With the current COVID-19 isolation restrictions in place, I want to make sure everyone has heard of a video conferencing package called Zoom which is by far one of the best and easiest solutions around.
What Is Zoom?
Zoom is a cloud based video conferencing platform that be used for video or just audio conferencing meetings with lots of great features including Zoom Meetings which simply refers to a meeting that is hosted using Zoom and attendees can join the meeting in-person, via webcam or video conferencing camera, or via their smartphone. You do not need to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting but you have to have an account to create a meeting.
Is Zoom Free?
Yes, there is a free account available that is perfect to test out Zoom and for most home users or smaller businesses, is all you need. The free account will let you to hold unlimited number of meetings but group meetings are capped at 40 minutes and cannot be recorded.
Otherwise, there are paid options Zoom Pro, Zoom Business and Zoom Enterprise, you can find out more here: https://zoom.us/pricing
To get started on a computer, you can sign up and download Zoom using your email address.
What Devices Can I use Zoom on
Zoom works on:
How To Invite People To Your Zoom Meeting
Once you have a Zoom account, you can invite people to a Zoom meeting a few different ways.
- On the desktop app, if you click the “Copy Invitation” button on the screen, a message with your Zoom meeting’s URL, ID, and phone dial-in information will be copied to your clipboard that you can drop in an email or a text message.
- On the mobile app, when you tap the “Send Invitation” button, you’ll be presented with three options: “Send Message,” which will let you text your meeting URL to someone; “Send Email,” which will open up an email with your meeting’s information; or “Copy to Clipboard,” which will copy your Zoom meeting’s URL and meeting ID to your phone’s clipboard.
You can also invite people to your meeting while you’re already in it:
- Click the “Copy Invitation” button on the screen
- A message with your Zoom meeting’s URL, ID, and phone dial-in information will be copied to your clipboard that you can drop in an email or a text message
- Tap the “Send Invitation” button
- You will be presented with three options:
- “Send Message,” which will let you text your meeting URL to someone
- “Send Email,” which will open up an email with your meeting’s information
- “Copy to Clipboard,” which will copy your Zoom meeting’s URL and meeting ID to your phone’s clipboard
Virtual Background Feature
One great feature of Zoom is the virtual background that lets you use a still image or a video in the background to hide what is really going on behind you or just a messy room!
Note: This feature is quite demanding on hardware and normally requires an Intel i5 or higher to work.
To use the Virtual background feature on a Mac or PC, do the following:
- Open up your Zoom client
Click on the gear “Setup” icon on the upper-right corner
- Select “Virtual Background” in the left-hand menu
- Zoom will provided some sample backgrounds which you can click on the one you would like to use or if you would rather supply your own background, click on the plus sign above and to the left of the sample backgrounds, choose an image from your computer and add it
If your computer isn’t capable of handling a virtual background without a physical green screen, you will get a warning and be urged to check the “I have a green screen” box below the sample images.