What is Zoom? A comprehensive guide to the wildly popular video-chatting service for computers and smartphones

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Even if you don’t work from home, you’ve probably heard of Zoom.

In light of the coronavirus crisis, the videoconferencing app has become the standard for connecting with others face-to-face virtually in both business and personal settings.

Zoom is now the video communication platform of choice for federal governments, tech startups, religious communities, and of course regular people looking to chat — and even party — with their friends and family.

Here’s everything you need to know about Zoom, including how to download it and get started, along with a few tips and tricks to help you become a video-chatting pro.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a cloud-based video communications app that allows you to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities.

You don’t need an account to attend a Zoom meeting, and the platform is compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, meaning nearly anyone can access it.

Of course video-conferencing apps aren’t new. Zoom is just one in a long line of communication tools that include Skype, Cisco Webex, and Google Meet. For example, here’s a quick look at how Zoom compares to Google Meet, Google’s videoconferencing platform for businesses:

In short, a big part of Zoom’s appeal is simplicity. It’s easy to get started, the app is lightweight, and the interface is relatively intuitive to use with popular features like Gallery View — a mode that allows you to see every person on the call at once — built right into the app.

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How to get Zoom

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that the platform offers four distinct pricing plans, from basic to enterprise. What’s right for you depends on how you plan to use the app.

Zoom Basic: This is the platform’s most popular pricing tier, which makes sense, considering it’s free. This tier offers unlimited one-on-one meetings, but videoconferencing with more than three participants is limited to 40 minutes (you can always start another one). If you plan to use it only every once in a while to chat with friends or family, check out our general overview of Zoom’s basic features.

Zoom Pro: The Pro plan is ideal if you work with a small team or plan to regularly conduct extended video calls. Beyond extending the group meeting length from 40 minutes to 24 hours, this tier allows hosts to create IDs for recurring meetings and the capability to store recorded meetings in the cloud, plus advanced usage reports. 

Zoom Business: A pricing plan to make collaboration easy for small to midsize companies, the Business tier requires at least 10 hosts. But what you get in return is company branding on all invites, dedicated customer support and more features like auto-generated transcription. 

Zoom Enterprise: This tier is designed for large businesses and sign-up requires a minimum of least 100 hosts. Enterprise offers plenty of perks, including unlimited cloud storage, a dedicated …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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