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Best Zoom Alternatives for Australian Business Users

Australians, like the rest of the world, have experienced an explosion in the use of video meetings since the outbreak of the coronavirus and there’s good reason for that.

More people are working remotely and enjoying flexible schedules with less physical and social gatherings are occurring.

Email is quick and easy but the need for more personal conversations can really only be done with video meeting software. In fact, meeting face to face is 34 times more successful than email communication.

There’s a global market of video meeting software filled with endless options. The best one for you and your business may well depend on several factors, such as the number of employees you have, your budget and any special features you may need.

The popularity of the video conferencing service Zoom has skyrocketed since the outbreak of the coronavirus but news of security and privacy issues might have you feeling nervous about using it.

In recent months, video meeting services like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Skype have been adding new features and functionality to keep up with Zoom.

So, if you’re looking for Zoom alternatives for your video conferencing needs, here are the top choices.

Google Meet (free and paid)

Google Meet is probably the most well-known and widely used Zoom alternative. Meet was previously only available to paying G-suite customers, but in these pandemic times, the company has added a free tier.

You can hold video conference calls with up to 250 participants, hold presentations and record meetings and save them to Google Drive. You can also easily send a meeting link to participants outside of your company. 

Meet is also integrated with Gmail, so you can start a video call right from the left column of your email browser window. Google has plans for further upgrades down the road, and is even adding custom backgrounds (one Zoom’s best features) for its education customers.

Microsoft Teams (paid and free)

Microsoft Teams allows paid users to host video meetings for up to 300 people.

Unlike the Skype, which is also Microsoft-owned, Teams offer standard video conferencing tools, like screen sharing and the ability to record meetings. 

While there’s a free version of Teams with fewer features than the paid version, Teams is included with a number of Office 365 plans.

Skype (free)

The popular video chat software Skype is well known and widely used, and its new Skype Meet Now feature is challenging Zoom.

Meetings can hold up to 50 participants, and participants no longer need an account to sign in, just a link.

Skype offers a text chat window, but otherwise, doesn’t provide the meeting organisation tools that the other Zoom alternatives do.

But hey, it’s free and can be used on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. 

Facebook Messenger Rooms (free)

Facebook is never one to cede digital territory, so it’s beefing up its video chat options with Messenger Rooms.

The new feature allows Facebook members to create public or private video chatrooms that can hold up to 50 people for an unlimited amount of time.

By comparison, free Zoom meetings can have up to 100 participants for 40 minutes.

In a very rare move, Facebook is allowing people without accounts to join a Messenger Room via a link.

Participants in Facebook Messenger Rooms can use Facebook’s Spark AR (augmented reality) filters, can brighten dark rooms and touch up your appearance.

With privacy often a key concern, room creators can remove participants at any time, and, while room calls are not encrypted, Facebook says it will not listen in on any calls.

Publische MEETINGS (paid)

Publische MEETINGS bring businesses and people together, online in a frictionless environment 

As one of the first publicly available video meeting platforms to be assembled and hosted in Australia it means customers in Australian time zones are treated as “first-class citizens”.

Publische MEETINGS enables clients to harness the power of secure, cloud-native video meetings using a single link from any device, without download. 

The platform is built on a secure core of open source video technology (Jitsi).

This means one-to-one video calls enjoy end-to-end encryption, while larger meetings can be password protected once you are inside.

The platform is as a fully-managed SaaS platform and self-hosted deployment options for video meetings. 

Setting up Publishce Meetings is easy. All you need to do is enter a few details, including your email address.

Once confirmed, you can create meetings and send links to your participants. And, depending on the plan you purchase, you can also assign additional hosts, all within the control panel.

BlueJeans (paid)

If you’re tired of your audio calls not being clear enough for you, or find other members can’t hear each other properly, then BlueJeans might be ideal for you.

With the Dolby Voice feature, it has changed the way people talk on video conferencing software.

One of the great features of BlueJeans is setting it up.

All you need to do is enter a few details, including your email address, company size, and a few other necessary details.

Bluejeans will then send you a confirmation email. You can set the password after you have verified it was you who sent the email.

There is an app you need to download in order to join a meeting. One of the features that sets it apart from many other software is that it also runs on Linux.

While BlueJeans is great for video conferencing, you can also use it to host a webinar, a hands-on event or town hall meeting.