Which Video Calling Service is Best for Me or My Business?
Skype has been around for years so is a household name, but for those who don’t know what it is:
Skype is an app / software that is available on Windows Computers, Mac Computers, Smartphones and Tablets. Skype allows people to make free audio and video calls over the internet. You can make calls to one individual or use the group call function.
Skype is great for both personal use and for work as it allows you to send messages, and have audio or video group calls for up to 50 people for free.
Skype has some paid options, such as if you wanted to use it for SMS messages or to call a phone number. To use the free service, everyone you want to communicate with must also have Skype installed.
Skype is easy to use, download it and set up and account and you are ready to go!
Skype allows the transfer of files whilst you are in a conversation however the file size is limited to 300mb. The files are available to download from Skype for up to 30 days following them being sent.
Learn more about Skype here: https://www.skype.com/en/
Whatsapp is primarily an instant message chat app for Smartphones. You can use it on a Windows PC or Mac however you must first have it installed on a Smartphone in order to link the account.
Whatsapp has the facility to make both audio and video calls to other Whatsapp users for free. You can also make audio and video group calls for up to 8 people.
You can send files using Whatsapp and they will be stored in the chat with no expiration date. Some file types may be excluded though.
Find out more about Whatsapp here: https://www.whatsapp.com
Zoom has been thrown in to the media spotlight recently but has actually been around quite some time.
Zoom is aimed more at businesses that the Whatsapp and Skype and has additional features such as scheduled meetings, group collaboration, seminars and screen sharing.
There is a free version of Zoom available which does most of what a small business may need however it does have some limitations such as group chats ending after 40 minutes. Your company could upgrade to Pro for a few £££ per month to allow access to more features.
Zoom can be used via an app on Smartphones, Tablets and Computers or directly on the Web.
You don’t have to be a business to sign up, it’s great stability makes it a perfect choice for hosting family quizzes or games nights when you can’t get together for example.
Find out more about Zoom here: https://zoom.us/home?zcid=2478
Houseparty calls itself a face to face social network. It is aimed mostly at private users, and promotes video calls that your friends can join.
Houseparty is available on Smartphones, tablets and computers however most people tend to use it on their phones. You accept friends, then when a friend opens the houseparty app, you get a pop up message on your phone telling you that your friend is ‘in the house’. You can then join a group chat with them with 1 click, unless they have locked the room that they are in.
Houseparty has built in games to play online, during a video call, with your friends. Many of the games have optional upgrades available for purchase such as a new set of questions.
Find out more about Houseparty here: https://houseparty.com
Teams is aimed at companies and is intended to be used with other Microsoft365 software. Teams allows video and audio calling, group collaborations and screen sharing for your employees.
Teams has both free and paid options. I would normally explain the difference however teams billing works slightly different depending on whether your company already uses Microsoft365 and what packages you have in place.
Teams is a good long term option for a company who are either split between various offices or have many employees working from home who may need to collaborate.
Find out more about Teams here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/free
Facebook Messenger is free to anyone with a personal Facebook Account. It can be used on a computer, tablet or Smartphone.
Primarily an instant messenger chat app, audio and video calls are free between users.
As the service is logged in to via your personal Facebook account, it is not recommended to be used for companies.
Facebook is currently rolling our the ability to use Messenger to group call up to 50 people.
Find out more about Messenger here: https://www.messenger.com