Since video chat software broke into the mainstream over a decade ago, it has been a very popular solution to connecting with loved ones or colleagues over a long distance in a way that is a bit more personal than text-based media like Facebook or email. More recently, high-end companies like Blue Jeans web conferencing have developed suites that build on the highly personal communication made possible by video chat. They do so by deftly integrating other modes of communication with the video and by implementing countless features that will both help your exchange be more productive and make the communication a fun experience. Because many people are unclear on just why video conferencing suites are so much more useful and convenient than video chat software, however, the following list will let you know 12 fan favorite features that set apart the two application types.
- Cloud Operation – Almost all video conferencing software is based in the cloud, which means a few important things. Firstly, no downloads or time-consuming setups are required to get the conference up and running on your computer. Second, the participants can easily draw from online sources when sharing data. In other words, a file need only be on the internet, and not the sender’s computer, in order to be shared.
- Universal Compatibility – Some people are more comfortable using Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, or some other service they know, even if it is less versatile than video conferencing software. That’s okay, though, because video conferencing services are compatible with all of those video chat programs and can integrate them into the conversation.
- Many Participants – While simple video chat services like Skype only allow you to video chat one-on-one, video conferencing software lets you add in literally thousands of participants, and the administrator of the conference can choose which features each of them will have access to during the communication. This makes video conference software essential for meetings with an entire project team or a large family get-together.
- Voice-Sensing Technology – You may think that with so many participants, the thumbnails of each one’s video would clutter up the screen. Most video conferencing programs can sense who is talking, however, and they will put the talker’s video on the screens of all the participants.
- Easy Screen Sharing – The participants can each share their screens with everyone else in the conversation, which makes demonstrations and presentations vivid. Other participants can even control the shared screen themselves, making the experience extremely interactive.
- Recording – Everything that takes place during a video conferencing session is recorded and stored in a private online database. Afterwards, poignant or crucial moments in the conversation can be revisited. People who could not attend can also be shown the recording in order to let them relive the meeting.
- Stringent Security – The multiple layers of government-grade encryption placed on the digital interactions overseen by video conferencing services, as well as the physical security measures imposed on meetings that are recorded and stored in the companies’ warehouses, ensure that your interactions are never viewed by unauthorized parties.
- Stats and Analytics – Before, during, and after meetings, administrator-specified participants can view statistics and information about demographics and remote activity of the other meeting attendees.
- Enterprise with Ease – The platform video conferencing software runs on is much more accessible than that of video chat programs, and that lets IT staff more easily set and monitor access permissions, passwords, and individual user privileges.
- Phone Participation – Pretty much all video conferencing services offer free apps for Android, iOS, and Blackberry, but even those with traditional cell phones that cannot download apps can participate by phoning into a phone number assigned to the conversation and hooking into the meeting’s audio stream.
- Calendar Integration – Video conferencing software integrates with Google Calendar, Outlook, and other scheduling applications to help participants remember to attend the remote meetings.
- Turn Your Conferences into Exclusive Webinars – Video conferencing services make online meetings so productive that they can be marketed to the outside world as webinars. You can then advertise the webinar using integrated social media features, sell tickets using built-in PayPal compatibility, use the professional meeting features to present like a pro, and even follow up by using integrated tools to gather survey results and create meeting reports.
Video conferencing software is a revolutionary technology and is the future of remote communication, but you must make sure to use a quality program in order to get the most out of it. Top-notch providers are perfect for launching your communication to the next level of clarity. Such services generally offer free trials, so, no matter what you use video communication for, it is a great idea to try such a trial as soon as possible and learn for yourself what you have been missing.