Zoom is a cloud-based video communications application that allows users to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities. Zoom supports Linux, iOS, Windows, and Android platforms.
- Virtual background: Users can set virtual backgrounds to hide clutter, eliminate distracts, or highlight branding.
- Calendar integration: The application comes with both a Scheduler Extension and Plug-In for Outlook depending on your needs to use with an existing calendar system. With it, users can easily make a meeting a “Zoom meeting.”
- Waiting room: For increased security, participants can be held in a virtual waiting area. The host can admit participants one by one or all at once.
- Screen sharing: Multiple users can share their screens at the same time.
- Appearance improvement: Zoom includes a “Touch-up My Appearance” setting that applies a soft focus across the screen for those wishing to improve their video appearance.
What is zoombombing?
Zoombombing refers to the unwanted and disruptive intrusion of people into a video conference call. In a typical zoombombing incident, a session is hijacked by a user who has gained access to the session without being invited and inserts materials that are lewd, obscene, racist, or antisemitic in nature, resulting in the session shutting down. Zoombombing was prevalent at the beginning of 2020, when the COVID pandemic created a boom in sessions. Now, the company has implemented password-protected calls, diminishing unauthorized access.
Zoom offers four pricing tiers:
- Free: The free version offers unlimited meetings, up to 100 participants on a video call, and a 40-minute maximum group meeting time. Meetings cannot be recorded.
- Pro: The first of three paid options. Hosts can create personal meeting IDs for recurring Zoom meetings. Meetings can be recorded and have a 24-hour maximum group meeting time.
- Business: The second of three paid options. Meetings can be branded with vanity URLs and company branding. Recordings can be transcribed and stored in the cloud. The Business option also comes with customer support.
- Enterprise: The third and most expensive of three paid options. This plan is meant for businesses with 1,000+ employees. It offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Room.