Over the past two to three months, video chat applications have become the most important digital tools and in fact the de-facto resource for business continuity in the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of zoom app gained so much traction that even a Nigerian Federal High Court sat on zoom and delivered a death sentence. Talk of the unthinkable.
There are now quite a few video chat apps today. However, none of them is perfect. There are issues ranging from the time limit, room limit, hidden costs, to privacy issues. In this post, we will be looking at three of the most popular apps: Google Meet, Zoom, and Facebook Messenger Rooms.
Google is not new to the world of video chats as they already launched the free Google Hangout calls. However, the newly launched Google Meet, intended for businesses and educators is easily leading the pack of video chat apps.
Google Meet was designed as the enterprise-focused G Suite version of Hangouts. Video calls on Google Meet can accommodate up to 100 people instead of the 25 you get on Hangouts, though, and it offers things like screen sharing and live closed captions for anyone who needs them. One beautiful feature is the noise filtering which allows the filtering out of keyboard noise in the background. The full functionality of the Google Meet will be available in the paid G Suite plans at $6 per user per month. But the free version is still up for up to 60-minutes time limit on calls outside of the G Suite till September 30, 2020. Google Meet also promises strong data privacy via complex meeting codes.
Zoom offers both free and paid plans. For the free version, Zoom meetings can hold up to 100 people for 40 minutes long. Once the time limit is up, the callers are logged off. But users can reconnect with the same link to the same meeting. If that becomes annoying, it may be time to subscribe for the paid version. However, one-on-one meetings have no time limit in the free version.
The most affordable plan costs $15 per month. At no cost, you can still enjoy fun background replacements on zoom.
Zoom is functional. The user interface is intuitive, and you can share your screen with the entire call if you want. The sad part is that Zoom’s data privacy record is not looking so good.
Facebook Messenger Rooms
Facebook Messenger Rooms launched late last April. On advantages, Messenger Rooms, like the rest of Facebook, is free and easily accessible. Rooms can hold up to 50 people. You can invite anyone to a call with a URL, even if they don’t have a Facebook account. It’s the most fun app of the three, letting users play with AR effects to give themselves bunny ears and so on.
At the moment, Facebook Messenger Rooms can’t be password-protected or encrypted. Now, this is a big issue in data privacy.
Going through these, its clear that there is no perfect video chat services at the moment. However, the trio of Google Meet, Zoom, and Facebook Messenger Rooms might make the difference between a disconnected ghost town and business continuity in the season of a global pandemic.