What are the Zoom Meetings?
The product name here is actually Zoom Meetings. So what is Zoom Meetings? It’s a video conferencing platform from a company called Zoom. It allows employees of a company to have online meetings while working remotely. The software allows for HD video as well as audio and supports up to 1,000 participants per session, although the exact number depends on the plan you have — more on this later.
Zoom Meetings has all the features a company needs to hold online meetings, no matter how big or small it is. Participants can join in from a computer or a mobile device anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection. They can turn on their cameras so others can see them or keep them off in case they want privacy. Each individual can also turn off their microphone as well to make sure there are no background noises when someone speaks. Zoom Meeting offers loads of other useful features, some of which you can check out below.
The main features of Zoom Meetings:
Record meeting: All meetings can be recorded with the press of a button. You can save a recording locally on a device or upload it to the cloud. This allows employees that couldn’t attend the live meeting/webinar to check it out at a later time.
Screen sharing: Participants can share their screens with others, which comes in handy for various presentations and educational workshops.
Chat: Every Zoom Meeting has an integrated chat feature, allowing participants to communicate with each other during a meeting and ask questions.
Virtual hand-raising: When you want to speak or ask a question, you can signal it to the host by raising your hand virtually. This improves communication during a meeting, preventing multiple people from talking at once.
Polls: A host can create a poll and share it with participants in the meeting to gather their responses and opinions on a given topic. This comes in handy for voting on various business-related decisions, for example.
Mute participants: The host of a meeting has the ability to mute the mic of any participant. This is a vital feature that’s used when someone forgets they have the mic and their children are screaming in the background, for example.
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These are the main features Zoom Meetings offers, although there are loads of others as well. These include Virtual Background that allows you to set an image or video as your background during a meeting. This is a great option for those who don’t want people to see the inside of their apartment. Then there’s Touch Up My Appearance, which is basically a filter that smooths out your skins, making you look more handsome for that important meeting.
As far as privacy is concerned, Zoom Meetings has you covered. It supports end-to-end encryption that makes sure no one can snoop on your meetings — not even the company itself.
How does Zoom work?
Zoom allows one-to-one chat sessions that can grow into group calls, training sessions and webinars for internal and external audiences, and 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 £10 ($15) – per month Zoom Room subscription):
Zoom Free: This tier is free and offers an unlimited number of meetings.
Group meetings with multiple participants are capped at 40 minutes in length, and meetings cannot be recorded.
Zoom: Zoom Pro costs £11.99 ($14.99) per month and meeting host
Zoom: Zoom Pro costs £11.99 ($14.99) per month and meeting host (Image: Zoom)
Zoom Pro: This tier costs £11.99 ($14.99) per month and meeting host.
Zoom Pro allows hosts to create personal meeting IDs for repetitive Zoom Meetings, as well as offering 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 (10 minimum).
Zoom Business lets users brand Zoom meetings with vanity URLs and company branding and offers transcripts of Zoom meetings recorded in the cloud, as well as dedicated customer support.
Zoom Enterprise: This tier costs £15.99 ($19.99) per month and per meeting host (100 minimum) and is meant for businesses with 1,000 plus employees.
Zoom Enterprise offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a customer success manager and discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms.
Zoom Rooms: Should you want to set 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, while webinars using Zoom cost £32 ($40) per month and host.
The Zoom desktop app is available for Windows and Apple macOS, while the mobile app is available for Android and iOS.
From there, users can begin or join a meeting and share their screens in a Zoom Room by entering the meeting ID, start Zoom Meetings.
Other options include mute/unmute the microphone, start/stop the video, inviting others to the meeting, editing the screen name, perform in-meeting chats, and start cloud recordings.
Zoom: Zoom Enterprise is designed for businesses with 1,000 plus employees
Zoom: Zoom Enterprise is designed for businesses with 1,000 plus employees (Image: Zoom)
Zoom desktop users can also start a local recording, create polls, broadcast your Facebook live on Facebook, and more.
To summarise, the Zoom desktop app is more fully-featured.
However, Zoom free users can still get a enjoy many benefits from the mobile app.
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Zoom security issues and updates:
A number of concerns have recently been raised about Zoom general security and issues with unwanted guests dubbed Zoombombers.
Zoom has made several attempts to counter these issues and reassure users about the importance of security and privacy.
This includes steps like removing the meeting ID from the title bar of the call so if users share screenshots online the meeting is not exposed to future abuse.
Zoom has also introduced the requirement for a password as default for Zoom meetings.
This, combined with virtual waiting rooms, ensures only those invited to the call are allowed access.
What is a Zoom Room?
Zoom Meetings isn’t the only service the company offers. It also has Zoom Rooms, which refers to the hardware setup (monitors, cameras…) required to launch Zoom Meetings in a company’s conference room.
Zoom Rooms are aimed at large companies.
The Zoom Rooms service requires an additional monthly fee ($49 per room) on top of what you’re already paying for the Zoom Meetings software. It includes what the company calls a Zoom Rooms Scheduling Display that’s used to view upcoming meetings and schedule new ones. Additionally, it comes with Digital signage that allows you to share images, videos, and URLs to the screens in a Zoom Room when you’re not using them for a Zoom meeting.
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A-Zoom Room is designed for larger companies with hundreds or even thousands of employees. It’s an expensive setup since you need to purchase the monitors, microphones, and all the other required hardware separately — you don’t get them included with the $49 monthly subscription. Those interested in the equipment needed and recommended by Zoom can head here to learn more.
There you have it — now you know what is Zoom Meetings and why so many companies are using it.