Chances are good that, given the events of the past two months, you’ve heard of or even used the teleconferencing platform Zoom. Since the beginning of 2020, the cross-platform meetings application has gained more new users than it did for the entire year of 2019. The circumstances may not be the best but cheers to Zoom for such substantial growth and for providing a low barrier to entry for users to create video chat rooms for education, social gatherings and remote work meetings.
As simple and convenient as Zoom is, there is one particular feature that was a bit of a frustration for me. When you click a link to join a meeting, you are prompted to head over to the Chrome Web Store to install the Zoom App. Now, I’m not against using apps but there are plenty of video chat platforms out there that work solely with web technology and require no downloading of apps or extensions. (Duo and Hangouts are perfect examples) Besides, all the Zoom “app” does is open the video chat in a nice little windowed web app.
If you’re like me, you’ve poked around to see if there is a way to use Zoom exclusively on the web. Thankfully, there is a way but Zoom doesn’t make it very easy to find. Not only that, but it is also up to the host of the meeting to allow users to join directly via the browser. That means you’ll have to get with the meeting host and have them enable this feature if you want to take advantage of it.
To join a meeting without installing the Zoom web app, you will need to log into your Zoom account and click “My Account” near the top right of the homepage. From there, you will click “Settings” on the left-hand menu and select “In Meeting (Advanced).”
Next, scroll all the way to the bottom of this section. (Alternately, you can click the “Email Notification” tab and scroll up one line. It’s a bit quicker.) Look for the section that says “Show a “Join from your browser” link” and flip that toggle on. Now, when you share a link to a meeting, the user can click it and will be presented with the option to join from the browser. The only difference I’ve seen between the app and the browser versions is that the latter lacks the “gallery” view and instead puts your video as a floating PiP screen that you can move around your display.
This is a simple tweak for the Zoom Meetings platform but one that I’m sure many users have been trying to figure out. A lot of people from all walks of life have had to find new and inventive ways to meet and collaborate and Zoom is helping people do just that. Learn more about Zoom at the link below.