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How To Use Video Conferencing Apps For Your Virtual Workplace

How To Use Video Conferencing Apps For Your Virtual Workplace

By Dave GrendzynskiMar 24 /2020

If you’re one of the millions of people sitting in your new virtual workplace wondering how to do video conferencing, don’t fret. The coronavirus outbreak is prompting many people to get out of their comfort zone. But with the help of my colleague and video-conferencing extraordinaire John Hansel, we’d like to show you some free and easy-to-use meeting options that can help you to adjust.

7 Video Conferencing Apps for Your Virtual Workplace

1. Facebook Messenger

To get started video conferencing with Facebook Messenger, all you need to do is

  1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select the contact you want to chat with.
  3. Tap the video camera icon located in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to start your call.

Facebook Messenger-1

Once you’re in the app, it’s easy to use. As you can see in the image, there are buttons to do the following:

  • Start your video (so the person you’re talking to can see you)
  • Mute/unmute
  • Share your screen
  • Manage participants
  • Go full screen (button in the upper right corner)
  • End the call

2. Zoom

If you’d like to use Zoom for a video conference call, just open the Zoom desktop app (there’s also an app for your phone) and join a meeting using one of these methods:

  • Click “Join a Meeting” if you want to join without signing in.
  • Sign in to Zoom then click “Join”.

Zoom-1

Once you’re in, you’ll see that Zoom has a similar setup to Facebook Messenger, but with slight differences. You’ll see all of your options running left to right across the bottom of the screen.

The difference between Zoom and Facebook Messenger is the lineup of the buttons. In Zoom, they go in the following order:

  • Mute/unmute
  • Start your video (if you don’t, you can upload an image of yourself)
  • Invites
  • Manage participants
  • Share your screen
  • Chatbox (to send messages to attendees during the call)
  • Record (to share the recording after the call)

On the right-hand side of the screen is where you will see yourself and the people you’re talking to. Everybody gets their own little box.

Additionally, Zoom has lifted time limits for call sessions following the coronavirus outbreak in China.

3. WebEx

WebEx is very similar to Zoom for video conferencing. You’ll see the participant on the right-hand side of the screen again. It will show you who the host of the meeting is and that’s where you’ll see who’s participating in the meeting.

Webex-1

On the bottom, from left to right, you’ll see your list of options. Everything from mute/unmute to end the meeting. You can also do things like screen sharing, pause your video, and record.

4. GoToMeeting

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? GoToMeeting is a “go-to” for a lot of companies. The video conferencing software provides a meeting room with many of the same options you’ll find in Zoom.

GoTo Meeting-1

The two are very similar, it’s more about which one you’re most comfortable with.

5. Skype

Many people started their virtual workplace on Skype years ago and are very comfortable with the platform.

Skype-1

Since it was one of the first video call options, it’s safe to say that the newer ones followed its lead. You’ll see many of the same features we’ve talked about in other apps.

6. Duo

Google makes things a little easier by providing us with Duo. Think of it as FaceTime for people with Androids or on Chrome. If you work from home and need something for your mobile device, try this one out. I use it. It’s easy.

Google DUO-1

The only difference is that your options are listed at the top of your screen.

7. Google Hangouts

Google is making the premium features of its Hangouts video-conferencing platform free for all users until July 1. This is to help businesses and schools operate seamlessly from home, under coronavirus-induced social distancing.

Premium features of Google Hangouts include having 250 participants per call, live streaming to up to 100,000 viewers, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.

Google Hangouts-1

You can see it offers many of the same features as the other video conferencing solutions we’ve talked about, but you’re given the option to turn on captions.

We’re Here To Help With Video Communications

The truth is, most video conferencing platforms are generally the same. It comes down to which virtual conference room you’re most comfortable with.

If you’re having trouble, drop me or John Hansel a line. We’d be happy to help you (and your virtual team) get started.

Video Marketing

The Author

Dave Grendzynski

With a background in broadcast news and corporate communications, Dave blends his experience to create content for many platforms. As a news manager and producer, Dave learned what it takes to tell a good story and hit his target audience. He also helped to develop a brand and build it from the ground up. Working in Corporate Communications taught him how to share a company's story without losing sight of it's narrative. You can connect with Dave via LinkedIn.
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