Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for social distancing has increased and travel is limited. People are no longer allowed to gather or interact face-to-face like the days before the pandemic.
To fill that void, people are flocking to video conference apps that allow meetings to be conducted without any limitation. Individuals who are new to this way of communication may find it confusing at first but will realize how easy it is to get up and running.
Below is a list of apps or programs you can use to conduct video chats or video conferences at the click of a button.
Google is not new to the video chat space, they originally had this feature available on their Google Plus platform. Video conferencing was then moved to Google Hangouts which is still available on the Gmail platform.
Google has taken it a step further with a new program which has been launched in May of 2020 called Google Meet. Google Meet allows you to create or join video meetings with live captioning and screen sharing for up to 100 people.
The best thing about this program is it’s absolutely FREE! All you need is a Gmail account to get started. Because Google Meet is accessible via the web, you can use any device that has a webcam attached to it. That means you can use your desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or mobile phone in your meetings.
Skype is a messaging software that adds video chat capabilities to the overall product. Chat with family, friends, and clients by conducting one-on-one video messaging. Skype gives you the ability to send chat messages or call people on your contact list.
Contact fellow Skype users via text message (SMS) or one the phone. You can even call people without Skype from all around the world at a low cost. Want to use Skype as a second phone? They provide you with your very own phone number.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Skype has added a new feature to there platform called Meet Now. Without downloading any software or signing up, you can create or join a meeting up to 50 people. All you need to do is create a meeting link, share the link with the participants, and join the call. Your meeting link does not expire and it can be accessed at any time.
Skype software is available for an array of platforms such as desktop, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and Xbox One gaming devices. Skype’s Meet Now addition can be accessed instantly online. Create, share your link, and start your video meeting within minutes.
Zoom is a video conferencing software that has grown in popularity over the past few months at the start of the pandemic. Zoom allows you to host up to 100 participants at a time. Group meetings are limited to 40 minutes on the free plan.
Zoom offers an unlimited 1-to-1 meetings which is excellent for interviews, onboarding, screensharing, and more. Create an unlimited number of meetings. When you upgrade to one of the premium packages, you get the ability to create a vanity url for sharing on your website, email, or social media.
Record meetings at upto 1GB. Pro plan features allow you to record via the cloud and add custom branding to your sessions. Need more than 100 participants and want to host a video conference party, pro offers up to 300 participants while enterpise plus package offers up to 1000.
Want to do a video webinar? Zoom gives you the ability to. Host up to 100 interactive video panelists, perform Q/A with live or text answers, polling, registration, and reporting. Go live to unlimited audiences via Facebook Live and YouTube.
Zoom is available for desktop and laptop computers running both Windows 7/8/10 or MacOS.
Messenger Rooms by Facebook has jumped into the video chat and video conferencing space due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because Facebook has a huge user base of well over a billion users, what better way to introduce a product that will challenge its competitors for supremacy.
Messenger Rooms gives you the ability to create rooms with over 50 people. Those who have the Messenger app or who are signed up with Facebook has the opportunity to create rooms and share links to those who don’t have an account. If a room is created and is public, you can join for free without signing up.
Each created room has no time limits. This means you can run each room for as long as you like. For those with Apple iPhones, you can make your video chat experience fun by brightening things up with camera filters, mood lighting, themed events, and 360-degree backgrounds. This feature will soon be available for all smartphone devices.
At the time of writing this, Messenger Rooms is only available for the Messenger app and Facebook. Messenger Rooms will soon be available for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Portal devices to continue to check-in.
Whereby is a platform that focuses on one thing, and that’s video conferencing. Their free plan is available to all users and allows you to have up to 4 participants. What makes this platform stand apart from others is the ability to create a unique URL that can be shared via social media, email, or on your personal website.
Whereby has two other premium plans that offer more features and are things that other platforms don’t offer. Create branded rooms where you can add a custom logo and background graphics. If you want to archive your online sessions, you have the ability to record, download, store locally, and share them.
Whereby extends its functionality by integrating with YouTube, Google Drive, and Trello. Open Trellow boards, YouTube Videos, and Google Drive inside your meeting rooms. The highest plan costs $59.99/month and allows you to meet up to 50 participants. API functionality allows you to integrate Whereby into websites, platforms, and apps.
Whereby is accessible online so any computer or mobile device with a webcam and mic is supported.
Webex is another video conferencing platform that allows people from all over the world to communicate with each other. Webex has 4 flexible plans to choose from that will suit many individual and business needs.
The free plan allows up to 100 participants, while the business plan allows up to 200 in each meeting. Run each meeting for as long as you want without intereuption. You can set up an unlimited amount of video conferences.
If the free plan isn’t enough, for $13.50/m you have the ability to record each meeting and save for later usage or sharing. One of the highlighted features of Webex is the abiliy to share files between participants. The plus plan allows you to create your very own customized URL.
Because Webex is owned by Cisco, video meetings or conferences can be viewed on a variety of Cisco devices such as the Webex Desk Pro, Webex Board, and the Webex Room 55 and 70. If you don’t have any of those devices, no worries. Webex is accessible through there website and allows you to start your video conference from any device (computer or mobile) with internet access.
Oovoo is an app that takes facetime to another level. You get to call up to 7 friends at once and video chat with them from anywhere around the world. Compared to the other platforms on this list, Oovoo is mainly a social video platform.
Other than doing a video meeting with up to 7 participants, you can create and share videos with people around the world. You get a unique screen name that you can share with friends. Like Facetime on Apple Products, you can do facetime with people from a variety of mobile devices, as long as they have the Oovoo app installed.
Share video, images, and text messages with friends at the click of a button. Oovoo has been on the market for years and keeps things simple. To get started, you can download this app via the Apple Store or the Google Play store.