Zoom vs. GoToMeeting: Which is the best conferencing app?
August 1, 2020
The survey results are in: Video conferencing is business-essential. In fact, according to data from Nemertes, 94% of organizations plan to increase their spending on video conferencing. With the shift to remote work in the wake of COVID-19, video collaboration has become increasingly prevalent. From team and all-hands meetings to virtual happy hours, we rely on video conferencing more than ever before. While there are many options for conferencing, today we compare two of the biggest names: Zoom vs. GoToMeeting.
Although Zoom has become a household name since the emergence of COVID-19, it’s relatively young compared to GoToMeeting, which was created in 2004 by Citrix and subsequently merged into the LogMeIn product portfolio in 2016. With all the recent focus on the Microsoft Teams versus Zoom battle, some of the slightly lesser-known platforms have been getting lost in the shuffle. However, unlike other legacy (or even newer) unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms, GoToMeeting has skillfully adapted its feature set to meet modern video conferencing needs.
Both GoToMeeting and Zoom offer all the standard features we’ve come to expect from our video conferencing platforms. They have mobile and desktop apps, screen sharing, admin controls, robust security and even Cloud Phone extension options. However, they differ in more nuanced features. In this blog post, we review key considerations for adopting Zoom vs. GoToMeeting.
The most valuable end-user features of Zoom vs. GoToMeeting
For end users, if the company-sponsored video conferencing platform lacks their favorite feature, it’s a non-starter. Disappointed users quickly turn to "shadow IT,” introducing collaboration security and governance risks while attempting to do their jobs. We’ve outlined key end-user features and how they differ between Zoom vs. GoToMeeting.
Unique screen sharing features in Zoom vs. GoToMeeting
Screen sharing is the most business-essential conferencing capability. Both Zoom and GoToMeeting offer a comprehensive feature set, but Zoom’s unique features meet more specific end-user needs. Zoom allows mobile screen sharing on iOS and Android, an increasingly important feature for a mobile-first workforce. Simultaneous screen sharing allows multiple screen shares, while a dual monitor lets an individual share multiple screens. Zoom even lets users share a portion of their screen rather than an application-specific share. Zoom also boasts the ability to share computer audio, which allows for a more seamless simultaneous video–watching experience.
Not to be outdone by Zoom, there are several features where GoToMeeting gives a better end-user experience. GoToMeeting offers unlimited cloud storage for its Business and Enterprise plans, plus the ability to search through and share recorded conferences. For Zoom, only the Enterprise plan offers unlimited storage, with storage above 1 GB costing extra for other plans. Meeting capacity also falls in GoToMeeting’s favor; Enterprise plans allow up to 3,000 participants. Even with Zoom’s Enterprise Plus plan, the limit is 1,000. Some differences in capabilities also relate to the chosen plan. While Zoom only allows meeting dial-in on some plans, GoToMeeting includes this feature in every plan.
Advanced video settings
With so many end users working from home, advanced video settings went from esoteric to essential. Key Zoom video features include the ever-popular “touch up my appearance” and virtual backgrounds, which turn junk-filled home offices into executive boardrooms. Zoom’s impressive gallery view of up to 49 people beats GoToMeeting’s 25-person view. However, GoToMeeting offers more technically advanced visual settings, allowing users to adjust brightness, contrast and hue.
Both GoToMeeting and Zoom aim for a simplified end-user experience. Both have simple, modern interfaces, with Zoom winning out in terms of intuitiveness. Users on both platforms can join meetings without downloading an application, which allows for an easier experience for non-account holders. On the other hand, GoToMeeting account holders will enjoy tight integrations with other LogMeIn products. Comparatively, Zoom does have more integrations in general, notably when it comes to calendars. Beyond integrations, onboarding is a crucial part of the seamless experience comparison. For a simplified onboarding process, Zoom wins out with its easy, comprehensive free plan. GoToMeeting only offers a 14-day free trial, which creates additional friction for new users experimenting with the platform.
What makes these platforms unique?
Beyond differences in standard features, Zoom and GoToMeeting offer unique capabilities not seen in other video conferencing platforms. Zoom’s breakout rooms (also just announced and coming soon to Microsoft Teams) allow the meeting host to separate participants into smaller meetings within a meeting. This can be handy for a large meeting where smaller group discussions are needed. Zoom also offers whiteboarding, a key feature for many, though GoToMeeting at least allows in-meeting annotations on slides.
One very neat GoToMeeting feature is the Smart Meeting Assistant, which can automatically transcribe the meeting. This is useful for those unable to attend or for note-taking purposes. As mentioned earlier, GoToMeeting’s advanced visual settings are another unique feature, where users with poor lighting can adjust rather than invest in a better lighting setup.
IT considerations for Zoom vs. GoToMeeting
While end users may not care about security or administration capabilities, they are vital for IT teams. Luckily, both Zoom and GoToMeeting offer end-to-end encryption and use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Compared to GoToMeeting, Zoom has additional certifications covering healthcare and education verticals. Zoom also boasts various security features in response to issues identified during the COVID-19 increase in adoption; these include controls at the host and administrator levels.
Administration consoles on both platforms offer much in the way of management capabilities, from security settings to organizational configurations. Both also include some basic reporting, though it may only meet the needs of some enterprises. Troubleshooting and actionable insights are some key IT hot-button areas in which these admin consoles leave something to be desired.
Deciding which app is right for you
Whether you choose Zoom or GoToMeeting, you can’t go wrong, though each platform has some different strengths. GoToMeeting offers key features on a scale that large enterprises will appreciate. On the other hand, Zoom emphasizes the end-user experience with a seamless meeting join flow and helpful video settings. Zoom’s increased emphasis on security has also resulted in several features that will help InfoSec teams sleep better at night.
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Learn more about how Unisys can help you optimize communication and collaboration in your digital workplace.