As the pandemic has transformed the way that people are able to communicate, face to face meetings have become a thing of the past. Video conference calls are now more prevalent than ever. With social distancing and quarantining guidelines in effect to protect the safety and welfare of others, many are turning to these digital platforms. It has reinvented the workplace, schools, and connecting with loved ones. The following are the best free platforms to utilize for video conference calls.
Perhaps the most popular video conference app to emerge throughout all of this is Zoom. At the very beginning this platform advertised for mostly corporate use, but also offered a free version for everyday individuals. The free version of Zoom allows for 100 people to join a conference call, but does enforce restrictions on the time limit. There is a time restraint of 40 minutes for conference calls with more than two users. There are no restrictions on the number of meetings allowed. The help and advice page is an excellent resource for new users.
Skype has been the original go-to platform for video conference calls since it was first released back in 2003. With the new “Meet Now” feature on Skype, users are able to create a video conference call with up to 50 people. One major difference between Skype and Zoom is that there is no time limit set on the meeting. Skype also allows users to share presentations, record video calls for up to 30 days, as well as blur the background in a video meeting if the app has been downloaded.
Originally created to rival Slack, Microsoft Teams is an excellent video conference call resource if already utilizing Microsoft Office. While it was intended for workplace use, it has branched out by unveiling a free personal version for users to take advantage of. This is offered for both iPhones and Android devices, but it not yet available on desktops. Microsoft Teams allows for talk, text, and video conference calls with up to 20 people and allows users to be able to share their screens. When using the text chat feature users are also able to share and send photos as well as audio files with others.