Video application tools have never been more popular. With most of us now working from home, platforms like Skype and Zoom make it easy for businesses to communicate with their staff. But with so much choice out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. This is why at takepayments we make it easy, by providing you with a list of some of our favourite apps and why they could work for you.
Let’s begin with one which has exploded in popularity over the past few weeks.
Even before the outbreak of COVID 19, Zoom was already one of the market leaders in video conferencing and it’s easy to see why. Firstly, you can use it for free. Secondly, you can allow for up to 100 people into a virtual meeting at any given time (up to 500 if you use their paid packages).
But that’s not all. Zoom also allows you to record meetings, so you don’t miss any important points. Zoom is known for providing incredibly detailed FAQs, video tutorials and live chat. Therefore if you ever do get stuck, there’s plenty of resources to help you.
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Over time, Skype has become an excellent app for businesses of all sizes. Recently the business side has become a part of Microsoft Office 365. The benefit here is that in addition to being great for video calls, this will allow you and your team to share things that you might already be using for your work - such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint. For example, during a call, if you want to show your team an important spreadsheet, it’s very easy to do so.
Another great thing about Skype for Business is that it allows you to connect with anyone from anywhere around the world, across all devices and through any browser. Skype for business is also incredibly secure. This is because only devices approved by you stay connected to it. An unapproved device cannot use the tool.
Google’s video application came out in 2013 and it’s certainly become very popular in a short space of time. But of course, that’s not the main reason you should be using it. It’s an excellent tool that allows you to stay connected with employees, suppliers and customers.
The huge benefit of Google Hangouts is that it’s a great way to try out some video marketing for yourself. You can create something called a webinar. So why is this useful? Well, webinars are online seminars allowing you to show off your expertise in your area. It will give your customers, and potential customers, a glimpse of what you know and what you can offer them.
And you can upload this onto all of your social media accounts. For simple tips on how to set this up this excellent article from Wondershare is particularly useful.
Staying in touch with family and friends is really important in this period too. We can suggest a couple of less business-focused video apps for something a bit lighthearted.
One video app that has exploded since lockdown has been Houseparty. It’s a fun tool that lets you spontaneously talk to people, whenever you want. As you log on you can simply see who is online, or who is around, and have a conversation right there and then. So it can be a great way to keep in touch with people you may not have spoken to in a while.
Another thing that makes Houseparty entertaining is that different people can enter your conversations - which can be pretty fun!
But of course, if you want to speak with just your friends or family then you can lock a conversation. Houseparty also allows you to play games with other people, so if chatting about what you have all been up to gets a little flat you can amuse each other with some trivia.
You may not want calls with strangers, or random quizzes to pass the time. You might prefer something more simplified.. If that’s the case then look no further than WhatsApp.
If you have an iPhone and don’t already use WhatsApp, then download it from your app store. If you have an Android you can do the same thing from the Google store. Once downloaded, all of your existing contacts who use it will be available to chat.
And if you do want to add more people to the conversation, then you can add up to 4 in a conversation.