What is Zoom? Explanation of basic usage, convenient functions, merits, and cooperation with other tools

Now that remote work is gradually spreading in Japan, many companies are now holding online meetings.

Among them, the introduction of the web conferencing tool “Zoom” is progressing, and if you are reading this article, you may have used it once. While it is very easy to use, many people may have problems such as “I don’t know what functions it has” or “I haven’t been able to make full use of it.”

This time, we will introduce the basic usage of Zoom, useful functions, advantages of introduction, and comparison with other tools .
As for “coordination with tools”, which is one of the convenient functions, we also briefly introduce the benefits of cooperation and the method of cooperation, so if you are having trouble using Zoom, please refer to it.


Table of Contents

What is Zoom?

What is Zoom?
Here, we will introduce the basics of Zoom, its history, and what you need when using it.


What is Zoom

Zoom is a web conferencing tool that supports various devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets . Various functions have been implemented so that meetings and seminars that were previously held offline can be held online without any problems.

Zoom is a tool operated by the American company Zoom Video Communications, Inc., and the service started in 2013.
In 2020, as remote work expands worldwide, the number of users has increased rapidly due to the easy-to-use interface and the ease of joining without registration, and in April 2020, the number of conference participants per day overlapped. exceeded 300 million.

Comparison with other web conferencing tools

In addition to Zoom, many web conferencing tools have appeared, and each has different functionality. This time, we will introduce a comparison with Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet from among the many web conferencing tools.

Comparison with Skype (Meet Now)
Skype is a famous messenger app, but it has released a web conferencing tool called Meet Now, which allows you to hold online meetings in the same way as Zoom.
The maximum number of participants in the free version is 100 for Zoom, 50 for Skype, and 50 for Zoom. The common points are that conference guests can participate without logging in, and that they can participate in a browser without an app.
On the other hand, the free version of Zoom imposes a 40-minute limit on meetings of three or more people, but Skype does not have such a limit.

Comparison with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is one of the chat tools for business and also has functions as a web conferencing tool.
The maximum number of participants in the free version is 100 for Zoom, and 300 for Microsoft Teams. The common points are that you can use the linkage with the calendar and the background blur / background change during the meeting.
On the other hand, Microsoft Teams can only record with the paid version of Zoom, and guest participants must log in.

Comparison with Google Meet
Google Meet is a service similar to Hangout’s group video function independent, and various functions can be used as a web conferencing tool. Hangouts is scheduled to end its service.
Zoom has the feature that you can participate in a meeting with just a browser, but Google Meet is a browser-based service, and it is characterized by being able to use all functions from the browser. The maximum number of participants in the free version is 100 people, and the ability to link calendars is common.
On the other hand, Google Meet does not allow you to blur the background or change the background, and there are restrictions on functions such as raising hands and reactions.

The chart below tabulates the features of the free versions of the three tools we compared. Please refer to it when considering which tool to introduce.

Benefits of using Zoom

Here are four benefits of using Zoom.

  1. Join meetings without a license
  2. Up to 1,000 people can participate in a web conference
  3. communication stability
  4. Works with various tools  

1. Meetings can be attended without an account registration license

In the case of Zoom, participants can join the meeting simply by clicking the URL without an account .
You don’t need an account if you just want to participate, but if you download the app and register an account, you can use various functions. If you want to use Zoom in the future, we recommend registering for an account.

Zoom has a free plan and a paid plan, and it is a good idea to register with the free plan first. Even if it is free, you can use the following functions.

  • One-to-one calls are available without time limits
  • Screen sharing and file transmission are possible
  • Up to 100 people can participate

2. Up to 1,000 people can participate in a web conference

You can hold meetings with up to 1,000 participants on the paid plan and up to 100 participants on the free plan.
In the case of the free plan, there is no time limit for 1:1, but if 3 or more people participate, there is a limit of up to 40 minutes.
We have the strength of being able to flexibly respond to the scale of online meetings and webinars.

3. Communication stability

The biggest problem when using a web conferencing tool is that the connection is cut off in the middle.
Zoom uses relatively little data traffic and tends to have stable communication .
In addition to the above, there are many useful functions that help meetings run smoothly, such as recording functions and various screen sharing functions.

4. Can work with various tools

Another feature of Zoom is that it can be used in conjunction with various external tools .
Tools that can be integrated include Google Calendar, Dropbox, Slack, and HubSpot. We will discuss these methods of cooperation in more detail later.

The advantage of linking these tools with completely different functionality is that it saves time and effort .
For example, in order to hold a meeting with Zoom, it is necessary to notify the participants of the URL, but if it is linked with Google Calendar, it can be automatically added to the schedule to reduce the hassle.

What you need when using Zoom

There are three things you need to use Zoom.

