Video Chat Venues Compared

It’s no secret that quarantine is challenging. People can’t go on vacation or even to school, but for many people, the worst part is not being able to see friends and family. The good news is that there are various platforms and apps people can use to communicate with friends and family. Sure, texting and calling are always options, but it’s even better to actually see people. There are apps and platforms where you can video chat with people. Zoom, Google Meets, and Facetime are some of the most popular video chat apps.

When picking a platform or app, there are multiple considerations like user-friendliness, ease of set up, and accessibility.

By now, almost everyone has used Zoom at least once. In an informal survey of seven people, all of the respondents rated its use eight or higher on a scale of 1-10.  The free version of Zoom is fine but remember, there is a 40-minute time maximum for groups over two people.

Some of the coolest features that Zoom offers are virtual backgrounds, chat, and reactions. People can even touch up their appearance if it helps them feel more comfortable on camera. The host also has the ability to lock the meeting and put people in waiting rooms.

Facetime is a program from Apple. People can use it for free on any Apple device connected to Wi-Fi or cell service with an Apple ID or phone number. Two LMS students, Annika S and Alisha S, both said that their favorite platform to use was Facetime. Also, on an informal survey of seven people, everyone rated Facetime at least seven on a scale of 1-10. Facetime also has some cool features like filters and emojis.

Finally, Google Meets is a platform created by Google. All that is needed for a meet is a Gmail account. Annika said that Google Meets was okay but didn’t really like or dislike it. Alisha said that Google Meets often lagged, and she wouldn’t recommend it.  In an informal survey of seven people, only five had used Google Meets. When asked to rate Google Meets on a scale of 1-10, two rated it a five, one rated it a six, one rated it a seven, and one rated it a nine.

Google Meets is similar to Zoom, but it is totally free. While Zoom is probably more used than Google Meets, Google Meets has some cool features. Using Google Meets, people can add captions, blur their background if they are in a messy room, block background noise, have a virtual environment, and even make a group Jamboard. One cool thing about Google meets is that it is great for small and large meetings.

Zoom, Facetime, and Google meets are all great options for video chatting. Remember that these apps often have updates, which means this article might not show all the features on these apps and platforms.