop the recording. All recordings will be automatically saved to your local computer after you leave or end the meeting.
- The buttons on the far left of the Zoom Window will allow you to mute your mic or turn off your camera anytime during the meeting.
In order to end the meeting click on End in the lower left corner of your screen.
A small window will pop up asking whether you would like to leave the meeting individually or if you would like to end the meeting for everyone.
Once you have made your choice the window will close and you will be taken back to the applications home page.
What Zoom Can Do For You
With millions of people around the world forced out of the office, Zoom can help you revive office culture, build a sense of community, communicate tasks, and become a refreshing alternative to lists of emails during this time of social distancing. However, as you know, not everything is perfect. When things are in the spotlight, everything gets exposed, including security weaknesses.
Just like everyone else, internet “trolls” also have more time on their hands. They are jumping on to public conference calls and using Zoom’s screen sharing feature to interrupt calls by displaying inappropriate content, forcing hosts to shut down their events.
But this can be fixed by simply making your events invite-only. Sadly users like Chipotle will not be able to host similar public events but companies who keep their events private will be able to avoid random “Zoombombings” from strangers.