Communication 101

Zoom vs. Teams: Which Video Chat Software Is Better?

June 1, 2022

Zoom vs. Teams is a fierce battle in the video conferencing industry. Both platforms are excellent options for video meetings and team collaboration, though they have distinct features, benefits, and drawbacks. 

Zoom is the most popular video conferencing solution on the market. It’s so popular that “zoom” is a household term for video calling someone using any platform. With that said, Microsoft Teams is catching up in popularity, especially among workers in government organizations and enterprise companies. 

So, which platform should your business use for conducting video meetings? Below, Poised describes Zoom and Teams in more detail so you can pick the right conferencing tool for you.

What Is Zoom?   

Zoom is a video conferencing platform for computers and mobile devices. It lets users participate in video conference meetings, presentations, webinars, and live chat. Zoom was popular before the pandemic, but since the emergence of COVID-19, its popularity has surged. Millions of people across the globe now use it to stay connected with colleagues, loved ones, and friends.

You can download Zoom for free and choose between the free version or various paid plans. The free version lets you arrange unlimited meetings with up to 100 participants, and each meeting has a40 minute time limit. Zoom allows schools to conduct longer meetings for free.

Essentially, Zoom users can create and join virtual meeting rooms. Meeting participants can communicate in these rooms through video and audio conferencing channels. The user-friendly conferencing features include messaging, file sharing, and screen sharing — either privately with other participants or with the entire group.

Joining a Zoom meeting is simple. The participant only needs to download the app and click on the provided link or enter the Meeting ID and password to join. Attendees do not need a Zoom account to participate in meetings, but you must create an account if you want to host a meeting.

How Zoom’s Popularity Exploded

Zoom was arguably the most popular video conferencing app before the pandemic. It’s always been easy to use and allowed organizations and individuals to organize meetings with large numbers of participants — that goes for the free plan and paid versions. Paid versions include Zoom Pro, Zoom Small Business, and the Zoom Enterprise Plan (pricing from low to high).  

People don't need a Zoom account to attend meetings, and you can easily distribute the access information to anyone who wants to join a group meeting.

Enter the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw millions of people forced to stay home, creating a remote work boom. This led people to rely on technology to stay connected socially, and many workplaces embraced video conferencing for online meetings and collaboration.

There are dozens of video conferencing platforms, but Zoom had a solid foundation to build upon. As of March 2020, Zoom claimed it served 200 million daily users when it only had 10 million in December 2019. 

There was a hitch in Zoom's success, especially regarding privacy and security features. "Zoombombing" became a prevalent concern among organizations and individuals using the video meeting app. In short, malicious users joined Zoom meetings and showed disturbing or explicit images. 

The software developer quickly apologized for security lapses and started taking steps to fix the problems. All and all, Zoom has become much more secure and has been able to sustain its success. The add-on of the waiting room feature has mitigated some of these annoyances.

How Does Zoom Compare to Facetime?

Zoom and FaceTime both facilitate video calls. FaceTime comes with an easy-to-use interface, and even people with minimal technological literacy can navigate the app. However, FaceTime is best for enjoying video calls with family and friends, and it's only available through the Apple ecosystem. 

Technically, you can use FaceTime for professional purposes, but it has its limits and can cause problems when you're trying to hold productive team meetings, teach online classes, or interact with students. You can only FaceTime with groups of up to 32 people, and it doesn't offer any team collaboration features.

It's important to note that comparing these tools is like comparing apples to oranges. FaceTime essentially lets you add video to your phone calls, while Zoom is a dedicated video conferencing platform.

What Features Are Unique to Zoom?

Zoom and Microsoft Teams share many similarities, but the former offers unique and innovative features worth mentioning. For example, Immersive View allows meeting attendees to participate on a single virtual background, meaning you can emulate the workplace or classroom. You can also implement a blurred background to bring attention to your face and not the clutter in your bedroom!

Since 2020, Zoom has taken extensive measures to enhance data privacy, and it's among the most secure video conferencing platforms available. Then there's the Zoom Phone Power Pack, a useful tool for professionals who must field calls with team members and customers consistently throughout the day.

