Are you looking for a free Zoom alternative?
Video conferencing solutions have long been on the up, but no one can dispute their meteoric rise to fame during the pandemic. Virtual meetings became the norm during lockdowns, and people swiftly learned that meeting digitally was just as effective as hosting face-to-face gatherings.
Zoom became the platform of choice for many businesses and in our personal lives, rapidly growing from 10 million meeting participants in December 2019 to 300 million by June 2020.
But while websites like Zoom provide many valuable features, there may be better matches for your company's needs. For example, Zoom's free platform has a 40-minute time limit, which can cut off presentations and stifle critical discussions.
There have also been significant security concerns that have led consumers and businesses to search for Zoom alternatives (enter "Zoombombing" — a type of cyberattack when an uninvited guest joins your meeting in a sometimes humorous, sometimes horrifying manner.)
Fortunately, numerous free alternatives to Zoom are available with more features and fewer restrictions.
Today, we'll review how video conferencing software is sweeping the globe and explore several Zoom alternatives, including how Loom’s asynchronous communication tool maximizes productivity.
The Rise of Videoconferencing
Video conferencing software is far from new technology. The earliest video chat demo was in 1927 between the US Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, based in Washington DC, and journalists of AT&T and Bell Laboratories officials based in New York City. But it took several decades for the technology (and broadband) to progress enough to be used in the corporate world. Toward the end of the twentieth century, executive teams and engineers started to rely on video technology, as a cost-effective alternative to business travel.
But why did it take so long for video chat to become a hit? Network delays and high prices have hampered the success of these collaboration tools. And honestly, many companies only understood the value of virtual meetings once they were forced into social distancing! But with rapid advancements in technology, the world can now see the glaring advantages of video conferencing, with these collaboration tools revolving around one central point: communication.
We achieve our objectives faster when we can see, engage and communicate with others on the same project. So, many organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises, now rely on platforms like Zoom to have meaningful discussions and collaborate on common goals. From basic PCs and laptops in huddle rooms to sophisticated telepresence suites, video conferencing is a standard business collaboration tool, thanks to improved technology, lower costs, and widespread adoption. Over the next few years, we can expect even greater advancements thanks to 3D technology, new integrations, and enhanced security features.
The Benefits of Videoconferencing
Reduced Travel Costs
The cost of travel quickly adds up, but switching to video calls means you'll save money on staff travel, hotels, and meals. Remember taking your associates out to those wildly expensive dinners? Video conferences are far less expensive and much more accessible.
Companies are phasing out one-day or one-meeting business trips in favor of online communication. Some 47% of video call users have recently seen their travel costs reduced, and there's also a cost-saving for the environment as companies seek to prioritize sustainability.
By employing virtual meetings in a company's culture, there are fewer opportunities for the misunderstandings caused by email. Participants in an online meeting room are also more willing to speak out and clarify details in person rather than hitting Reply All to a company-wide email.
Collaboration is undoubtedly more effective when there is visual communication among parties. Facial expressions, tone, and body language are some of the clearest forms of communication, and they're more comprehensive than text-based messages. Audio-only phone calls can also be problematic as the spoken word only accounts for 7% of the meaning in a conversation.
During video conferencing, personal understanding and connection develop, which are all essential for effective professional partnerships.
Agile Project Management
When you have a large project to collaborate on with input from numerous teams and clients, a video meeting is an efficient way to gather information. A dial-in meeting offers face-to-face interaction and extra visual impact, much more than an email or phone conference ever could. Project leaders can:
Demonstrate the most recent product design
Deliver crucial feedback
Establish objectives, quotas, deadlines, or strategic shifts
Present progress to stakeholders
And much more!
Increased Employee Satisfaction
Telecommuting is becoming more popular as workers discover the benefits of working from home. And video conferencing platforms enable employees to work from home and encourage a healthy work-life balance. Allowing employees to work from home full time, or even a few days a week improves satisfaction, increasing their productivity and overall work quality. Happy, engaged workers are also 87% less likely to quit than disengaged employees, which is critical for business retention rates!
What is Zoom?
Zoom is probably the most famous example of a cloud-based video conferencing tool that allows you to make audio and video conversations and hold meetings worldwide. You can organize 1:1 meetings, conference calls, group video conferences, unlimited meetings in breakout rooms, and schedule virtual events. In terms of capacity, the free version of Zoom allows you to host up to 100 participants or up to 1,000 on the enterprise premium plan.
Zoom is user-friendly and packed with features such as whiteboards, transcriptions, live captions, file sharing, polling, the ability to record meetings, and two-factor authentication. It also boasts powerful integrations with the likes of G Suite and Office 365, among others.
