In one of our previous blogs, we had briefly discussed the use of video chat software to help conduct business and connect with loved ones. These days, with society being locked down, this kind of software is more important than ever in establishing face-time with users, which makes for better social interaction than voice or text, where contact and social cues may be lost. Some popular options include the following:
Skype One of the more popular options for video chatting also includes 100 hours of video chat time included in a free account. Chat groups can have up to 25 users, instant messaging and screen sharing -- features that are also available in other similar software.
Similar to Skype, WhatsApp has seen an explosion of users in the past few years. That means there's a good chance that many users you know will have this app and its extensive communication features. The one downside is only having up to 4 people teleconference, which is a bummer.
This is Google's attempt to break into the instant messaging market as a direct competitor to WhatsApp. This takes advantage of any existing Google accounts you may use to teleconference up to to 10 people who can also share files and screen share.
To address the biggest con, this is only for Apple users. But if you are an Apple user, then you have a great video chatting service already pre-installed on your device that is easy to use and has built-in end-to-end encryption. Be aware this is mostly used for personal one-to-one conversations as you can only video conference between 2 accounts.
Perhaps the fastest growing video conference service on the market, this is a free service that is essentially Skype on steroids. Users have a whole suite of features at their disposal, and it comes with HD video and audio. It's free to use, but sessions only last up to 40 minutes and only 50 users can join. Both can be upgraded to higher amounts with a paid account.
Whichever one you choose, make sure to keep in mind things like your online security and your data usage if you're on a limited data plan. And of course you will need the necessary bandwidth to support video conferencing effectively, which is why SurfBroadband recommends up to 20 Mbps minimum for good quality video conferencing.