  1. Internet line
  2. Connected device (smartphone, computer, tablet)
  3. A webcam or laptop with built-in camera (unless you need to display video)

How to install Zoom

Since Zoom runs on a browser, participants do not need to install the Zoom app.
For the organizer, the app is essential, and for the participants, by installing the app, you can use convenient functions limited to the app.

To install the PC version application

To install the app on your PC, just follow the 3 steps below.

  1. Download the client app from the official website
  2. Download installer
  3. Create account

After the download is complete, launch the installer to start the installation.
After installation is complete, register an account on the Zoom official website.
Click the “Sign up is free” button in the upper right corner of the Zoom official website page to complete registration.

Install smartphone app

Installing the Zoom app on your smartphone is a two-step process.

  1. download the app
  2. Create account

Search for the Zoom app from the AppStore for iPhone or from GooglePlay for Android. Search for “Zoom” and download “Zoom Cloud Meetings”.
You can create an account from the official website in the same way as you would on a computer. Tap “Sign in” at the bottom of the top right menu to proceed with account registration.

Main functions commonly used in Zoom

The main functions of Zoom are the following seven.

  1. Web conferencing
  2. chat
  3. File transmission/reception
  4. screen sharing
  5. Web conference recording
  6. Business app linkage (paid plan)
  7. webinar

Let’s take a closer look at each feature.

1. Web conferencing

Zoom allows up to 1,000 people to participate in a meeting at once . And you can display video from up to 49 webcams on the screen .
All web conferences are encrypted, protected by passwords, and secured by waiting rooms that prevent outsiders from participating.

Web conferences can be recorded on a local terminal or in the cloud, so there is no need to prepare separate recording equipment.

2. Chat

The chat function allows you to exchange text information while holding a web conference.
It is characterized by being able to see the reactions of the participants in real time and making it easier to ask questions to the presenter.

You can have a one-on-one chat, or you can have a one-on-one private chat.
Since chats can be saved as history, it is also possible to review the chat log when compiling the minutes after the meeting.

3. Sending and receiving files

It is also possible to transfer files while holding a web conference .
If you want to hand over files during the meeting, you can send files such as PDFs and PowerPoints to other participants by following the steps below.

[Procedure for sending files]

  1. Open Zoom chat and select “Share files in meeting” from “File” at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. You can freely choose the source of the file from your computer, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc. This time, assuming that you are sending from your own computer, click “Computer”.
  3. Select a file on your computer and send it.

4. Screen sharing

With Zoom, you can have a web conference while sharing the screens of each other’s computers and smartphones.
When you click the “Screen Share” icon on the computer app, you can select the sharing window.
You can share the desktop, the screen of the open browser, the screen of your smartphone (you need to connect), etc.
There is also a function to share the “whiteboard” that can be used on Zoom, and if selected, participants can freely write text and illustrations.
If you want to play YouTube on your device and share the video and audio, check the “Share computer audio” checkbox.

Click the “^” icon to the right of the “Share Screen” icon to display the options menu.
“One participant can share at the same time” is set by default, and if you change it to “Multiple participants can share at the same time”, multiple participants can share their screens at once.
In “Advanced sharing options”, you can set restrictions on privileges, such as only the host can share the screen.

5. Record web conference

During the meeting, click the “Record” button at the bottom of the screen to start recording.

There are two recording types:

  1. Cloud Recording: Record to Zoom Cloud
  2. Local recording: Recorded on the hard disk of the computer

You can use Zoom on smartphones only with the app, and on the PC version you can use Zoom with a browser and an app, and the recording functions available for each are different .
When using cloud recording, pay attention to capacity.
At the first stage of the paid plan, the storage capacity is 1GB, and you can record about 3-4 hours . Organize your data regularly while keeping an eye on your remaining storage capacity.

6. Cooperation with other tools

Zoom can be linked with Slack, etc. You can start a Zoom meeting with a simple operation while using Slack.

In order to link the two apps, all of the following conditions must be met.

  • Use the same email address for your Zoom and Slack accounts
  • Zoom Pro, Business, Education, or API plan
  • Slack Approved for Zoom

You can also integrate with HubSpot .
For example, if you link with HubSpot’s meeting link function, you can set up a meeting very smoothly with the following flow.

  1. Send the meeting link issued by yourself to the other party
  2. A Zoom URL is automatically generated when the other party reserves a meeting from the link
  3. Both the other party and you will be notified of the meeting date and time and Zoom UR

7. Webinars

A webinar is a coined word that combines web and seminar and means a seminar held online.
The advantages of “video webinar”, which is one of the functions of Zoom, are as follows.

  • Invite up to 10,000 people
  • Participant’s remarks can be controlled by the host
  • Two-way communication can be achieved because Q&A can be handled via chat.

