It seems the Coronavirus has changed our world forever, in more ways than one. Businesses have been forced to adapt to telecommuting and off-site work locations to maintain social distancing. Due to this, traditional workplaces and in-person meetings have been scrapped for new alternatives.
Insert the age of online meetings through digital mediums such as Zoom and others. The migration to exclusive online business has not been without its problems. Zoom has been in trouble for their multiple data breaches and technical issues. Due to these serious concerns, business leaders have been on the lookout for Zoom alternatives to meet their business needs.
In addition to business needs, influencers and marketers routinely used Zoom in the past to offer pay per view webinars to clients and potential customers. Platforms that allow for monetization for instructional sessions generally charge a flat fee for their service. However, new companies are quickly coming on board with offering their digital marketing platforms on a free or donation basis.
This article will explain in detail the best free alternatives to Zoom to take advantage of this online age to skyrocket productivity, increase sales, and skyrocket productivity.
Symposium is the literal definition of Social Commerce, “commercializing social and professional interaction.” People who are seeking specialized interaction with professionals can search for listings from an individual/company, book a meeting, and pay for the exchange in one spot.
This is a unique offering, completely different than Zoom and more sophisticated for consultants, entrepreneurs, instructors, influencers, and others to capitalize on the direct communication between one party and another by posting a custom offer on their time and schedule. They’re able to sell that live time with people seeking their advice or help.
They allow for 1:1 video chat, live broadcast, and personalized recordings in their marketplace. Through Symposium, consultants, educators, and professionals finally have a method for selling access to their time and expertise to existing clients and a much broader audience in a much more convenient way.
The majority of transactions that occur are consultation, education, or entertainment related. If you’re a consultant, instructor or can teach something, you can have your students and clients book you on Symposium, and you won’t have to chase them for payment. It’s all done there!
Users post listings in categories ranging from tutoring, legal, medical, mechanical, culinary, fitness, as well as others. Users transact business on Symposium as a primary or supplemental income source while allowing for an unprecedented level of convenience for their clients and followers.
The best part is with Symposium; users can instantly transform their Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube audience viewership into monetizable transactions. Available in the Apple app store, Android, and on the web, Symposium is a ideal platform to monetize time and reputation.
Due to the current pandemic, Symposium has waived all fees for creators and now offers an option to “tip” so they can cover platform costs.
2. Google Duo
Google Duo is quickly gaining traction as a digital marketing and communication tool. However, it is a much smaller platform geared more towards small-time or infrequent meetings or presentations.
In addition to the smaller setups, Google Duo is currently capped at 12 participants during any meeting or presentation. With the increased stability of a Google platform backing Duo, Google developers are moving forward with merging Duo into Google Meet.
While Google Duo remains a reliable free option, it’s future remains unknown with its upcoming integration into Google Meet.
Skype is a household name for those who communicate with loved ones or business partners who live a great distance away. However, Skype has traditionally been for one on one communications and only recently began to dive into supporting multiple profiles in one meeting.
Skype has proven to be reliable but is sketchy when it comes to business use. The reason for this is based upon the limited number of participants allowed at one time, which is currently capped at ten users.
A benefit to Skype is the ability to share files with participants, share screens, as well as an impressive chat feature.
4. MS Teams (Microsoft)
Microsoft is quickly trying to keep up with the online meeting trends with their own MS Teams application. I currently have this platform available with my employer, and it is an excellent alternative to Zoom conference calls.
MS Teams is a large platform that incorporates online video conferencing in a team collaboration environment. Slightly better than the previously mentioned platforms in regards to capped users, currently 50, MS Teams have limited abilities available with their free subscription.
To use the full experience of MS Teams, an annual subscription is required, which is why it has dropped a few points on our list.
5. Google Hangouts
Since Google is an online powerhouse, it’s not surprising they have two options in the top spots. Google Hangouts is a recognizable icon for Gmail users, but usability is not well known. Another great free option, Google Hangouts, is one of the most comparable platforms to Zoom.
Users can create, schedule, and host video conferences to a broad audience, which is also integrated with chat options. Chat options include panel discussions, announcements, and question and answer sessions.
For a standard hangout, up to 150 profiles can log on to view the content of a text-only panel. If a video conference is preferable, Google Hangouts is much more limited at only ten personal users or 15 business app users.
Further down the list is GoToMeeting. While the platform itself offers an impressive web conference experience, to fully take advantage of these futures, a paid plan is required.
While GoToMeeting does have a free option (hence the placement on our list) for screen sharing, audio, and chat messaging, users are limited in functionality that most business users would require a paid subscription.
Join.me is a relatively simple platform for the online meeting space. By focusing on simplicity, the app is increasing in popularity with small business owners and influencers on a budget. The advanced features are minimal, and only ten users can video stream at a time.
Due to the simplicity and the price, Join.me wraps up our list of the seven best free zoom alternatives.