Video conferencing apps have really come into their own during the pandemic. With so many employees working from home, and people in general avoiding face-to-face contact, a video conferencing application makes life much easier. The good news is that there is a great range of options to choose from. Some of them are even free!
You don’t need any special equipment to set up a video chat with co-workers or a conference with clients. As long as you have an internet connection, a Logitech webcam, and a screen, you are good to go. Read on for a guide to some of the best video chat apps for small businesses.
Zoom has been one of the big winners during the pandemic and Zoom chats have become a standard way to keep up with family and friends in lockdown. Of course, you can also use Zoom for business chats, and it lets up to 1,000 people participate in one conference. This makes Zoom a good choice if you plan to hold a training session online or shoot a live webinar for clients.
There is a free Zoom version if you want to keep costs low, but if you think you might need extra features, it is worth paying for the business version on a monthly subscription.
Skype has been around for a lot longer than the likes of Zoom, and it’s still a good option for small businesses. Downloading Skype is simple, and anyone can use it. The interface is easy to work with and you can Skype clients and colleagues for free, with up to 250 participants in one video call.
Because Skype is now owned by Microsoft, it integrates seamlessly with Office 365. This makes sharing Office documents a simple process. If you only need Skype for a few people at a time, it’s free, but if you need to add more than 100 people, you’ll need to pay for the premium business version.
GoToMeeting is another popular choice for small businesses, as it is very versatile and offers apps for iOS and Android. There isn’t a free version of GTM but for a small monthly fee, it does offer plenty of useful features, including integrated scheduling, end-to-end encryption, and meeting transcriptions.
Because GTM offers mobile apps, it’s great if you like to keep up with colleagues and clients on the move. Simply set up a virtual meeting from your smartphone and you are good to go.
Microsoft Teams is backed by the might of one of the world’s biggest tech giants. Microsoft Teams is aimed at larger businesses, but it is just as useful for smaller businesses, especially if you plan to host webinars for large audiences.
MS Teams has all the key features you will need, including screen sharing and live captioning. It works with desktop and mobile, which makes it very versatile for small businesses. The cheapest option is less than $10 a month and supports up to 300 participants.
Other options worth considering include Google Meet and Nextiva.