Zoom Chat: The Latest Addition to Zoom Video Conferencing
Zoom Chat is the new business messaging tool from the global video conferencing giant, Zoom.
Adding to their all-conquering collaboration solution, this post runs through the headline features of Zoom Chat, and we take a look at the future of both Zoom and team collaboration.
Up until January 2019, Zoom was a state-of-the-art video conferencing service, which you could access online or via the app.
You could send messages to team members outside of meetings, but there was no formal business chat to speak of.
That’s why Zoom made some important changes to its solution, including phone features, premium virtual backgrounds, and a dedicated chat tool.
What is Zoom Chat?
Zoom started life as a cloud-based video conferencing platform designed for quick and immersive collaboration.
Zoom Chat takes the values and technology skills of Zoom and brings it into the enterprise messaging space.
As email becomes less relied upon, in favor of real-time messaging solutions, Zoom Chat offers users a way to collaborate when voice or video is not needed or not appropriate.
Accessible via mobile app and desktop, Zoom Chat adds to a complete portfolio that already stands out as the most popular solution for companies with 500 employees or less.
Zoom Chat Features
The chat functionality is precisely what you’d expect from an all-singing, all-dancing collaboration tool.
It integrates with your video and audio conferencing solutions, with channels similar to Slack where you can create public or private groups.
Within Zoom channels, users can send files, screen captures, images, messages, and more, with the option to support up to 10,000 members at once.
Private channels on premium accounts can access 5,000 members, while free accounts get up to 500.
Zoom Chat offers:
- 1:1 chat or group conversations via public or private channels
- Starring messages to save for later
- Pinned messages
- A personal space to send yourself reminders and files
- Light or dark themes in your chat panel
- Customizable channels
- Privacy features and access permissions
- GIFs from GIPHY
- Message archiving and third party storage
- Chat message history with manageable time limits
- Screen capture, file transfer, and image uploads
- Status and presence
- Edit and delete messages
What About Security?
Just like any collaboration platform for today’s enterprise users, Zoom takes security seriously.
For instance, Zoom Chat is encrypted from end-to-end.
This means that all messages are sent with TLS 1.2 with AES 256-bit algorithms.
You can enable end-to-end encryption for your team members, and rest assured that they’ll still be able to send all the pictures, files and emojis they like to colleagues.
To enable end-to-end encrypted chat, visit the Zoom web portal, click Account Management then IM Management and go to Settings. From there, click Enable end-to-end chat encryption.
What’s Next for Zoom Chat?
Back in 2016, Zoom made its video product interoperable with Skype for Business, which highlight’s the company’s efforts to play nice with others.
There’s a good chance that we’ll see more examples of Zoom working well with competitors in the years to come.
Knowing that 3.3 is the average number of workplace chat apps used by a single business, Zoom is sure to have an interoperability plan around the corner.
From a chat perspective, Zoom is working on APIs that allow businesses to embed the functionality of Zoom Chat into their own offerings.
Zoom IPOed in April 2019. But, before that, in January, it announced upgrades to its service, ranging from a revamped user interface and Zoom Phone – a solution that allows users to make and receive calls within a Zoom softphone.
In the meantime, we can expect that the brand will continue to focus on unparalleled usability for its customers, a simplicity that syncs with your preferred device, and easy ways for companies to meet securely.
You can test out Zoom Chat here – it’s free!