Best virtual meeting platforms for businesses

Published Credits: Alison Newman Categories: Tags:

With video conferencing solutions proliferating and whether you are back at work or at home, it's worth a quick review of your choices for your business.

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The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way companies do business on a daily basis. At least for the time being, employees and partners are scattered to the winds, and you likely need virtual meeting platforms to bring everyone back together again. You'll probably have selected one tool by now but it's worth reviewing whether there are other options that would suit your business better.

With so many options, it can be difficult to find that just-right fit, but the following are some of our favorites:

Zoom


This is the option that seems to be gaining popularity these days, and for good reason: It works on almost any platform and will allow you to host free video chats for up to 100 people. Beyond that, you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee, but this is typically affordable as well.

However, there have been some reports about security issues that allow your chats to be joined by people without permission to do so. Take that issue into account if your meetings often involve discussions of sensitive issues.

Skype


Skype is a great option for smaller groups of people - up to 50 on a single video call - and carries with it a number of useful capabilities. These include file-sharing, archiving, and automated captions or subtitles for those with hearing issues.

Like Zoom, it can be used on just about any platform, and even those without a specific Skype account can join some meetings.

Google Hangouts

Anyone with a Google account can use this free chat platform, which is fairly straightforward and easy to use. The only obvious drawback is it allows a maximum of 25 simultaneous users on the free service (250 max if you pay), so your options for larger meetings may be limited.

However, some may also find the actual interface of the Hangouts chat - in which the person talking takes up the whole screen - to be incompatible with the point of a team meeting.

FaceTime


This chat platform allows you to conduct free video calls for up to 32 people simultaneously, but there is a potential pitfall: Anyone without an Apple device (iPhone, iPad or Mac computers) won't be able to use it.

If everyone on your team has such a device, this may be a great option, but if not, you'll want to look elsewhere.

 

Sources:
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/03/9564621/best-video-conferencing-services-apps
https://www.cnet.com/news/skype-vs-zoom-video-chat-apps-for-working-and-keeping-in-touch-compared/
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/29/the-best-chat-apps-for-your-coronavirus-quarantine-ranked