Do you need to be zooming?

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

It’s Spring 2020 and people’s lives in all parts of the world are being affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic.

The short and medium term effects, including changes in how we use technology, are likely to go on for some months.

The long term effects will go on for years.

Video conferencing using Zoom

In our sector, people who never used video conferencing before this pandemic are having to suddenly get their heads around the various platforms in order to have meetings, deliver services, keep helping their beneficiaries.

Zoom, a platform developed for business purposes, for big organisations with IT departments, seems to have become the goto platform. At the end of April 2020 more than 300m people were logging on to use it every day.

Internet evangelist and social videographer John Popham observed about the Zoom phenomenon:

And this is where we come in with some more information about alternatives to Zoom.

Most people will have heard of these others of course, but it might be a good reminder of what they can do, and a chance to reconsider which platform is most suited to our needs.

No IT department?

If you’re not a big organisation with an IT department, other video calling options as alternatives to Zoom are available:

Google Hangouts Meet – free group video call with up to 10 people, group chats (typing text) for up to 150 people – here’s a good article about how to use hangouts including how it works if you don’t have a Google account

Skype – free group video call with up to 50 people, available even if you don’t have a Skype account

WhatsApp video – free group video call with up to 4 people, available if everyone has the WhatsApp app on their phone