What is Zoom?

What is Zoom? Here’s what you need to know about the popular video conferencing platform and learn whether or not it's safe to use

What is Zoom - someone using a mobile phone to make a video call

Zoom fast became a buzzword during the coronavirus pandemic for keeping its users connected. But, what is Zoom? Maybe you haven’t used it, maybe you have but you’d like to know more, or maybe you’re just intrigued to find out what this ‘Zoom’ is that everyone is talking about.

This guide has everything you need to know about the video conferencing platform. While it was established way back in 2011, the app saw a global rise in 2020 for its ability to connect friends, family, and most prominently colleagues together when they were working from home.

Its rise in fame can be attributed to a few things but namely, its ease of use as well as its wide array of features such as screen sharing, private chat, and breakout rooms offer something unique for users wanting to experience chat in a more professional way. Plus, it was great for those online pandemic quizzes.

What is Zoom?

Zoom allows users to join virtual rooms where they can chat via video, audio, or both. During the coronavirus, the platform saw huge growth given that it not only enables teams big and small to speak in one place but it also includes features such as file-sharing, screen-sharing, text chat, and the possibility to record meetings.

Whilst the app is free to use on both desktop and mobile, it also includes a number of paid plans that offer a variety of additional features. The free-to-use version still allows for unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants, although these are capped at 40-minutes in length. Users can also break off into smaller rooms before returning to the main room to enable more intimate discussions or group work.

What is Zoom - a Zoom call on a laptop with nine different people on the screen

Is Zoom safe?

As always with chat apps, the concern arises over whether the platform is safe. Security and privacy became an issue for Zoom when unknown users practised what they called ‘Zoombombing’ or performing a Zoom raid where a Zoom link would become shared in a public forum bringing unwanted attendees to the meeting.

When using Zoom, it’s important to utilise their safety features such as setting a meeting room password and keeping it private, enabling the waiting room function meaning you can vet users trying to join, lock the meeting once attendees have joined, and moderate the discussion with options such as muting individual users and banning group or private chats. All these features aim to improve Zoom’s overall safety for users.

How do I download Zoom?

Zoom can easily be downloaded for both desktop and mobile. For mobile downloads, it’s worth checking out our informative Zoom download on Android and iOS guide that details the steps you need to operate the platform from your phone. You don’t necessarily need a Zoom account to join a meeting as a participant, but it’s always good to have your account ready and it’s free to download, so why not?