The Brief: Connect with your friends, family, and co-workers while adhering to social isolation guidelines with these video chat platforms and apps.
Video chat platforms and apps allow people to stay in touch, play games, share laughs, and even set up virtual nightclubs during Coronavirus quarantines. Here’s a list of some of the most popular and accessible options to set up your next virtual hang out.
Whether it’s Zoom happy hours, game nights, or memes, Zoom is booming right now. A limited version with 40-minute calls is available for free and paid options enable users to access more features. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Zoom’s CEO has made the app available for K-12 students and teachers. Instances of Zoom bombing and other security issues have been coming up as Zoom’s traffic surges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owned by Fortnite makers Epic Games, Houseparty is designed for interactive game-filled video chats. In late March 2020, rumors were circulating online about Houseparty hacking, but security experts deemed these to be highly unlikely.
As it’s been well-known for over a decade, you may already have Skype downloaded on your computer. Now owned by Microsoft, Skype has features for group video calls, landline connections, live subtitles, and more.
If you have an iOS device, you have FaceTime. You can even ask Siri to call someone up for you. If you’re looking to video chat with an Android user, however, you’ll need to use a different app.
Google Hangouts & Google Duo
This works through your Gmail or Google Account and calls can be made via web browser or a downloadable app. Hangouts include a text chat function in addition to its voice and video call capabilities while Duo is focused entirely on video calls.
You may have seen your TV news network using Cisco’s Webex for their social isolation video content. Webex has options for free usage and more features on paid versions.
8X8 provides video conferencing setups for individuals and businesses with options for free unlimited HD conferencing and more features on a paid plan.
Beloved by gamers, Discord can be used for text, voice, and video chats for two or more people.
Designed with friend and family interactions in mind, this “virtual walkie talkie” app includes fun features to spice up video chats.
Video chat with your Facebook friends through the Messenger app. As many people already have this downloaded, this app can be a quick and convenient way to meet “face to face.”
Other video chat platforms include WhatsApp, Amazon Chime, Bunch, and Squad.