Can You Integrate Poised With Zoom?   

Yes, many Poised users integrate their communication coach with Zoom. Poised works with all major video meeting apps, and it’s quick and easy to set it up to automatically activate when joining or hosting a Zoom meeting. Your communication performance will be all the better for it!

Does Zoom Have Any Drawbacks?

One thing Microsoft Teams has that Zoom doesn't is that it provides access to the full Microsoft Office 365 suite of apps and tools, which can take team collaboration to the next level. Zoom has also been criticized for being heavy on system resources; it can consume a large portion of a device’s processing capacity (though not much of the random access memory). 

Also, users have complained about minor performance issues, such as screen sharing delays and other glitches. Much of any video conferencing platform's performance depends on the user's Internet connection and capacity.

What Is Microsoft Teams?     

Microsoft Teams is a video conferencing and collaboration platform designed to facilitate communication between individuals across different mediums. It allows you to communicate through video or voice calls and text group chat functionality, and it merges with PowerPoint, OneDrive, and many other Microsoft 365 services. 

Teams began strictly as a business application, but Microsoft has started to market the platform to consumers as well. As synch, Teams comes pre-installed on Windows 11 OS.

Many individuals and small businesses will have everything they need with the free version of Teams and its generous features. Larger organizations that require a more comprehensive product are better off going with one of the paid versions. As with Zoom, Microsoft Teams works on all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.

Is Microsoft Teams Available on Mac?

Yes, there is a Microsoft Teams version developed specifically for macOS. In fact, it's one of the most popular video conferencing platforms among Mac users, especially among midsize to large companies.

Installing teams on a Mac is a straightforward process, you simply download it from the Microsoft website, and your download option will automatically match your device's operating system.

What Features Are Unique to Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft keeps adding impressive features to Teams. Perhaps one of the most unique new features is breakout rooms, which are essentially mini-meeting rooms within larger meetings. A breakout room includes most typical meeting features and helps small teams focus on tasks other than the overarching meeting.

Microsoft has also improved the whiteboard on teams and added a new live transcription capability that transcribes the content of a meeting in real-time. Teams also allows you to spotlight specific meeting disciplines, which can come in handy when you want to focus on a few individuals in a large group.

Is Microsoft Teams Free?

Yes, there is a free version of Microsoft teams that provides most (if not all) of the features employees and managers need to collaborate remotely. The free version should be adequate for most smaller businesses and organizations.

It comes with unlimited one-on-one video calls, group video conferencing, text chat and search, and 2 GB of cloud storage per individual, among other features. You will also be able to access OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and many other Microsoft apps for free.

What Are the Drawbacks of Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a very comprehensive product, and it provides more collaboration tools than most competitors. However, its user interface has been criticized for offering too many similar tools and being complicated to learn. 

There have also been security concerns among organizations using Teams. Though, to be fair, you can expect risks any time you're collaborating with large groups distributed across locations. Microsoft Teams adapted to these threats with multi-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.

Moreover, running teams can consume a lot of storage on your device, so it's essential to adjust your settings accordingly.

Can You Integrate Poised With Teams?

Yes, you can easily integrate Poised with Microsoft Teams. As with Zoom, the process is fast and simple. Your communication coach can ensure your Teams meetings are as productive as possible and that you improve your performance over time.

Do We Have a Winner?

Both Zoom and Microsoft Teams are top-notch video conferencing solutions. If you are prioritizing ease of use for video conferencing and a tinge of collaboration, Zoom is the clear winner.

If you’re after a more comprehensive solution with more collaboration features, Microsoft Teams will better serve your needs. Whichever platform you choose, remember to integrate Poised to take your communication performance to the next level!

Sources: 

How Videoconferencing and Covid-19 May Permanently Shrink The Business Travel Market | Forbes 

How Zoom Became So Popular During Social Distancing | CNBC 

The 10 Best New Microsoft Teams Meeting Features | Computerworld 

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