In this article, we'll review Loom, which is a new video messaging app that also is a screen recorder.
What is Loom
Loom is a screen recorder for the web browser and an app for desktops and mobile phones. The software targets remote working teams to communicate better in their remote work environment, although this is free for anyone to use. There is even a special plan for teachers and educators.
While screen recording apps have been around for some time now, Loom is really a better tool than the older apps because of its user-friendly intuitive controls, easier video-sharing ability and the camera headshot option that is just up-to-date functionality.
A Video Messaging App
Loom is more than just a screen recording app. It is a computer screen recorder, video recorder, face recorder, voice recorder, auto audio transcript, and emojis, all in one app.
How can Loom be useful to you?
If you work in a remote environment or have to deal with clients and prospects remotely, then read on, because this app is perfect for you.
Save Writing Long Emails TLDR
Emails can be a good start to send your message across, but sometimes when a 5-minute conversation could do face to face, it takes a whole 5-pager of words to type or read.
This can lead to TLDR (too long, didn't read), and ultimately, miscommunication between team members. Save time by screen recording what you need to present, or just say with your camera and share the link via email. Loom videos can be embedded on Gmail.
Onboarding Clients and Teammates with Loom Video Messaging
To onboard new clients, customers, or team members, simply screen record your video tutorials and share the video via a link. Loom videos can also be embedded on several web platforms.
Loom is especially useful for helping out clients or team members who don't understand the technical settings .
Skip the Online Video Meetings
Loom is an excellent tool for team collaboration. There's even a trending hashtag that says Loom before Zoom.
In a remote working environment, where team members can be across time zones, it can become inconvenient to have an online meeting that typically uses Zoom. However, with Loom, team members can skip frequent online meetings by simply recording video screen captures for training and documentation.
Using Loom – How to Use Loom?
To start with, you can either download the Loom app, even on desktop Windows or Mac or just by using a Chrome browser extension. The app is also available for mobile, Android, and iOS, but for this article, we'll show you how to use Loom on desktop with a Chrome browser extension on desktop.
How to start recording and screen capture
After you've downloaded the Loom Chrome browser extension, just click on the Loom icon on your browser to start recording. You will be promoted to start recording but first, you need to select your recording option. Loom allows for three different screen recording settings. These are:
Once you've selected the recording settings you prefer, you can then click start recording. For the options screen and camera or just camera, you can choose whether to record the entire screen or just the current tab.
How to share your video
Just like a YouTube video, you can share your link with anyone. However, if you are worried about privacy and want only to grant access to certain people, Loom offers that option too.
To share a link with only certain people, you need to key in their email addresses. You can then select if the person can view only or if he or she can edit.
For other privacy concerns, Loom also offers the ability to insert a password to your shared video, as well as prevent Google or other web crawlers from indexing your shared video. You can also limit your video shared to only your team members.
How to configure your settings
The Chrome extension allows for advanced setting options on the screen recording. These include choosing your camera source, choosing your audio source, and selecting a photo only of your headshot (instead of a video). The audio source option also includes the ability to record the audio of the opened tab for your screen recording.
You can also capture and record Zoom meetings or Microsoft Team meetings, for as long as all the participants of the meeting agree to the recording. However, this function is only available on the Loom desktop app..
How to Do Video Editing
Loom has simple video editing functionalities that allow you to trim, cut or even stitch another video onto your current video.
To remove parts of your video, choose split or trim, just like other video editing apps you're familiar with.
To stitch on another video clip onto your current video, you first need to select trim and add new clips.
How to Edit Audio Transcripts
Loom also automatically generates transcripts of your audio. If you're not a confident speaker and often use filler words, worry not, Loom allows for editing your transcript that it has automatically generated.
After you have finished recording your video, you can click on Review Transcript. From there, you can edit the automatically-generated transcript of your video by clicking on the pen icon. You can then choose to delete or correct the word, or you can choose the correct all option. Once you're satisfied with your edited transcript, click done.
However, Loom is not a grammar checker, so you won't be able to edit your audio transcript for grammar. Once the audio transcript is ready, it automatically becomes the caption on your video.
Loom Plans and Pricing
The wonderful news is that Loom is available as a Free Forever plan, known as the Starter Plan. There is also the paid plan versions: the Business and Enterprise version.
