A lot changed in 2020. We’ve all modified our daily lives, on both a personal and a professional level, to adapt to the “new normal”. New perspectives made us realize the benefits of modern technology, and there are no indications that some practices that were established during 2020 will fade away anytime soon.
One of the most prominent web technologies that saw its usage skyrocket during the pandemic was video conferencing. Even before, we’ve used these tools to get in touch with clients and remote contractors, but with countless professionals needing to move their offices to their living rooms in 2020, video conference calling became a daily routine for many.
To discover the absolute best service in video conferencing, we tried and tested a number of top-ranked tools. After trying them out for a while, we noticed how we were slowly leaning toward two of them in particular.
In this article, we’ll present you with all of the features that they offer and show you how they compare to each other, so you can decide which one deserves a spot on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
Why Choose BlueJeans or Zoom?
Let’s start by introducing BlueJeans and Zoom, see what they are, and where they come from.
BlueJeans and Zoom are both US cloud companies.
BlueJeans was founded in 2009 as “BlueJeans Network”, but its official name is “BlueJeans by Verizon” now, since the telecom conglomerate Verizon acquired the company in May 2020.
Today, BlueJeans is one of the leaders in the video conferencing sphere and has a history of many innovations in the industry. Since its foundation, the company has been continuously recognized for its achievements in the video calling department.
BlueJeans is a modern platform for a modern workspace. Its web, audio, and video conferencing capabilities bring people together in one simple, secure, and scalable cloud environment.
Zoom, founded in 2001, is a bit younger than BlueJeans, but quite more popular. Zoom’s name carries a lot of weight in the market – its market cap reached a staggering $139 billion in 2020, surpassing the largest oil and gas company in the US – ExxonMobil.
The service enjoys connecting businesses with teams and clients in a frictionless environment and makes sharing voice, video, and content easy and reliable.
Let’s Compare BlueJeans and Zoom
Here, we’ll provide an in-depth insight into BlueJeans and Zoom’s features and weigh in on every key aspect such video conferencing apps should possess.
Let us start by saying that we adore both platforms, in all honesty. However, you’ll notice that we gravitate toward BlueJeans a bit more. But hey, everyone has their own preferences, that doesn’t have to mean anything, so there are no winners and losers here today.
In this comparison, you’ll witness a standoff between BlueJeans and Zoom in 5 different categories. To make things as unbiased as possible, we threw in some real user reviews for both of them, which should allow you to make good sense of what their users say about them.
Now, let’s finally get down to it!
Preparing and handling a video call for a meeting isn’t something that we want to spend hours to set up properly. We all want to focus on the actual meeting, not go through a process of getting familiar with an interface that changes often or that has a big learning curve. When tackling tools like this, we always go with the rule: “If it takes us longer than 3 minutes to set up a video conference, we’re moving onto the next service”. That’s why usability is incredibly important.
BlueJeans has one of the best interfaces of any app, ever! It’s intuitive, clean, and straightforward. All of the main features, such as planning, starting, and joining a video call are accessible from the welcoming screen.
With BlueJeans, you can customize your video call screen to display only the current speaker, another option to display them in a bigger window while the rest of the participants are shown in smaller ones, and to show everyone in an equally sized window.
Everything on the screen is placed within easy reach – and that goes for the icons that allow you to mute yourself, disable your camera, or share your device screen. Administrators have additional privileges to mute and disconnect any other participant.
What’s more, you don’t even have to download and install the app. Unless you’re using advanced features, everything can be done through a browser.
Zoom’s interface is pretty similar to BlueJeans except for some added features on the main screen. We find that a bit counter-intuitive, as a cluttered dashboard overwhelms the human eye and can unnecessarily confuse the user.
Otherwise, the experience is quite satisfactory. Everyone can toggle their settings to enable information about the call quality shown on their screen. That way, you can notice if there’s anyone experiencing lagging or call failure.
Another great thing about Zoom when it comes to usability is the usage of shortcut keys. Everything can be controlled through your keyboard (only on a laptop and desktop). Locking a meeting, accessing the chat, and sharing the screen has never been easier, even though it takes time to get used to the dedicated hotkeys.
What you get for the product you pay is, of course, the reason why that product is a subject of consideration in the first place. And the more useful features a product has, the better. So, let’s see what BlueJeans and Zoom have in store for us.
There are three main products offered on their platform:
- Dolby Voice + HD Video – Advanced technology that ensures high audio and video clarity that reduces background noise and blocks distractions;
- Enhanced Gallery View – A 5×5 grid pattern view for large groups of up to 25 participants. The active speaker is highlighted with a green outline;
- Breakout Sessions – An ability to separate meetings into several groups where participants can be moved between sessions. Useful for creating interactive discussions;
- Smart Meetings – A productivity feature including a calendar to schedule meetings for the whole team, a note-taking option where everyone can contribute their ideas, assigning tasks, tracking to-dos, etc.;
- Universal Accessibility – Automatic closed captions and screen readers for participants with vision and hearing impairment;
- Virtual Backgrounds – Ability to blur the existing background or place an augmented one to minimize distractions;
- Interactive Collaboration – Tools for screen sharing, digital whiteboards, and annotations for brainstorming sessions or project planning;
- Secure and Encrypted Meetings – End-to-end encryption packed with AES-256 GCM for keeping every conversation and meeting secure.
