Top video chat apps to stay connected with friends and family during self-isolation

PUBLISHED: 13:45 07 April 2020

The top video call apps to keep you connected with your loved ones

The top video call apps to keep you connected with your loved ones

Archant

There are tons of apps to choose from, and it seems like we use different ones depending on the situation. Here are some of the best video calling apps.

As the coronavirus continues to keep us indoors, the best way to stay in touch with family and friends right now is through a video call. And everyone seems to be doing it. Last Sunday, I had a family ‘pub’ quiz on Facebook Portal, a round of Pictionary on Houseparty and a family video call over google hangout Portal.

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1. Facebook Messenger

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via web | Maximum free users: 50

The beauty of using Facebook Messenger for video chat is that you’re probably already signed up to use it. As long as you have a Facebook account and the Facebook Messenger app on your phone (or are logged into the Facebook Messenger web app on your computer), you can start video chatting with your Facebook friends right now.

Facebook MessengerFacebook Messenger

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2. Skype

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web, Xbox | Maximum free users: 50

Skype’s been a name on the list of best video chat apps for a very long time. Microsoft’s offering has an impressive 50-person limit, and it costs you nothing. Like Zoom, Skype also has a browser client, and is available on practically every modern computing device and smartphone.

Skype is super simple and easy to use!Skype is super simple and easy to use!

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3. Google Duo

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via web | Maximum free users: 8

Duo is video chat software that is remarkably easy to use and actually accessible within the standard Phone app on many Android phones. Duo also supports a range of fun features and allows you to record and send video messages, so you can connect to friends and family, even when they’re not available at the same moment in time.

Google Duo is pre-installed on all Android productsGoogle Duo is pre-installed on all Android products

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4. Facetime

Works with: iOS, Mac | Maxmium free users: 32

It’s no surprise that FaceTime should appear on our list of the best video chat apps. Apple’s software wasn’t the first in video chatting, but it was the one that started it all for mobile users, and led the industry toward making video chat easier and more accessible. Facetime is preinstalled on all Apple products.

Facetime is pre-installed on all Apple productsFacetime is pre-installed on all Apple products

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5. WhatsApp

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via web | Maximum free users: 4

The Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has more than 2 billion users worldwide. It’s easy to use, and works on Android and iOS devices. WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, which means that only you and the person you’re sending a message to can read what you send. You can use it to send messages, or make video or audio calls. Its global popularity makes it a great option for keeping in touch with family and friends worldwide.

Whatsapp video callWhatsapp video call

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6. Houseparty

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via web | Maximum free users: 8

Houseparty is a video chat app owned by Fortnite developer Epic Games that lets you play popular games like trivia and Heads Up! with friends virtually through its interface. The app has seen massive growth in downloads since the start of March, according to data from Sensor Tower.

It's time  for a Houseparty!It's time for a Houseparty!

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7. Marco Polo

Works with: iOS, Android, Windows and Mac via web | Maximum free users: 8

Finding time to get together to chat can be tough, especially if you’re dealing with a large group. Thankfully, Marco Polo means you don’t have to. Marco Polo is a video chat app with a twist — rather than wait for everyone, Marco Polo allows you to send a video message that can then be watched at everyone’s leisure. If you’re not able to reply in kind, you can type out text replies or snap quick photos instead.

Marco Polo Video ChatMarco Polo Video Chat

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