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5 services and apps for online video conferencing

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The social distancing suggested by the World Health Organization due to the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world’s routine. Work and classes are now distanced and chatting with friends and family is only online .

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available for anyone who needs to keep working online. This is the case of videoconferencing applications , which are in high demand today. Through them, it is possible to hold meetings with co-workers in the company, with customers and suppliers, without neglecting contact with friends and family.

What alternatives are you using right now to stay connected? In this article, we list five free online services that allow you to conduct videoconferences simply and quickly . Limitations vary from app to app and some offer extra features in paid versions.

1. Zoom

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic marked the rise of the Zoom service. Today it is one of the most interesting alternatives for those who want to carry out videoconferences. Available for Android, PC and iOS, the service is free and holds up to 100 people in the same room.

However, conferences cannot last longer than 40 minutes: to pass this time, you must purchase the paid version of the service. To create a room you must create a user account. Then, just send the link with login and password to your friends and start using. Simple, fast and practical.

 

2. Google Meet

Google Meet is the new name for Google Hangouts, certainly the most popular option in the market when it comes to videoconferencing. As part of the Gmail application suite, it is available free of charge to all users, but limited to up to 10 people per conference.

Companies can purchase special plans that allow you to gather up to 25 users in each chat room. The integration with all Google services, such as Calendar and Calendar, in addition to Gmail and Drive, ends up being one of the biggest differentials of the platform. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, until September 30th, Google released the possibility of inviting up to 100 participants to meetings of up to 1 hour.

 

3. Microsoft Teams

Just as Hangouts is the best alternative for those who use Google services, Microsoft Teams is the most interesting option for companies using the Office suite . Completely integrated with services such as Word, Excel and Power Point, the tool allows, in addition to videoconferences, various forms of collaborative work.

Launched in 2016, Microsoft Teams is the evolution of the business version of Skype. It is a communication system for teams that is fully integrated with Office suite applications and has versions for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS. Integration with third-party apps via API is another differentiator.

 

4. Facebook Messenger

There are two big advantages to using Facebook Messenger. The first is that since almost everyone has a user account on the social network, you don’t have to do anything: just connect, choose your contacts and start a videoconference. The second advantage is the user limit: up to 50 people per conversation.

The platform is available for both smartphones and PC. However, the fact that it is recurrently integrated into the user’s personal account weighs against the service. Some people don’t like to mix their professional and personal lives, so some employees may resist the platform.

 

5. WhatsApp

Finally, the last alternative is the most obvious of all, but maybe you didn’t think of it as a video conferencing solution. WhatsApp is the communication tool most used by Brazilians and it is very likely that all members of your team have the service installed on their cell phone.

The disadvantages here are the limit of users per videoconference – a maximum of 8 per call – and the fact that this feature only works on smartphones. WhatsApp Web version is not compatible with video conferencing

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