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Video web conferencing service Zoom has been one of the largest growing companies this year. As people have had to adjust to remote working or stay away from close family and friends during lockdown, the ‘zoom boom’ has seen around 12 million people use the platform each month and the company storm to a valuation fo $42 billion.

However, despite its popularity and its rapid adoption into the English dictionary and phrasing of ‘We’ll do a zoom call’ - there are many people who find Zoom tricky to use and for some, it causes more problems than benefits.

Why do people not like zoom?

For starters, you have to download zoom on a desktop, tablet or mobile device for it to work, which might seem very simple for the average millennial, but is not as straightforward for those less accustomed to the Internet, especially senior citizens.

In addition, the use of unique links and codes to enter a chat make it a challenge for those who are not web savvy or who struggle to access their emails browser and use another device at the same time, such as a tablet or phone. 

When calls do not work, it is common for the host to send a new login and request, which often calls further confusion.

In addition, when a group call is set up, it is common for some people to struggle to log in and this causes many to jump on the call 5, 10 or 15 minutes later than expected, reducing overall productivity.

What alternatives to Zoom are available?

Zoom is not the only web conferencing tool out there. There were many players before Zoom and new ones continue to pop up - and there are some very useful Zoom alternatives available.

Some of the earlier group video calling platforms included Skype, where you just need to know the Skype name of someone to be able to speak to them, run a video call, chat and add additional contacts if need be.

Some of the earliest players in the market including join.me and Whereby (formerly appear.in). For Whereby, you sign up and are given an individual link with your name on it - and you simply send this link to your guests and it is the same every time. This saves you hassle on trying to download an app or enter PIN codes, and you can also customise your background and record calls. Whereby is free to use for 1 meeting room and one-on-one meetings, but you will pay a $9.99 per month to upgrade to 3 meeting rooms and to have extra people on the call, with the business package at $59.99 per month to have multiple users, admins and rooms with over 50 people.

For free versions, you can look at Google Meet and Google Hangout, where the latter only requires you and your participants to have a Gmail account.

When it comes down to it, you need to find the right video conferencing tool for you. For speaking to close family members and friends, even using WhatsApp or Skype can be a good option. But when it comes to have a group meeting for work purposes or a presentation, you may need to find a tool that can allow multiple people to log on easily, share documents and screen-share - and this is where a more professional tool like Google Meet, Join.Me or Whereby might be a better option.


Not a fan of Zoom? There are alternatives you can use
Digital Mag

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