The Not Very Hidden Features of Online Meeting Services

Published April 6th, 2020 - 03:00 GMT
The Not Very Hidden Features of Online Meeting Services
Smart applications tend to incorporate so many features to make users lives' easier.(bongkarn thanyakij/Pexels)

Every day we get to appreciate virtual conferencing services more, as they allow us to do our work more efficiently than ever. Yet, it's hard to decide on the best and most suitable service for a team, considering the variety in features each application offers.

Over the past few weeks, many tech experts have warned un-experienced users of applications, that allow convening over the internet, from security breaches that can threaten their business success. But in technology, there's a trick to overcome every obstacle. 

Smart applications also tend to incorporate so many features to make users lives' easier. Here, we take the chance to learn more about the hidden gems of some of the world's most famous online video-meeting tools, including those that can protect your company's privacy.

1. Zoom

The hype about Zoom seems to be legit, as it allows users with strong and clear streaming to gather up to 100 people in a call. This app allows users with messy backgrounds to use the virtual background option. It also has a subtle beauty filter that can help you look more presentable especially in early morning meetings. 

Zoom also gives managers the chance to record meetings for a future reference or to allow employees who are taking the day off or those in different time zones to stay up-to-date with all important discussions.

Despite recent FBI reports warning of privacy breaches and a statement by Elon Musk's SpaceX banning the use of this application among employees, Zoom is still one of the most popular choices for people who are either working or studying from home nowadays.

Experts have pointed out a few privacy holes in this app so far, ones that grant hackers access to calls content using both the microphone and the camera. To beat this, users are advised to never share the meeting URL on social media and send it to invitees using private channels.

Hosts are also recommended to set a password for each meeting and to share it with attendees using private messages, to make sure no one is intruding on the video call, especially in large meetings when it's hard to keep track of everyone present.

Generally, companies are still advised to avoid discussing highly-sensitive information during online meetings and to use either other means of communication for that purpose.

2. Microsoft Teams

This application allows for a higher level of communication between team members and it's designed to serve more than just an online-conferencing service.

For companies with regular presentations and training sessions, MT comes in handy offering a variety of tools that enable sharing content in interactive ways across team members and different departments in one company. MT also has a number of productivity tools that keep most tasks at pace and in one place.

Additionally, team members can have a separate note-taking tab to make the best out of their meetings.

For multi-national companies where all employees don't have the same language fluency level, MT allows automated transcript services during calls to help everyone be on the same page. It also has an Inline message translation feature designed to serve that same purpose.

Additionally, Microsoft Teams has a polling tool that facilitates a better and faster voting process.

According to Microsoft, meetings conducted through this app are end-to-end encrypted promising a better user experience in terms of privacy.

3. Houseparty

The "coolest app of all" in the video chatting current hunt seems to be Houseparty; an application with a less professional vibe but still has a lot of features that can be utilized by team members trying to get in contact with each other as if in the physical office.

Given its social and informal function, this app allows random people to join open chats without hosts' permission, which isn't exactly perfect for a work-focused meeting. Your way out of this issue is by locking the room you've just created and limiting it to the people you personally invite and allow in.

This application allows you to connect with your friends and followers on different social media platforms, only when you allow them to add you.

One more issue to be aware of in this regard is the fact that Houseparty sends a notification to every online friend you're connected with, every time you sign in, which could be frustrating if people kept getting in the way of your business meeting. But as with every technology drawback, there's always a solution.

If you press long enough on the Houseparty icon on your cell phone, you'll be given the chance to literally "sneak in" without anybody knowing that you're online, so you make it to your meeting on time. 

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