Group Video Chat Apps

The Best Group Video Chat Apps You Probably Already Have

SUZANNE HUMPHRIES | APRIL 6, 2020

Having a group video chat app makes it easy to stay connected with family, friends, and coworkers, especially during COVID-19 quarantines. But you don’t need to install and set up a new app to chat with friends and family—there’s a solid chance that you already have one on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

The best video chat apps are intuitive and offer cross-platform availability so that everyone can be included. All of these options are free, plus they support both one-on-one video chats and larger groups. Some of these chat apps also have fun extras, like games and screen sharing, that make your calls more enjoyable and help you pass the time while staying connected.

Best for Facebook Users: Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger

If you want to chat with your Facebook friends face to face, or if you’re simply looking for a cross-platform FaceTime alternative, Facebook Messenger (Free) is the way to go. With the app, you can video chat one on one or with as many as eight people simultaneously, or 50 in the group chat—no phone numbers needed. Enjoy high-quality audio, HD video, and even fun filters whether you chat on the iOS or Android apps, with Facebook Portal, or via the website.

LEARN MORE AT FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Best for Instagram Users: Instagram Direct

Instagram Direct

Instagram isn’t just great for photos, it’s great for video chat as well! If you’re bored of sending messages back and forth with your IG friends, instead video chat on Instagram Direct (Free). Up to six people at a time can chat without the need for phone numbers. You can also minimize your video chat screen and keep scrolling through your feed, see when there’s a live video in a group thread, and easily block or mute people you don’t want to hear from. Check out Instagram on your iOS or Android device.

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Best for International Calls: Skype

Skype

If you want to stay in touch with friends and family abroad (or even if they’re just up the street), Skype (Free) is the video chat app for you. Skype offers HD video chats for up to 50 people, which is great for extended families and small businesses. It also lets you send text or voice messages, and it provides live subtitles and mobile screen sharing. Calls are end-to-end encrypted, and the app is available for desktop, iOS and Android, tablets, Xbox, and Alexa.

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Best for iOS Users: FaceTime

Apple FaceTime

Apple’s proprietary video chatting app, FaceTime (Free), is the premiere way for iOS users to video chat with each other. With the app, you can make both audio and video calls with any other iOS user as long as you have their phone number or Apple ID, with chats open to up to 32 people at a time. You can throw in fun effects and stickers or become an Animoji to make your calls more exciting. FaceTime only works on Mac and iOS devices, however, so if you have friends that use different devices, you’ll need to find another app.

LEARN MORE AT FACETIME

 

Best for Android Users: Google Duo

Google Duo

Whether you’re an Android user or a Google enthusiast, you’re probably already using tons of Google’s tools, so why not its live video chat app as well? Google Duo (Free) is super easy to use and only requires a phone number—no need to sign up for an entire Google account. Duo protects your video chats with end-to-end encryption and lets you video conference with up to 12 people at the same time on your Android or iOS devices, or on the web. The fun Knock Knock feature lets you preview the person calling you in a live video before you answer, and you can send a video message if the person you are calling doesn’t answer.

LEARN MORE AT GOOGLE DUO

 

Best for Big Businesses: Zoom

Zoom

If you’re still running your business during the COVID-19 pandemic (good on you), you’ll need a way to talk with your employees, and Zoom (Free) is your best bet. On the basic plan, you can chat with up to 100 participants simultaneously for 40 minutes at a time. If you need to host calls with more people, Zoom’s Business and Enterprise subscriptions ($19.99/month per host) let you connect with up to 1,000 participants at a time. Use Zoom on your iOS or Android devices, or check out its other download options.

LEARN MORE AT ZOOM

Best for Gamers: Discord

Discord

Talk to your friends while you’re gaming together and stay connected in between sessions with Discord (Free). With Discord, you can text, send audio recordings, or video chat on a custom server with up to eight simultaneous participants. You can create custom emoji and group permissions, assign member roles, and make VIP channels. As you move throughout your day, you can easily switch between the desktop version of Discord and its iOS or Android apps.

LEARN MORE AT DISCORD

Best for Small Groups: WhatsApp

WhatsApp

WhatsApp (Free) is more than just a text messenger—it also supports video calls for up to four users. The app has a simple, streamlined interface, and it’s available on iOS and Android devices as well as your web browser. You can sort your WhatsApp contacts into groups, and customize your notifications. Rest assured that all video calls are end-to-end encrypted for your privacy.

LEARN MORE AT WHATSAPP

 

Best for Playing Games Together: Bunch

Bunch

If you’ve run out of fun things to talk about (or if you’re just bored), why not play games with your friends while you video chat with them? Hop on Bunch‘s (Free) iOS or Android app and start playing with up to eight friends! Bunch has a few built-in games, with more being added every month, and it integrates with big titles like Minecraft, PUBG Mobile, Roblox, UNO!, Call of Duty, and more.

LEARN MORE AT BUNCH

 

Best for Screen Sharing: Squad

Squad

You can still be with your squad even when you’re not with them. With Squad (Free), you can video chat with up to nine people simultaneously. The app’s fun screen share feature lets everyone watch videos, scroll through social media, share funny photos or texts, and even shop together on iOS or Android.

LEARN MORE AT SQUAD

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References in this site to any specific service or business are for the convenience of the public and do not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the City for Denton and/or employees.

Denton Parks and Recreation, (940) 349-7275

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