- Join from Any Device – Consistent experience across all devices – meetings are accessible from laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
- Transforming the Traditional Meeting Room – Connected through the right hardware, BlueJeans can convert meeting rooms into digital workspaces;
- Advanced Join Functionality – Minimize friction for the best outcome with one-touch participant join and user-centric controls;
- Flexible Adaptation – BlueJeans Rooms adjusts to any room size for the best possible meeting experience;
- Command Center – Meeting management service to oversee all meetings and terminate potential interferences. Great to track room readiness and availability.
- Conduct Large-Scale Events – Designed to host webinars and town hall meetings with up to 150 presenters and 55,000 participants. Also available for Facebook Live for streaming to millions of viewers;
- Audience Engagement Features – Interactive tools that include polling, hand raising, Q&A, and event chat to keep audiences engaged;
- Cloud Recording – Save complete events for sharing and future presentations.
BlueJeans also offers integration with your favorite apps and services. Connecting to platforms such as Slack, YouTube, Salesforce, Trello, and even Microsoft Teams is made easy with BlueJeans. Use it to complete your stack of business management tools and simplify IT productivity with powerful video conferencing.
Zoom includes four different conferencing solutions:
- HD Video and Audio – Support for up to 1000 participants in a meeting of whom 49 can be present on the screen at a given moment;
- Built-in Collaboration Tools – Screen sharing, hand raising, polls, music sharing, reactions, and video recording are some of the tools that make Zoom so attractive;
- Streamlined Calendaring – Options to schedule meetings directly from your favorite calendars such as Gmail or Outlook;
- Team Chat – Ability to send and receive written messages, share files, and access chat history that goes back for up to 10 years.
- Focus on Usability – Flawless transition between different devices, wireless content sharing, one-touch joins, and robust security for meetings without any disruptions;
- Interactive Whiteboarding – Opportunities to view and annotate over shared content or blank whiteboards;
- Room Size Optimization – Combined with the proper hardware, Zoom makes it quite simple to scale video to any type of room (boardroom, lounge area, classroom, or theater).
- Intelligent Call Routing & Auto Attendants – Connect call quickly and efficiently with system and personal call routing so you never miss any of them;
- Voicemail & Call Recording – Get a hold of your missed calls in a transcribed form on any device;
- Global Coverage – Local phone numbers available throughout the whole world.
- Live Virtual Events – Engage an audience of up to 50,000 participants, hosted by up to 100 panelists;
- Enhanced Engagement – Grant attendees voice and video capabilities;
- Reporting and Analytics – Access valuable data on participants, Q&A, polls, and engagement;
- Live Streaming – Use Facebook Live or YouTube Live to stream events to large audiences, or connect to another service through API.
Just like BlueJeans, Zoom enables support for integration with over 1000 services to improve productivity and bring your team closer with video conferencing, no matter what they use for work.
“If you’re considering hosting a webinar on zoom, this guide can help you with establishing and finalizing the details of your webinar.”
A lot can happen during a video conference, no matter how reliable a service claims to be. Having a skilled team available to assist you in moments of disruption can be of crucial value for many customers.
The platform offers a plethora of choices for establishing contact with their support staff. You can write them an email, submit a ticket, or call them by phone on some of their global support numbers.
BlueJeans also offers valuable resources where you can learn more about their services. Their blog is full of articles on the best practices for collaboration and productivity, and that’s where they publish their latest news.
The platform has an extensive knowledge base as well, packed with training and video tutorials, and instructions for fixing common issues.
Zoom’s help center is the go-to place whenever you need a quick solution for any difficulty you stumble upon. There, you can discover ample quickstart guides, video tutorials, and support topics.
Other than that, Zoom’s support center is operational 24/7, even on public holidays. Free account users can only access it through a virtual assistant, but pro users with licensed accounts can submit a request and chat with a real support agent. Contacting through a phone call is only available to owners of Business, Education, Enterprise, and API accounts.
Prices are often a decisive factor when picking among several options. Here, we’ll see how much BlueJeans and Zoom cost and figure out which one is more affordable.
The Meetings service is offered on three paid plans:
- BlueJeans Standard – $12.49 host/month ($9.99 host/month on an annual plan).
On this plan you can host up to 50 participants and record meetings of up to 5 hours;
- BlueJeans Pro – $17.49 host/month ($19.99 host/month on an annual plan).
