Disclaimer: We do not have any affiliation with the following companies – however we do use some of these at eJenn Solutions where noted.
With so many people staying home to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, video calls or conferencing are a great way to stay in touch (without touching).
To help the new Work-From-Home forces across the nation, we’ve put together a list of some of the best video chat and video conferencing programs available right now. Read on to learn more about the best video tools online!
RingCentral.com offers voice calls, video meetings, and secure team messaging. While it’s a one-stop-shop for businesses who need phone numbers and contact centers, RingCentral also offers free online meetings for up to 100 participants. You can share your screen, access meetings through their app or website, and easily share content. All for free!
Not to be confused with fellow video conferencing competitor Zoom (more on them in a minute), Loom.com offers free screen and video recording. Not only can you use this robust video software to hold online meetings, it’s also great for recording information that you need to send a client or coworker. Here at eJenn, we use Loom for in-house trainings, customer service issues, and for “show and tell” responses to client questions. We also love this option for sending a video overview of proposals (which saves us and our clients from having to schedule a walk-through meeting). Win-win!
Zoom is a super popular, super reliable, video conferencing software with a great free plan! You can video chat one-on-one for as long as you want on the free plan (however meetings with 3 or more people are limited to 40 minutes). One of the best things about Zoom is that it records audio and video separately! This is how we at eJenn record all of our podcasts; that way we have both an audio and video file for later use. Plus, it integrates easily into Google Calendar, and you can always share your screen with your fellow video chatee.
If you want to get up-and-video-chatting quickly, Join.me is great. All you have to do is schedule or start your online meeting and send the link to participants. Participants don’t have to download and install any software, simply enter the meeting ID, and voila! You’re off to the video chat races! And, like many of the other video softwares on this list, Join.me records your video chats (if you want), has the option to schedule meetings, and allows you to share your screen.
If you subscribe to Office 365, then you have access to Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is the group chat software included with your subscription. It allows you to invite everyone you work with to virtually gather all in one place. You can video chat, call, and collaborate on the platform where you’re already working.
If you don’t use Office 365 and simply want to see your friends and family during video calls, then Skype is a great option for you! This is the free video conferencing and chat software for personal use from Microsoft (although not our favorite option on this list).
The Google version of video chatting takes place via Google Hangouts. If it’s just you and one other person, all you have to do is either share a link to the Hangout, or invite them through their Gmail address. Got more than one person you’re trying to chat online with? No problem, just start a Google Hangouts Meeting and follow the same process (send a link or an invite) and you’ll be chatting in no time. No matter which option you use, you can share your screen, send in-call chat messages, and invite more people.
Last on our list (but not in our hearts) is Drift.com! Drift was first known for their amazing, easy-to-use website chat (Have you tried it? Great way to capture leads on your website), but now they’ve branched out to include online video chat, too! Record and send personalized videos or GIFs, record your screen, and you can easily share what you’ve recorded. It’s a quick and easy way to send personalized messages to customers – or anyone who could use a little pick-me-up.
That’s the end of our list, but we know there are a ton more options out there that didn’t make our list. If you’ve got a video conferencing software or program you use (and love!), share it with us in the comments below! We’re always on the lookout for more ways to connect with friends, fans, and followers online!