What’s Better – Skype or Zoom – for Meeting While in Isolation?
We are all in a similar housebound, work from home situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we all seem to be making more video calls than ever before. Depending on whether you are using the technology for work or play, there are many different video conferencing software options on the market right now. The two main platforms that I’ve been using a lot recently, to both meet with clients and to network with other businesses, are Skype and Zoom. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take some time to go over these two platforms.
Skype might seem like the obvious choice because it has been around for some time and it is currently owned by Microsoft. Back in 2003, the technology seemed like it was before its time. Over the years, Skype has been through several owners and has changed its focus several times. What we are left with is a bloated, buggy platform that is struggling to compete with its competition. Video quality and a reliable connection both seem to be constant concerns, enough for some users to look elsewhere. Skype also has a reputation for being spam ridden. Anyone who has used the platform for some time has surely dealt with this first hand.
I used Skype for the first time in a long time the other day, and I had a hard time locating several key features that would have made connecting with other users easier. For instance, I was trying to create a new group that I could save to make it easier for me to contact them again in the future, but I couldn’t easily find the option. I had also accidentally clicked on something on the screen that threw the layout all out of alignment and I struggled to get it back.
On the other hand, Zoom has a nice clean user interface that makes using this app easy. Downloading Zoom was simple and took just a few minutes. Setting up a meeting was also very simple; you just share a link. Even users who are not very tech-savvy are finding it easy to use. One of the features that I really like about Zoom is the virtual background. In real-time, with a quick click, you can have the software remove your background, as if you were in front of a green screen. This feature works remarkably well, even in low light. This is great if you don’t want people to see your messy make-shift office while you are working from home.
I’ve been trying to use Zoom whenever possible because it is easy to use and easy to join a meeting. The one downside of using Zoom is that you are technically limited to 40 minutes on a free account for meetings three or more (though I’ve gone slightly over and not been cut off), one-on-one meetings are unlimited, whereas Skype has no time limit. If you can get away with a 40-minute call, then I feel Zoom is the way to go.
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