Video chat apps serve several purposes. They allow users to easily stay connected to friends and family members. Some are also suited for professional settings, helping you work remotely with your colleagues and even facilitate team building. Most of these platforms are free and easily accessible. In this article, therefore, we take a look at some of the best video chat apps you can use, be it for work or casual chatting.
Video Chat Apps Covered
The video chat apps that will be covered in this article are: Zoom Meeting, Skype, Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, and Microsoft Teams. Click the name of the app your interest in to jump to section about it.
Zoom Meeting is a relatively new application that has tremendously picked up the pace. As of now, it is the best all-round video chat and conferencing app. It is easily accessible and works with a range of devices and operating systems, such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Web.
Zoom meeting is suitable for casual and professional settings, which explains why many people have embraced it. This video chat application has useful features that make it worth settling for.
There are two versions that you can choose; the free version and the pro version. Some of the features available in both versions include screen sharing, live annotations, and encryption. The free version is suitable for casual video chats with a friend. However, it only supports a maximum of three users for a duration of forty minutes.
If you need more time, you have to pay for the Pro Version, which only costs $15. It allows you to host as many as 100 people in your call. For professional settings, the Business Version comes in handy. It permits more callers and has even better features. Concerns have been raised over the app’s security in light of recent hacking and streaming of offensive content. However, the app is steadily fixing these concerns to make the platform safe for its users.
- Here are some of the advantages that set this application ahead of the competition:
- It serves both casual and professional communications.
- It works with several operating systems.
- It can be accessed from all platforms.
- The free version has a user limit.
- You have to pay for a group call.
Skype is undoubtedly one of the oldest video chat applications. Just like Zoom, it works with a range of devices and operating systems. You can easily skype with your iPhone, android smartphone, MacBook, Xbox, or via the web. This product from Microsoft allows you to chat with fifty people for free. It has a browser client, which can be accessed in any device or smartphone on the face of the earth. If you are looking for an easy to use application, Skype has it all.
Skype supports international calls and texting, making it suitable for universal communication. You don’t have to own a personal device to use Skype, Which is one of the major selling points of this video platform. The free version is for basic chatting and keeping up with friends. If you need more service, especially for business set-up, Skype has a paid version, which we will look at later in the course of our discussion.
- It is easy to use.
- The free version allows up to 50 users.
- It is a multinational platform.
- The business tier is pretty expensive.
If you enjoy using Google services, then Google Duo is the right video chat platform for you. It doubles up as the best video chat application for Android users. Most android smartphones come with the app pre-installed. All it requires is just a small set-up, and you are ready to go. One can say that Google Duo is the Android version of FaceTime, which comes pre-installed on the iPhone and iPad.
This platform is easy to access not only on Android but also on other operating systems. If you own a MacBook, you can still connect with friends via the app using the web. Duo has several features that you will find helpful. You can easily record and send video messages apart from the live video chat sessions. It also lets you connect with your friends and family members, whether or not they are available.
You are limited to only eight people for group calls. This application, on the other hand, is one of the easiest to use. It is also available on iOS platforms, which means that you can easily connect with your friends who own iPhones and iPads.
- It is also available for iOS users.
- It comes already installed on many Android smartphones.
- It is easy to use.
- It is easily accessible and can be fun for a small group chat.
- You can access all the features for free.
- It is compatible with different operating systems.
- You can only call a maximum of eight people at a time.
I am pretty sure that you already have a Facebook account, which means that using Facebook Messenger to video call your friends won’t be challenging. This video chat application is the best alternative to FaceTime. It can be easily accessed via the web; therefore, owning a device is not a requirement. It works with both iOS, Windows, and Android operating systems. You can easily video call your friends provided that you have signed in to your Facebook account via the Facebook Messenger application.
Facebook messenger is the right way of keeping up with your Facebook friends. It does not matter whether your account is active or not; you will still be eligible to use the platform. Facebook Messenger is easy to use. It has a beautiful and easy to navigate interface, which attracts users. There is a little video camera icon strategically placed in the upper right corner of the screen when you click on a friend or group. You will be good to go by just tapping on it.
Facebook messenger allows up to fifty users to communicate at a given time, which makes it better than FaceTime, which only allows a maximum of 32 users. You still retain access to other Messenger features. Asa result, you can send messages, stickers, and emojis while video calling and communicating with your friends.
- You only need to have a Facebook account.
- It is free.
- It allows up to 50 users.
- You can still access other features while video calling.
- It is only suitable for friends and not colleagues.
Microsoft Teams is the business version of Skype. Microsoft Teams is one of the best video chat and teleconferencing platforms one can use for professional services. It is, however, quite detailed as opposed to the casual video chatting platform. This platform is most suited for businesses that use Microsoft 365. It is not free as opposed to skype, which is why it is meant for corporate functions and not catching up with family and friends. It does not come alone. It is combined with Microsoft 365 business and enterprise plans.
The plans offered depend on the volume of the business. For small businesses, there is a Microsoft Business 365 Essentials plan, which costs $5 per user and is billed annually. Users can also settle for the Microsoft 365 Premium, which costs $12.50 monthly, also billed annually. The Premium plan allows users to access the full Microsoft 365 suite for desktop applications, whereas the essential plan provides access to the cloud-based 365 applications and storage. For big businesses, there are four plans ranging from $8 to $35 monthly charge per user.
This application allows you to schedule a video or audio meeting with a person or the entire team, thanks to the Microsoft 365 integration. It can support large conferences and webinars of up to 10,000 participants. Microsoft Teams has several features that users find helpful, including screen sharing, call recording, live captions, background blur, and different chat functions. Users can join calls from everywhere thanks to their powerful hardware options.
It can be used on both smartphones and desktops provided that you have the necessary device. You, however, need a Microsoft account, and the company needs access to the software. If you lack a smartphone, a web browser will serve just fine. If you are worried about the app’s security, Microsoft Teams is one of the safest video chatting platforms. It controls those who can join the calls and meetings and the data that can be shared or accessed.
All the data is encrypted in Microsoft data centers, and therefore, you don’t have to b worried about information leaks.
- It is secure, thanks to the end to end encryption.
- It allows webinars of up to 10000 users.
- It is highly customizable.
- It has several integration options.
- It only serves corporates.
- It is quite detailed.
Video calling has been made easier by the different apps we have covered in this article. There is something for everyone, regardless of the device you own. Before settling on a platform, make sure that you consider the number of users you are targeting and the cost of using it. Other factors include usability and accessibility. All in all, you can never go wrong with the options we have discussed.