Five Best Web-Based Video Chat Services
If you need a little face time with friends and family that live far away, firing up a video chat has never been easier. These days you don't even need to install an app or download a heavy client-many services let you open a browser and within seconds see your friend's face, no matter where they are in the world. This week we're going to look at five services that give you the best, fastest, and most hassle-free video chatting experience.
Earlier this week we asked you
Google Hangouts almost doesn't need a description. When it was introduced back in 2011
Facebook Video Chat launched in 2011
Strictly, AnyMeeting is more of a videoconferencing service than it is a video chat service, but it fills the role nicely enough that some of you nominated it. It's lightweight, and only requires a browser plugin to work. It's free (although it's ad-supported), and you'll get nagging here and there to upgrade to the $18/mo ""Pro 25"" account or the $78/mo ""Pro 200"" account, which both remove the ads, bump up the number of people you can have in a videoconference simultaneously to 25 and 200 (respectively), and the option to record your meetings and web conferences for future playback. While Google Hangouts can go ""On Air"" on YouTube, you're still limited to 10 active participants and 100 people in a group Hangout (if you're broadcasting, more people can watch). With AnyMeeting, even free accounts can bring 200 people to the party (you just can't record your meeting). Screen sharing, presentation uploading, YouTube video sharing, and a custom URL for your account and all of your meetings are just some of the features the service offers. You can check out their plans here, and if you ever need to host a webinar or large online conference, AnyMeeting can give you a way to do so affordably.
If the other services are too much for you, and all you really want is a hassle-free way to video chat with a loved one-perhaps a technologically challenged loved one-Meetings.io may be perfect for you. We've highlighted them before
TinyChat is part free videochat service and part social network
Now that you've seen the top five, it's time to put them to an all out vote to determine the community favorite:
This week's honorable mention goes out to Gruveo, a newcomer to the anonymous video chat scene
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week
The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it-it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at email@example.com!
Photo by Alan Levine.