Google Meet, Slack, Microsoft Teams and More: Video Conference Apps That Are Alternatives To Zoom
According to CEO Eric Yuan, participants on the Zoom platform increased from 10 million in December 2019 to around 200 million in March 2020. The platform's popularity has, in no doubt, significantly grown since worldwide stay-at-home policies have been rolled out due to the on-going health crisis.
Admittedly, Zoom offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface that easily makes it a go-to platform. However, its biggest strength—which is ease of access—has also proven to be its weakness. Due to its accessible meeting rooms, an act called "Zoom bombing" became popular. Uninvited users could easily type in random meeting IDs and interrupt what could easily have been a formal meeting. In a recent live-streamed meeting hosted by Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, a random background suddenly showed-up disrupting what was an otherwise important update on the city's affairs. This case is not unique. The New York Times has chronicled similar occurrences in the US as early as March of this year.
Zoom has since updated their privacy policies and is currently working on new security updates. Still, if all this rings bothersome to your ears, fear not for there are many alternatives to the Zoom platform that you ought to give a try. We round-up some of the most recommended video conferencing apps here:
1/5 Google Meet
Remember Google Hangouts? Well, Google Meet is now the brand's new and improved answer to the video conferencing demands of today. While Hangouts has long been a staple amongst Google's offerings since 2013, the brand has slowly transitioned this platform to Google Meet. While Hangouts is still available today, many of its high-grade features have been reallocated to the Meet platform—a powerful video conferencing programme that still carries the signature user-friendly interface that all Google products share. However, to host meetings, your account must be a corporate one; personal Google accounts can only join meetings.
Try it out here: meet.google.com.
Like Google Meet, Slack's full features—including group conferencing—are available through an upgraded account. Once you get a hold of yours, a plethora of cool features await. This includes sharing your screen with drawing capabilities for participants, file storage up to 1 Terabyte per team member, multiple channels, and much more. As opposed to Zoom, Slack is not only limited to video conferencing. It's a multi-use group communication platform which is best for connecting teams across countries or cities.
More about Slack here: slack.com
3/5 Microsoft Teams
For those who are familiar and prefer the Microsoft interface, Teams is now the brand's replacement for their earlier run of Skype for Business. Teams has been largely used for online teaching and collaborative team interfacing. It features Outloook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint integration, storage through OneDrive, and file sharing for up to 1 Terabyte per user. If you're looking for a platform that can easily bring together Microsoft users, then Teams is your best bet!
Check out which plan suits you best: microsoft.com/teams.
Bluejeans offers a large array of features even just for their standard membership. This includes an impressive Dolby Voice audio setting, whiteboarding and annotation, smart meeting highlights/ summaries, randomised meeting IDs and passcodes, and even fraud detection. This platform also offers event capabilities which will help you bring togethers like-minded people through your online enterprise. A great fit for corporate video conferencing and remote team work, Bluejeans could be your next go-to VC programme!
Find out more here: store.bluejeans.com.
Cisco boasts of a sleek look and seamless user-interface that is optimised for both mobile and desktop usage. Like other platforms on this list, it offers full features for a price, however, you can still check out the full-rage of benefits through their 90-day free trial. Cisco video conferencing includes automatic transcription which you can edit and polish after your meeting—a definite plus for creating reports or minutes of the meeting. It also features built-in productivity apps that will help you and your teammates keep track of daily deliverables.
Avail of their free full-feature trial here: cisco.com/free-offer.
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