Zoom

Professional video chat service created to facilitate online conferences and meetings on a large scale

9

38739 Votes

Zoom has quickly become one of the most ubiquitous apps for video conferencing — and while it's far from the first video conferencing service, it manages to excel thanks to its reliability and the full range of features packed in. But its success largely comes down to how well it scales. Whether you're looking for a free and easy way to get in touch with your family across the country or a cheap option that can work for enterprise-level conference calls, Zoom offers a solution that's reliably tailored to your demands.

There isn't a big overarching gimmick behind Zoom, but there are a lot of small and iterative inclusions that make it such a popular choice for video conferencing. Meeting invites can be sent out as a simple clickable link, or it can be shared as a simple room code. There's even the option to call in to a Zoom meeting using a traditional phone number, making it an exceptional choice for older and less technologically savvy users. That also makes it very simple to use Zoom for meetings where you're trying to get as much attendance as possible.

There's a good amount of flexibility for the room hosts and administrators when it comes to how much control is given. Hosts can assign their own administrations for specific meetings, and they're given full control over who has rights to screen sharing, chatting, and other functions like the whiteboard. These can even be flipped on and off to support shifting conditions in creative meetings.

In Zoom parlance, each meeting is considered a "room", but each of these rooms can have a wide variety of different sub-rooms associated with them as well. These breakout rooms are a great choice for when you need to segment off an existing meeting, and it's one of the reasons that Zoom is an especially sensible choice for classroom settings.

No matter how big your Zoom meeting is, it's not hard to get whomever involved you need to. The chat serves as a way to discuss what's happening in the meeting without interrupting the room, but sharing your own audio and video is as simple as clicking on a button. Of course, owners have ultimate privileges over who can speak and can even mute specific users manually. Fortunately, the inclusion of a hands up system allows participants to grab the attention of the host without interrupting what they're saying and doing.

Zoom is generally a professionally-oriented video conferencing app, and that means it's not as rich with filters and other fun effects like Snapchat. That said, there's a decent amount of variety for personalizing your experience. Users can create their own backgrounds, and these can even take the form of animated GIFs. Zoom isn't doing much especially new, but their take on video conferencing gets most of the fundamentals just right.

Pros:

  • Free plan offers a whole lot
  • Great variety of features
  • Very easy to join meetings

Cons:

  • Some worries about privacy and security

Highest-Rated Features:

  1. Screen Sharing
  2. Presentations
  3. Desktop Application

Lowest-Rated Features:

  1. Browser Application
  2. Whiteboarding
  3. One-Click Join
Company
Zoom Video Communications
HQ Location
San Jose, CA
Year Founded
2011
  • Basic: Free
  • Pro: $14.99
Top 3 Zoom Alternatives

GoToMeeting

Video conferencing built for business meetings and combined with in-client chat and screen sharing options

Google Hangouts Meet

Video meeting software with tons of features to help connect coworkers and remote teams across the globe

BlueJeans Meetings

A digital meeting platform that includes collaborating tools for working online with your coworkers