ZOOM Cloud Meetings
ZOOM Cloud Meetings is an application for instant messaging and holding online video conferences. It was launched in 2013 by Zoom Video Communications, Inc. As for today, it is one of the most popular tools for video conferencing.
Up to 1000 people can join a video meeting in ZOOM, and among them, up to 49 will have their videos displayed on the screen. During the meeting, several people can share their screens at the same time. There are also special tools for adding annotations and comments to the content which is being shared. To invite a person to a meeting, you will need to provide them with a meeting ID and a passcode, or an invitation link.
Alongside the meetings, ZOOM allows creating a public or private chat channel.
In the free version of ZOOM, the number of meeting participants is limited to 100, and the duration of the conference hosted from this version of the app can be no longer than 40 min (the time restriction does not apply to one-to-one calls though).
In prepaid subscription versions, the number of participants differs depending on the plan. Most of them have an additional option for transcribing and/or recording the meetings. Those records can be stored either locally or in the cloud. As for chats, the history is basically searchable, and it’s archived for 10 years, regardless of version.
Besides that, for all versions, you can schedule your ZOOM conferences with Outlook, iCal and Gmail.
As Zoom became extremely popular during the coronavirus outbreak, there were numerous cases of hacker attacks that revealed some serious flaws in the security system and resulted in a loss of credibility among users. So by the beginning of summer 2020 the developer company added 100 new features to ZOOM, which eliminated most of previous problems, and such updates are still in progress. End-to-end encryption is now possible for paid versions, but its implementation as a default for the free version is still under question.
Overall score: 8/10
ZOOM Cloud Meetings could certainly become a useful tool for those who need to hold meetings online. Its interface is simple and functional enough, and levels of security seem to be satisfactory in case you are not dealing with highly confidential materials. But the time limitations in free version group calls can be quite uncomfortable.
- Convenient screen-sharing and related tools
- Ability to record and transcript sessions
- Constant security updates
- 40-minute limit for group meeting (free version)
- No end-to-end encryption (free version)