How to connect Zoom with other tools

As I introduced earlier, Zoom is also characterized by being more convenient to use by linking with external tools.
Here, we will introduce how to integrate with Google Calendar, Dropbox, Slack, TimeRex, and HubSpot.

How to link with Google Calendar

Google offers a variety of web tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, G Drive, Docs, and more.
Zoom can be linked with Google Calendar and G Drive.
Here, we will introduce how to link with Google Calendar.

Advantages of linking with Google Calendar
By linking Zoom and Google Calendar, you can create a web conference schedule from Zoom.
With Zoom alone, it is necessary to issue a web conference URL and notify the participants, but if it is linked with Google Calendar, participants can join the conference by simply clicking from the schedule.

Linking procedure
To link Zoom and Google Calendar, click “Configure calendar and contact services” from the “Profile” page of the Zoom management screen.

Next, select “Google” from the service selection, select the Google account of the calendar to be linked, and approve the request for access from Zoom to Google to complete the linkage.

How to link with Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the leading online storage services.
You can use 2GB of online storage even for free, and you can use features such as large capacity straight and advanced security with the business plan.

Advantages of linking with Dropbox
By linking Zoom and Dropbox, files saved in Dropbox can be easily imported into Zoom and shared with participants in the web conference . In addition, it is possible to save recording data of Zoom to Dropbox at the same time .
You can even start a Zoom web conference from Dropbox, allowing file collaborators to make quick decisions.

Linking procedure
To link Zoom and Dropbox, log in to Dropbox, access this page, and click “Link with Zoom”.

Since such a dialog box will appear, cooperation will be completed if you proceed according to the procedure such as granting access.

How to integrate with Slack

Slack is one of the leading business chat tools. You can create groups with internal teams and business partners and have chat-based interactions.

Advantages of linking with Slack
By linking Zoom and Slack, you can start a Zoom web conference from Slack, so you can seamlessly transition from a chat conversation to a meeting .
Also, if a Zoom web conference is scheduled, you can notify participants from Slack and have them join immediately.

Linking procedure
To link, first authorize Slack from Zoom. Since there is Slack in the Zoom marketplace , pre-authorize from “Visit site to install”.
Next, install the Zoom app on your Slack workspace. Click this page to access the page in the image above, so click “Add to Slack” to allow Zoom to access Slack.

Open the Slack workspace, select “Zoom” from the left sidebar, click “Authorize Zoom” and allow access to complete the collaboration.

How to work with TimeRex

TimeRex is a tool for business that can automatically adjust schedules.
In addition to being able to coordinate schedules in conjunction with Google Calendar, etc., you can also adjust meeting schedules and travel times.

Advantages of linking with TimeRex
By linking Zoom and TimeRex, you can set up a Zoom meeting from the TimeRex schedule adjustment page, and when the adjustment is completed, the Zoom URL will be automatically issued .
In addition to displaying this URL in TimeRex, it is also displayed in the linked calendar, so it is possible to start the web conference smoothly after adjusting the schedule with the participants.

Linking procedure
To link Zoom and TimeRex, access this page while logged in to TimeRex and click “Link”.

Click “Authorize” to your Zoom account on the next page to complete the linkage.
If you have not yet received pre-approval from Zoom, you can obtain pre-approval and authorize from this page.

How to integrate with HubSpot

HubSpot offers a variety of tools to grow your business, starting with a free CRM .

Advantages of linking with HubSpot
By linking Zoom and HubSpot, you can automatically add participants to your HubSpot contact information when you hold a webinar on Zoom.
Registered contact information can be segmented by the number of webinar participants and attendance time, etc., so detailed follow-up and nurturing tailored to each user can be performed.
HubSpot also integrates with Google Calendar, so once you book a web conference , you can automate most of the process from notifying attendees .

Integration procedure
To integrate Zoom and HubSpot, you need HubSpot’s super administrator privileges and Zoom’s administrator privileges, but the procedure is very simple.
First, go to the Marketplace page in HubSpot and click Visit App Marketplace.
Search for Zoom linkage from the search, click “Connect to Zoom”, sign in to Zoom, and allow access to complete the linkage.

For detailed instructions on how to integrate Zoom and HubSpot, please see the page below.

Summary: Understand the basics of Zoom and actively use it

Zoom is specialized for business purposes such as online meetings and webinars, and has a full range of functions that allow meetings to proceed smoothly compared to conventional online chat tools .
It has a lot of features, but you don’t have to try to use them all. Explore each variation of screen sharing to broaden your understanding and learn how to use the features appropriately for the purpose of your meeting.

Zoom is a well-thought-out tool for smooth communication online. Let’s use Zoom while exploring how we can have meaningful discussions with the participants in front of us in a limited amount of time .

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