The free plan offers really generous functionalities that other companies do not offer as many options in their free plans.
For example, the Loom free plan offers up to 25 videos per person and up to 50 creators for a video limit of a 5-minute duration.
The free plan also offers an instant editing option, audio transcripts, privacy controls, and viewing analytics.
Loom also offers a free plan for educators, where you have to sign up under your educational institution name. The advantage of this plan compared to the free plan is the video recording limit is increased to 40 minutes of recording time.
Loom Business pricing is super affordable at only USD8 per creator per month. So if your work team is small, this option becomes really economical to opt for. The Loom Business plan offers all of the functionalities of the free plan and more. The most notable difference is the recording time, from a mere five minutes video to unlimited time as well as unlimited videos per person. The Business version is limited to 50 members, just like the free version.
Loom also offers an Enterprise plan, although they do not disclose the pricing for this option. The functionalities are similar to the business version with the added benefits of unlimited members, advanced privacy options, and additional integration options including integrating into Slack.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Loom
It is totally understandable that people may have some reservations about using Loom, especially f it involves work-related matters, where reliability, security, and pricing are major concerns that impact your decision to use or not to use.
Some of the questions that are commonly asked include:
Reliability matters for people and organizations that need to access stored videos. Since Loom is not only a screen recording software but also a video sharing software, that means that all videos that are recorded and shared are uploaded onto their cloud servers. For reliable, resilient, and secure hosting, Loom uses Amazon Web Services (AWS). To put things into perspective, top internet companies use AWS to host their software and data including the likes of Netflix, Slack, Adobe, and Pinterest.
Privacy and security matter, especially when it relates to proprietary, competitive information about your business or organization. Loom takes security matters seriously and has installed firewalls and SSL-encrypted web sockets.
Loom's Business pricing is really affordable for most remote work teams and organizations. Not only does Loom saves time for your team members, when they no longer have to do much typing for documenting a process when they can now just screen record, but it also makes communicating between team members more seamless, without being in real-time. This would really benefit team members who are spread across different time zones.
Granted that the idea behind Loom is not a new concept. Screen recorders have been around for almost as long as the 21st century. So let's take a look at the screen recorder alternatives to Loom.
Screen Recorder on Windows 10 – free
If you have been using Windows for a long time, and you didn't know about this feature, worry not. Not many people are aware of this free built-in screen recording feature.
To launch this feature on Windows, you would need to go to the start menu, and search for ‘ Xbox Game bar' in the windows bar. Once you see the app, click on it, and you will see the record button. Make sure you check on your microphone settings before clicking record. To share the recording, you would either need to upload it to Youtube, Google Drive, or another cloud hosting platform. Emails normally limit sending videos due to the large file size.
This is a good alternative if you are using a screen recorder as a solopreneur, freelancer, or just for fun. However, this is not really useful for remote working teams, as they would a separate hosting platform.
Slack – the video recorder and audio recorder are available on Slack's paid plan. However, there is only a 5-minute recording limit. Slack's paid plan starts from $6.67. This is way more expensive than Loom, as Loom offers a 5-minute recording period for free.
Asana – the video messaging, and screen recording are available for Asana users on the free and paid plans. For this feature, Asana works with Vimeo, a Youtube competitor, where the video recordings are stored. While it's not clear how much time you are given for video recordings, their privacy option is very limited given that anyone with the link can access the video.
Snagit – is another screen capture and screen recording software. However, it still has the old-school feel of screen recording. Once you have recorded your video, you can download it as a GIF or as an MP4 file. You will need to upload it to a third-party platform to share your video with others. It's also only available on paid plans.
Dropbox Capture – A serious contender to Loom is Dropbox Capture, where all of the functionalities offered by Loom is available in Dropbox. However, it is still in beta mode, so reliability is a serious issue. What if Dropbox decides not to go ahead with this new app? What will happen to all of your recordings moving forward? Right now, it's only available on Dropbox's paid plans.
Screen recording software has come a long way from when it first started. Now screen recording apps are no longer serving just a singular function. It has transformed into a full-fledged video recording app that combines the functionalities of a screen recorder, video, and audio recorders, auto transcription, and emojis all in one.
This is especially useful as we move into a distributed, remote teamwork environment, where team communication is an essential component of success. Loom is just the right tool to enable that success with their video messaging app.