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.
To get started video conferencing with Facebook Messenger, all you need to do is
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The two are very similar, it’s more about which one you’re most comfortable with.
Many people started their virtual workplace on Skype years ago and are very comfortable with the platform.
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.
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.
The only difference is that your options are listed at the top of your screen.
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.
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.
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.