In the wake of offices, schools, and other in-person gatherings shutting down, Zoom quickly became a simple and popular solution to staying connected in a virtual world.
Zoom is similar to WebEx in function however has marked differences in features and accessibility. A basic free Zoom account grants the user the ability to host a meeting using all features, as long as the meeting lasts less than 45 minutes. The platform can also easily be used on most devices through the desktop and mobile application. Zoom security became an issue early on in the pandemic where “zoomers” or hackers were able to access meetings in session and “zoom bomb” these meetings with inappropriate imagery and disruption. This issue drove some users to search for a new, more secure solution, however an upgrade to their password protections stopped this issue in its tracks and brought some users back to the platform, however due to the breach occurring in the first place, many high security companies in fields such as medical and financial. Currently, Zoom and WebEx remain strong contenders in the choice of virtual meeting software for businesses. All video coming into the platform is converted to 720p and is pushed out to viewers the same way. Bandwidth use with this platform will depend on the number of participants in the meeting, and how many of them have their video displays on at once. Multi-participant or “Brady Bunch view”, active speaker, video pinning, and video spotlighting are available to create an exciting participation experience. Zoom also allows most users to choose a background (some computers require use of a green screen) and through third party applications also allow users to create an overlay for captions or speaker names/titles. Overall Zoom provides a clear and simple user experience and is one of the most popular virtual meeting solutions in use. Like many of the popular solutions, however, there is user-fatigue developing.
- Very similar to WebEx, but more flexible than most webinar meetings
- Hide participants without video feature for recording and broadcasting
- Live broadcast to Facebook Live available for pro members
- Recording to cloud or device options available.
- Strong spotlight and pinning features.
- Video backgrounds available for most users.
- Some manual control of background ambient noise
- Music playback from participants is choppy and unclear
- Previous security issues present uncertainty to users with sensitive information
- Multiple people speaking at once causes the overall audio to become choppy and unclear
- Some features that webinars depend on will not show correctly if any participant is on a different version than the host.
- Facebook livestream does not always properly connect.