Which Video Chat Provider is Best for My Family?

Which Video Chat Provider is Best?

When it comes time to think about if you want to do a live video chat there are a few options.

 

Skype

50 participants

Mobile app and desktop

Zoom

100 participants but only displays 49 people in a gallery view

Mobile app and desktop

Facebook Live

No limit

Mobile app and desktop

Facebook Messenger

8 participants (more w/ audio)  

Mobile app and desktop

Google Hangouts

10 participants

Mobile app and desktop

Houseparty

8 participants 

Mobile app and desktop

Whereby

4 participants

Mobile app and desktop

Eyeson

9 participants (more w/ audio)  

Mobile app and desktop

 

Skype

We mention Skype often because most people know it, and it's easier if everyone is on it already. If that is your situation then go with what everyone knows. However, Skype has to be installed on a computer or smartphone to work.

Zoom

There is actually a better free product if you don't want anyone to have to download anything. We recommend the free plan on https://zoom.us if you have already some familiarity with how video conferencing works. It's a bit more work for the person hosting the call, but can be less for everyone else.

Their free plan will allow a call up to 40 minutes with 100 people, and yes you can just send them a URL, or an email to click on, and they will have to enter the access code like traditional video conferencing. However, the free plan does not allow recording so keep that in mind, it's a paid option. The product is of good quality and allows more people 'on-screen' than most.

Facebook Live

For Facebook Live, https://live.fb.com/about/,  it does record the video and posts it to your news feed after your done. And Facebook does allow you some control of who you invite. But as far as we know, there isn't a URL you can share, people have to 'live subscribe' to your live feed or just show up at the right time which could work with a plan and assuming everyone is already following whoever is doing to the Live video. Like many things Facebook, it's meant for marketing and has its drawbacks. This is certainly the least private option, but if the whole family is familiar with how Facebook Live works it might be right for you. ​ We also offer our own private hosted service for each site, where everyone can upload recorded video messages that will not go out on social channels unless you want them to. So the right solution really depends on what your family members, including the grandparents! are going to work with the best.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is one of the most common app that you use everyday, therefore, some of you must somehow already know how to use it or even its capacity 

Google Hangouts

Another popular video chat service is Google Hangouts. In order for individuals to participate in a Google Hangouts video chat, everyone will need to have a Google account (either Google+ or Gmail, etc.). Further, Google Hangouts allows 10 participants in a video chat at a time.

Houseparty

A face to face social network that is available on iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome. Houseparty is a social networking app that allows up to eight people to video chat at once in a “room.” Users can have infinite rooms and easily float between rooms. Users receive a notification when friends open the app and can join chats with friends (and friends of friends).

Whereby

If you are looking for a video chat service that will let you chat while the other is on the video, you can try to consider Whereby. This is a good app for medium-sized participants. You don't have to log in anymore, you can already join with a click.

Eyeson

Another great and easy app you can try. A quick join is also available with Eyeson in which you can invite any externals during the call, without registration. You can record and do screen and file sharing.