This upgrade includes hosting up to 75 participants and up to 25 hours of meeting recording;
- BlueJeans Enterprise – contact their sales team for a quote on the price.
Host up to 100 participants and get unlimited meeting recordings.
- BlueJeans Standard – $12.49 host/month ($9.99 host/month on an annual plan).
There are two paid plans offered for this product:
- BlueJeans Video Webinars – $99/month (100 participants), $379/month (200 participants), and $599/month (500 participants) – all are 17% off if billed annually;
- Large-Scale Video Events – this plan has a custom price based on the size of your targeted audience, which can be as large as 50,000 view-only participants.
- Gateway for Teams
With BlueJeans, you can even connect your existing conference rooms to Microsoft Teams Meetings. This option is available on two paid plans:
- Per Room Plan – $113.85 room/month ($99.99 room/month on an annual plan).
Available for purchase for up to 19 rooms;
- Large Scale Deployment Plan – if you need to purchase more than 19 rooms, contact BlueJeans’ sales team to get a quote with a price.
- Per Room Plan – $113.85 room/month ($99.99 room/month on an annual plan).
*BlueJeans offers a 7-day free trial for the BlueJeans Enterprise plan and a 14-day free trial for BlueJeans Events.
There are four paid plans here:
- Basic – Free
Host up to 100 participants for group meetings of up to 40 minutes;
- Pro – $14.99/month/license ($149.90/year/license).
Host up to 100 participants for group meetings of up to 30 hours;
- Business – $19.99/month/license ($199.90/year/license).
Host up to 300 participants;
- Enterprise – $19.99/month/license ($240/year/license).
Host up to 500 participants.
- Basic – Free
Anyone can try Zoom Rooms on a 30-day free trial. After this period the service costs $40/month/room ($499/year/room).
Zoom Phone is offered on three paid plans:
- US & Canada Metered – $10/month/user;
- US & Canada Unlimited – $15/month/user;
- Pro Global Select – $20/month/user;
- Video Webinar
Depending on the size of your audience, Zoom Video Webinar’s prices can go from $40/month/license for 100 participants ($400/year/license) to $6490/month/license for 10,000 participants ($64,900/year/license).
Many have been using BlueJeans and Zoom’s services for years and posted their experiences on various online reviewing websites. Let’s see what some of them have to say:
“Excellent platform to communicate with colleagues, it is an advanced solution for meetings.
This is a fantastic intuitive tool that can connect and set up calls or meetings with customers outside the company using Outlook or other e-mail instruments. It has laptop, online, or smartphone apps and can be linked to meetings by any media. It facilitates multiple notification settings and helps incorporate various applications, such as world view, and can be synced with the Microsoft contract to offer more secure user profiles.” – Sabrina P.
“BlueJeans is a meeting solution with advanced features. This tool will surprise you.
BlueJeans allows me a fluid communication between my colleagues and me. One of the features that I like about this application is that it allows you to schedule meetings in advance and notify participants by email. This software is designed to support a large number of attendees, so your connections are really stable.” – Luis C.
“BlueJeans Meetings has transformed my online conference experience giving me incredible productive features allowing me to host webinars, live video calls, and online meetings. It also integrates with calendar solutions and offers a private meeting room. Everything is done faster with BlueJeans, participants can join my meetings with just a few clicks away and the quality is excellent.” – Aimee T.
“Easy and fast to use.
Zoom has a large capacity for guests and it very easy for first time users to grasp. It also has helpful features in terms of sharing screen, sharing audio, and also the capability to remove one’s background without the need for a green screen. It allows someone to have professional meetings from within their home with ease.” – Maheshwara M.
“I use Zoom all the time!
I enjoy seeing all my friends and colleagues, being able to chat, watch live virtual performances or presentations, host or attend birthday parties and hang out.
The mute button causes trouble both ways when people are unaware of how to use it. This results in disruptions and failure to share sound. I also don’t like when the host does not pin their video and the inability to properly do gallery mode on mobile.” – Rebecca Y.
“A Work from Home Paradise
I really like the breakout room feature as it helps me during Scrum call with clients, which is an integral part of our company’s operations. Also, screen sharing rights privileges are managed by admin or moderators.
Messages can not be sent to the host outside the breakout rooms in case of any help needed from the host. For example, if an individual needs to take permission for screen sharing, she/he needs to come out of the breakout room and ask the host to do so.” – Gaurav L.
Both BlueJeans and Zoom make for reliable video conferencing solutions. They are modern, constantly improved, accessible, and affordable. With them, anyone can find a suitable option based on their personal or business requirements.
Zoom offers a completely free plan that is pretty basic and suitable only for personal usage. Therefore, it enjoys massive popularity around the world as it’s the most downloaded video conferencing app.
BlueJeans is widely renowned for its remarkable user experience and is more business-oriented and optimized for teams. Personally, we’ve had fewer connection issues with it than we’ve had with Zoom, so we mostly rely on its services.