As the UK continues to be on lockdown, many organisations that remain open for business are taking advantage of video conferencing options to communicate because, well, why wouldn’t you?
From established Microsoft brands such as Teams and Skype, to platforms which had an overnight success like Zoom and Houseparty, consumers are most certainly spoiled for choice when it comes to video-based platforms.
In this week’s blog we’re delving into the good, bad, and ugly of the most popular video-communication platforms for UK businesses’. This should support you with your exploration of different systems in the lead up to selecting one which works best for your type of business.
The good: Microsoft Teams is an effective tool for business. Launched in 2017, Teams saw its global daily user count rise more than 37% during March, from 32 million to 44 million. It allows up to 250 people in a meeting or 10,000 viewers through a feature which allows users to deliver a presentation. Files can be easily shared too.
The bad: Teams is primarily aimed at businesses, or “teams” such as within charities and the education sector. Individual access can be granted via Skype.
The ugly: Even though individual users can access Microsoft Teams via Skype, they do need to download the app – unlike Zoom, where those using the software can gain access through a web browser.
The good: Zoom is user-friendly. It’s easy to understand and has been a popular hit for millions of people for all sorts of video-based communication – from staff meetings through to virtual quiz evenings with friends. It’s an effective tool if you aren’t intending to discuss anything in confidence and the company promise to address its security faults.
The bad: Serious issues with privacy and security. Hackers have been known to drop racist language and violent threats known as “Zoom bombings” and have become an issue for many of its users. It was also discovered that Zoom sends data from users of its Apple iOS app to Facebook for advertising purposes. Not good!
The ugly: In a nutshell – poor publicity has broken the trust for many potential users… but we’re not discouraging people to explore the option for themselves!
The good: Free for Apple users, there’s no need to download an app to use FaceTime. It’s also known for strong encryption where Apple cannot see what is being shared during the call.
The bad: If you’re not using an Apple device – you can’t use FaceTime. There’s also a limit of 32 users per call.
The ugly: Even though Apple have toughened up on their privacy and security – there continues to be stigma from many individuals over FaceTime but again, that’s for you to decide for yourself.
The good: This free-to-use platform is pretty slick and simple.
The bad: Google already holds a lot of data for its users. So, if you’re going to use Google Hangouts, beware they will have the opportunity to gather more information about you. Even though up to 150 people can participate in a chat at once – only 25 participants can be in the video call.