FREE Video Chat Tools

Eight 8ood and free video chat apps around that you can try while social distancing.

free-video-chat-tools

1. Zoom

Definitely the most used verb now. Zoom Basic (Free) offers a lot of features, including saving your meeting recordings locally on a PC in video, audio and easy screen sharing on both desktop and mobile devices.

The limitation of this free tier is that group meeting of 3 or more pax can only last 40 minutes. So while 1-to-1 meetings are unlimited, once you’ve three parties in the chat, it will cut-off at 40 minutes. But nothing is stopping you from scheduling a Part II to the meeting after a well-deserved 5 minutes break maybe.

2. WebEx

The daddy to Zoom. Go google about history of Zoom’s CEO. Definitely playing catch up to Zoom. This used to be what I purchased for our organization many years back since 2012. Around 2017, we find that Zoom was more economical and user friendly. Our users were much happier with Zoom than WebEx. WebEx has recently change their WebEx Free Personal offering. Offering a similar free group meeting of up to 100 pax with a 50 minutes time limit. And the Covid-19 promo are quite attractive, four months free when purchasing annual plan. Very much similar to Zoom in terms of host license, and features…like father like son. When asked about WebEx security, I used to answer….it’s by Cisco. Enough said.

3. Google Meet

It’s now free for everyone. Used to be bundled with the paid G Suite package. It’s Google but still works on iOS. Can use with Google’s range of productivity app. Meetings are capped at 60 minutes. But from now till 30 Sep, it is unlimited 24 hours.

4. WhatsApp

Facebook’s WhatsApp has recently increased group call limit to eight people. An easy choice for family and friends since we were group “whatsapp-ing” anyway. If it’s a small party of eight.

5. HouseParty

Talking about parties. This the party. Unlike the traditional schedule and meet, you can use this if you’re bored on a weekday night and looking for some fun, you can scan for some unlocked room and conversation to join and join the games or discussions. Hard to describe by traditionalist, I will provide a link so you don’t go to the wrong “house”, find out more here Houseparty.

6. Skype

Probably the grand daddy of all video chat app. It evolves from VOIP calls to an instant messenger and video conference tool. Has a new feature call Meet Now, where those without Microsoft or Skype accounts can still join the meeting.
Each video call can take up to 50 pax and has a 4 hours time limit. But note there is a limit of 100 hours per month and also no more than 10 hours per day. So you may want to take turns hosting among your team and peers.

7. FaceTime

By Apple and only for iOS devices. Enough said.

8. Facebook Messenger Rooms

Probably the most awaited one after Whatspp. Currently, it’s available with the Facebook and Messenger apps.
Do expect it to come to WhatsApp as Facebook owns WhatsApp.
No time limit for a group size of up to 50 pax. Invited attendees can join in as guests without having to sign up with Facebook.

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