Introduction to Zoom

What is Zoom?

Zoom is one of the leading cloud-based (online) video conferencing software apps. It enables you to virtually meet with friends and families or co-workers when in-person meetings aren’t possible, and it has been hugely successful for social and online events, too. You can speak with others by either video, audio, and/or message using the live chat feature.

Zoom is an American company founded in 2019 that provides a wide range of virtual meeting tools to allow you to connect with users from around the world. After being founded in 2019, it saw incredible growth due to lockdown restrictions from the pandemic and as a result has become a household name in virtually connecting people.

For more free tutorials on Zoom, visit their help page for a huge list of help articles to get you using Zoom to its maximum.

A screenshot of the productivity app Asana used in Zoom.   Image Credit: ANTHONY BOYD GRAPHICS/ZOOM

Zoom provides both free and paid plans, for more information on these visit Zoom’s plans & pricing page.

How does Zoom Work?

Zoom allows one-to-one chat sessions that can grow into group calls, training sessions and webinars for internal and external audiences, and global video meetings with up to 1,000 participants and as many as 49 on-screen videos. The free tier allows unlimited one-on-one meetings but limits group sessions to 40 minutes and 100 participants. Paid plans start at $15 per month per host.

Zoom offers four pricing tiers (not including a Zoom Room subscription):

  1. Zoom Free: This tier is free. You can hold an unlimited number of meetings. Group meetings with multiple participants are capped at 40 minutes in length, and meetings can’t be recorded.
  2. Zoom Pro: This tier costs $14.99/£11.99 per month and meeting host. It allows hosts to create personal meeting IDs for repetitive Zoom Meetings, and it allows meeting recording in the cloud or your device, but it caps group meeting durations at 24 hours.
  3. Zoom Business: This tier costs $19.99/£15.99 per month and meeting host (10 minimum). It lets you brand Zoom meetings with vanity URLs and company branding, and it offers transcripts of Zoom meetings recorded in the cloud, as well as dedicated customer support.
  4. Zoom Enterprise: This tier costs $19.99/£15.99 per month and per meeting host (100 minimum) and is meant for businesses with 1,000+ employees. It offers unlimited cloud storage for recordings, a customer success manager, and discounts on webinars and Zoom Rooms.
  5. Optional – Zoom Rooms: If you want to set up Zoom Rooms, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, after which Zoom Rooms require an additional $49/£39 per month and room subscription, while webinars using Zoom cost $40/£32 per month and host.

Zoom’s Main Features

Here are Zoom’s core features:

  1. One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings even with the free plan.
  2. Group video conferences: Host up to 500 participants (if you purchase the “large meeting” add-on). The free plan, however, allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.
  3. Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and share your screen with them so they can see what you see. 
  4. Recording: You can record your meetings or events too.