While many companies are already using the Zoom video conferencing app for business meetings, interviews, and other purposes, people who spend long days without contact with friends and family prefer Zoom to meet in person and in groups.
This is a quick guide for those who haven't tried Zoom yet with tips on how to get started with the free version. Keep in mind the following: While one-to-one video calls can take as long as you want, zoomed group calls are limited to 40 minutes. If you want to have longer calls without interruption, you can either pay for the Zoom Pro plan ($ 14.99 per month) or try an alternative video conferencing app. (Note: It has been reported that the 40 minutes are sometimes extended – at least one member of The Verge found that an evening meeting with five friends was sent an extension when the time ran out – but there was no official word for a change from the zoom.)
How to register for Zoom
The first thing you need to do is of course to register for the service. You can do this either from your laptop or from your mobile phone. We'll cover the web service first.
- Go to the Zoom login page. You will be given some options for creating an account. At the top, you can enter your email address in the "Your business email address" field. (Although Zoom asks for a business email, a personal email should work fine.) If you do, go to step 2. You can also create an account by clicking the "Sign in with Google" or "Sign in with Facebook" buttons. Then just download the Zoom desktop app and go to step 6.
- If you entered an email, Zoom sends an activation email to this address. Click the "Activate Account" button in the email or copy and paste the activation URL into your browser to activate your account.
- Enter your first and last name and a password on the page that opens in your web browser.
- On the next page, you can invite other people to create a free zoom account via email. You can skip this step if you'd like.
- Next, you'll receive a link to your personal meeting URL and you can click an orange "Start Meeting Now" button to start a test meeting. If you copy this URL into your browser or click this orange button, you should be prompted to download the Zoom desktop app. Follow the instructions to install the app.
- After you install the Zoom app, buttons to "Join a meeting" or "Sign in" appear. Click "Register" to start your test meeting.
- On the next screen, enter the email address and password that you just used to log in to your browser. If you registered using the "Sign in with Google" or "Sign in with Facebook" buttons, click these buttons here and follow the instructions.
- After signing in, make sure you are on the Home tab, then click the orange New Meeting button in the Zoom app. Your meeting will start.
When you sign up for Zoom with the mobile app, the process is similar to that on the web. (We tested the sign-in process with the iOS app.)
- Download the iOS or Android app. When you open the app for the first time, you'll be given options to attend a meeting, sign up for zoom, or sign in to a zoom account. Touch Sign In.
- In the email that you receive, tap the "Activate Account" button or copy the activation URL and paste it into your mobile browser.
- From there, you will be asked to follow the steps above to create an account only from your mobile browser.
- When you get to the screen with your personal zoom meeting URL and the orange "Start meeting now" button, tap one of the two options, and the Zoom app will take you straight to a waiting room for your test meeting.
- To open the meeting, tap the Sign In button at the bottom of the screen. On the next screen, enter your login information and tap the "Login" button.
- Your test meeting will open in the app.
How to invite people to your zoom meeting
Once you have an account, you can invite people to a zoom meeting in a variety of ways.
If you're using the desktop or mobile apps, click or tap the Meetings tab. From there:
- When you click the "Copy Invitation" button in the desktop app on the screen, a message with the URL, ID and dial-in information of your zoom meeting will be copied to your clipboard, which you can send to an email or text can insert message.
- When you tap the "Send Invitation" button in the mobile app, you’ll see three options: “Send Message” that you can use to send your meeting URL to someone. "Send email" opens an email with the information of your meeting. or "Copy to clipboard" to copy the URL and meeting ID of your zoom meeting to your phone's clipboard.
You can also invite people to your meeting while you are already attending:
- In the desktop app, on the toolbar that appears when you move the mouse in the meeting window, click the Invite button. When you do this, Zoom opens a window inviting your Zoom contacts, sending an email with information about accessing your Zoom meeting, copying your meeting URL to your clipboard, or a longer message with your meeting- Copy URL and choose. in information about your clipboard.
- In the mobile app, tap on "Participants" in the bottom row of symbols and then on the "Invite" button in the lower area of the next screen. When you do this, you can send an email invitation, send an SMS invitation, invite your zoom contacts, or copy the meeting URL to your phone's clipboard.
If you're familiar with zoom, check out our guides on how to find keyboard shortcuts, change your zoom background (here are some free backgrounds you can use), and how to prevent your zoom meeting from being recorded over of trolls.
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