Alternatives to Skype for online meetings
Looking into affordable video chat and voice calling options for your small business?
These four popular, user-friendly alternatives to Skype will help you connect seamlessly with staff, colleagues, and customers.
Read on for a breakdown of each app’s features to decide on the best fit for you.
With more than 1 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is currently the most popular multi-media messaging app for mobile in existence – and it’s free! Robust and easy to use, WhatsApp lets users:
· Participate in group chats for up to 256 people
· Share videos, messages, and photos
· Make voice calls using your phone’s wifi connection
· Enjoy fast, reliable service for photo and video sharing – even with a slow internet connection
· Share files up to 100 MB including documents, PDFs, spreadsheets, and slideshows
WhatsApp conveniently functions across Android, iOS, PC, and Mac operating systems. End-to-end encryption means your calls and messages stay private and secure
With all that going for it, what’s not to like?
With over 56 million hosted web meetings a year, GoToMeeting is a serious contender for business owners seeking a low-cost web conference solution. Some of this desktop and mobile-friendly software’s winning features include:
· Private meeting rooms for smaller group or one-on-one calls
· Single tap meetings can be launched easily from Microsoft office, email, and via instant-messaging tools
· More effective collaboration with a virtual whiteboard, drawing tools, and screen sharing options
· An attractive interface and excellent audio quality
· Toll-free numbers available for more than 50 countries makes this an excellent tool for communicating with customers and colleagues remotely anywhere in the world.
The app’s free version offers unlimited meetings where you can screen share – or just chat – with up to 3 participants per call.
If you’d like to explore all that GoToMeetings offers its paid subscribers, sign up for a free 14 day trial to unlock its additional features.
Zoom currently boasts more than 40 billion annual user minutes, and its popularity continues to grow. Used as a tool for conference calls, one-on-one meetings and webinars, here’s what sets Zoom apart:
· Assigned meeting ID numbers make it easy for participants to join a call in a private meeting room
· Smooth screen sharing allows you to view the main screen while also viewing live video of each participant in smaller windows
· Voice detection activates the main window to feature whoever is speaking at any given time
With the free version you can host 40 minute video conferences for up to 100 participants and unlimited one-on-one meetings.
If you’d like to take advantage of Zoom’s extra features, such as MP4 or M4A cloud recording, you can sign up for just $14.99/month.
If you have a Gmail or Google account, Google Hangouts may be all you need to enjoy free video chats, VoIP calls, SMS, or text messaging. You can access the service online via Gmail, Google+, or mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Google Hangouts would meet your online communication needs if you’d like to:
· Connect with up to 10 voice or video callers simultaneously
· Save your chat histories (which can be synced between devices)
· Group chat with up to 150 participants
· Enhance collaboration and communication with shared videos and GIFs
· Use wifi rather than data minutes for mobile calls on your smartphone
Ultimately, the right app for the right business owner typically comes down to personal preference.
With so many great web meeting options available – and the ability to get started for free – why not test drive them all?