Question

Why do people pay for Zoom when there are free alternatives?

Google Meet offers so many of the same features that Zoom does for free, so I am not exactly clear as to why so many companies pay for a Zoom account. Another free resource is freeconferencecall.com that also has full conference call and screen sharing capabilities. Is there something that the Zoom paid account offers that none of the free services can match?

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#Zoom #Video Calls
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namtrok's avatar
12 months ago
I run a serious business that needs quality results everytime

I love bootstrapping, but when dealing with clients and prospective clients, technical and non-tecnical alike I find that the more serious tools I use the better experience I and my clients have.

In the specific case of Zoom I find it much easier than hangouts because I can automate a lot around it, I have a personal meeting room number/name and so I can predict what the URL/phone numbers are going to be. I find that Zoom is better at group calls and informing me (and others) whose internet is struggling. (I hate the "is my internet bad, or is it yours?" stuff on conference calls).

So here's my reasons for using Zoom over Google Hangouts/Meet/Voice/etc. (and I made this call about 2 years ago as a digital nomad, things may have changed by now)
- Better compression over bad internet
- Simple dial-in options
- Consistent Links/branding/etc. (Meet vs Hangouts... Google keeps changing?!)
- Simple screen sharing and remote control

And then with Zoom (which has a free plan), I upgrade to remove the time limit and to have the custom meeting ID as well as allowing my staff to schedule their own Zoom meetings as needed.

I know money is money, and this could be bad logic used to justify loads of SaaS subscriptions when there are free alternatives, but as I look at it at $15/month or $180/year I only have to work 1-2 hours/year to pay for this service and it dramatically increases my clients and potential clients' experience.

Plus I find when I'm on bad internet and I can dial in as well as join from my computer I can connect my participant ID so people see the video from my computer when I'm speaking over the phone. This overcomes any bad internet experience my clients might have because I can always hear them and they can always hear me.

11 points
awwstn's avatar
@awwstn (replying to @namtrok )
12 months ago

This is pretty much my answer too. As minor as the annoyances on all the other videoconferencing products may be, the modest cost for Zoom is a very small price to pay for something that works reliably and as expected, every time.

5 points
mike_seekwell's avatar
@mike_seekwell (replying to @namtrok )
11 months ago

Have you tried https://tuple.app/ ? If remote control is important to you, it's worth a look.

2 points
namtrok's avatar
@namtrok (replying to @mike_seekwell )
11 months ago

I hadn't looked at it before today, but it looks like it's for pair programming and doesn't have a dial-in option. Therefore it isn't a good tool for my use-case as a salesperson or account/client manager

1 point
mike_seekwell's avatar
@mike_seekwell (replying to @namtrok )
11 months ago

got it, wasn't sure if you were a freelance dev.

1 point
Lauren31v's avatar
11 months ago
Zoom is good for teams

I find Google Hangouts ok for 1-1s, but for team meetings Zoom (especially if you are using their hardware as well) is a definitely better option.
Quality of audio and video are also better, although I would not pay for the subscription for that alone unless you use it for 1-1 client calls.

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @Lauren31v )
11 months ago

The great thing is, Zoom's free for as long of calls as you need as long as they're 1-1 calls. And once you add other people, paid accounts likely make sense.

1 point
AcTiVillain's avatar
12 months ago
It's better and more flexible

The problem with Google meet is that it's not actually free. It's great but say you need cloud recording for some employees... Well then you need an Enterprise license for your entire company which adds up really fast.

Zoom you can buy the paid licenses for the users who need it and the free ones for the ones who don't.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @AcTiVillain )
12 months ago

Great point on not needing many Zoom paid licenses—many teams I've worked on had only one paid plan to host meetings, and all the attendees used free plans.

1 point
_dijy_'s avatar
12 months ago
I dont really have an answer, yet, im answering :)

It boils down to being the best of the worst. Meaning the other players are way worse, and with Zoom the audio/video quality is great, integrations galore, cloud recording and more. I do think that for attendees or clients on the other side, it still sucks. I find that people books meetings and get the invite with Zoom details and when it comes to the meeting they still have no clue what to do, how to access, what to download etc. The worst experience for them is when they need to share their screen or locate the chat, it's embarrassing how complicated it is to explain and locate those buttons and all. Google Meet and Uber Conference are better in that sense that it opens in the browser and has all the controls in front of you, but then the connection isn't as great, doesn't have all the other benefits to the host, but I do think the other 2 nailed it a lot better for the client/attendee experience. And, surprise! We use Zoom, go figure :)

4 points
kil0ran's avatar
12 months ago
Cloud Recordings, Integrations, not many paid accounts required

For me, Cloud Recording, integrations, and the fact that most users don't need paid accounts. We have a Pro account we use for events and everyone else is on free plans. Now, if they wanted to nickel and dime us and make cloud recording a Pro feature that might change the conversation. As a long-term user and admin for web conferencing tools I'm amazed that they've grown as fast as they have, and that they're profitable. Goes to show that the bottom-up SaaS/Freemium approach can move mountains if the experience feels premium

4 points
Riley_S_Rodgers's avatar
11 months ago
Zoom is a better quality product for more important meetings

When dealing with certain types of "customers" the additional features and functionality for zoom shine through compared to hangouts or other platforms. It is also becoming a standard where most people have used it and know how to log on and use the functions (mute / video / screen share) of the software which is a headstart compared to others. We also pay for uberconference to get a few conference call features that you can't access from freeconferencecall .com. The simple answer is if you are a one person company with no cash, they are not crucial, but they are modest expenses that imo provide more value than what you pay.

3 points
itsashcon's avatar
11 months ago
Incredibly effective interoperability

Without duplicating what others have already said, Zoom's interoperability across platforms works very well. We have a number of traditional video teleconferencing systems that rely on H.323 or SIP connections and have had no issues when bridging into Zoom. While we do have to pay for those individual cloud connectors, they definitely help "modernize" many of our otherwise outdated conference rooms.

3 points
beaugunderson's avatar
11 months ago
HIPAA

For us the answer is reliability + HIPAA compliance/willingness to sign a BAA.

2 points
Seva_3's avatar
@Seva_3 (replying to @beaugunderson )
2 months ago

Thanks

2 points
Seva_3's avatar
2 months ago

Thanks for the great Article!

2 points
elizabeth_martin's avatar

Zoom is a better quality product for important meetings. It allows easy conduct of online video conferences as compared to webex, Gotomeeting etc.

1 point
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