But many of these additional features come at a price. The most important restriction to keep in mind is the free plan offers a meeting duration limit of only 40 minutes. If you want to avoid getting cut off mid-sentence, you'll either need to upgrade to one of the pro paid plans, or you might prefer to check out an alternative video conferencing software.
What Are Some Zoom Meeting Alternatives?
If you’re keen to explore other synchronous video conferencing chat apps for real-time team collaboration, some of the following may appeal:
But synchronous meetings aren’t the only, or always the best option!
Enter Loom: The Best Alternative To Zoom
If you’re searching for Zoom alternatives, what you really want is an effective way to communicate information on a high-quality platform and in a timely and understandable manner.
Loom is a Zoom alternative that’s free from time constraints and the dreaded “Zoombomber.”
Loom provides an easy-to-use screen recording tool available from your desktop, Chrome browser, or mobile app ( on iOS or Android.) You can save your meetings for reference later, share them with your colleague on PTO, or use them as onboarding and training sessions for new hires. This method of communication removes the pressure to "meet now," takes considerably less time, and makes it easy to deliver or receive a simple update that no one will misunderstand. Forget about hopping into Gmail or Outlook to compose and send a formal email or assembling a large group of product designers, project managers, execs, and more.
Loom offers the following unique benefits for your workflow, which make it one of the best Zoom alternatives in the market:
Promotes rapid and simple communication
Allows for quick screen sharing through an automatic connection
Enables you to edit or trim your videos before being shared
Includes emoticons for your viewers to express themselves
Allows your viewers to leave comments on your videos
Limits who can see your videos through password protection and restricted sharing.
What’s the Difference Between Loom and Zoom?
The most significant distinction between Loom and Zoom is that Loom is an asynchronous communication platform, whereas Zoom is synchronous. People can consume, digest, and reply to asynchronous communication on their own time from their PC, Mac, or mobile devices—wherever, and whenever it suits them best. Essentially, this is similar to how they would send a standard written message without additional planning or coordination.
This functionality makes Loom more convenient and efficient than Zoom, as it reduces the amount of back-and-forth communication, such as Google Calendar scheduling between multiple team members that you’d need for a real-time meeting. Loom also empowers workers with the ability to:
Capture HD video, audio, and a full window without any unnecessary technical hassles
Auto-save screen recordings to the user's Loom cloud storage account
Assist in the organization of videos into folders and the movement of objects from one folder to another
Record and watch as many videos as they like
Manage files through links
Share free videos via the internet or from your own computer.
And to prove we're not biased, we even have a list of Loom alternatives for you to check out because we're so convinced that asynchronous communication is the real deal!
Synchronous communication, on the other hand, occurs at the same time for all participants. It can be face-to-face or even rely on something other than video. For example, instant messaging and talking on the phone are great examples of communicating in sync — they require two or more people to deliver a message and respond in real-time. For synchronous communication to be effective, people's schedules must align, which isn't great for distributed teams in wildly different time zones or for anyone who wants to prioritize work-life balance.
If you’re trying to move away from constantly communicating in real time, Loom is an in-depth, feature-heavy Zoom alternative that can be used not only to video conference, but to enhance the online meeting experience. Among the many advantages that it offers, Loom’s asynchronous solution enables users to:
Provide background for a meeting or presentation in advance
You can still use Loom in your workflow if you need to collaborate in real-time. Send any background information or updates ahead of time so that participants may view them and arrive prepared with questions or comments. For example, you can send pre-recorded product demo films to sales prospects, allowing the receiver to absorb critical knowledge ahead of time and spend time digging into the aspects that matter to them. People make far better use of everyone's time when they have all the necessary information before a meeting or class.
Work together across time zones and schedules
You know how difficult it is to get a group of busy individuals on a video conference call. And it's nearly impossible when you factor in the complexities of a fully remote team. By sending a video message to the group, you can quickly and easily get everyone on the same page.
Create an environment conducive to business
People who spend all their time on video calls have no time to perform income-generating work. Instead, they're bouncing from one meeting to another, many of which aren't necessary for their core duties. By using Loom, people can make progress on the tasks they need to finish. Instead of feeling hemmed up by their schedule, they may set aside time to watch Loom videos of meetings, training sessions or webinars.
The Future of Video Communication
Are you tired of constant requests to join meetings? The rise of synchronous communication means that on busy days I can be invited to 8 or more Zoom meetings, often scheduled back to back to back.
Luckily, I've learned how to decline a meeting invitation to reclaim my time and avoid the dreaded Zoom fatigue that many of us are now familiar with. But to keep everyone engaged, top-performing teams can also employ remote work software that combines remote meetings and recorded video resources.
Loom is the best Zoom alternative for achieving that equilibrium. Try Loom for free today and discover all the new ways to communicate with your team — wherever and whenever.