When putting together our list of the best video chat apps, we looked for those that offer all the features users need to communicate seamlessly with their friends, families, and business associates. The best video chat apps should be multiplatform, include text chats, support screen sharing, and offer landline support. We also noted which of these apps do and do not require subscriptions to unlock all of their features.
Choose the video chat app that’s right for you
Some video chat apps like Zoom are ideal for professionals and businesses, while apps like FaceTime are better for personal use. Since all of the apps on our list offer free versions, we recommend testing several apps to find the one that best suits your wants and needs.
It’s important that your video chat app works on a variety of platforms to ensure you’re able to stay in touch with friends and family members that use different devices. Every app on our list offers multiplatform support, meaning you can use them to make video calls on iOS, Android, desktop, and other devices.
Zoom is the best video chat app on iOS, Android, and desktop devices. For many people, it is the go-to video chat app for both business and personal use. The free version is perfectly suitable for personal use because it allows for up to 100 participants, unlimited group meetings up to 40 minutes, and unlimited one-to-one meetings with a 30-hour time limit per meeting.
Zoom also offers the most powerful commercial solutions for small businesses and enterprises. Business plans support more participants, social media streaming, cloud recording, and custom company branding. Aside from video calls, Zoom also supports private messaging, co-annotation for shared documents, and voice calls.
Skype is the most powerful free video chat app available. Skype’s free version includes unlimited instant messaging, voice calls, and video calls — all when communicating with other Skype users. Users only have to pay to make calls to landlines or mobile phones, and these subscriptions start at just $2.99 per month. You can create private or group chats, share pictures and videos, and share your screen in video calls for collaboration.
Skype uses end-to-end encryption to protect your private chats, and you can use the app on iOS, Android, or desktop devices. Other unique features include call recording, live subtitles, and international calls — all of which contribute to Skype being the go-to free video chat app.
Google Duo is the best video chat app for Android users and arguably the easiest video chat app to use. The app is completely free to use and comes pre-installed on most Android phones. Google Duo works on all major platforms, including iOS, and offers powerful video chat features, including video call screenshots, family mode, and end-to-end encryption. One of the app’s more interesting features is Doodle, which lets users draw on their screen to share drawings with the person they’re chatting with.
Video chats also include augmented reality (AR) effects and filters, and the unique Knock Knock feature lets you see who’s calling you before you answer a video call. The app’s biggest downside is its 32-person video chat limit, which is lower than most video chat apps on our list.
If you, your friends, and your family members use Facebook to stay in touch, Facebook Messenger is the obvious choice for text and video chats. With Messenger, you can easily start a video chat or group video chat with any of your Facebook friends, and you can use the unique Watch Together feature to view videos with friends and family members.
You can invite anyone to join your video chat by sending a link, and you can make free voice calls to any Facebook Messenger user, including international calls. Messenger also offers great text chat features, including group chats, disappearing messages, customizable chat themes, and message reactions. Facebook Messenger is also completely free to use, though, since it’s owned by Facebook, it may not be the ideal choice for users concerned with privacy.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular and powerful video chat apps available. Like Messenger, WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, which may dissuade some users from giving it a try. Aside from that though, WhatsApp offers a wide range of unique video and text chat features, including end-to-end encryption, free international video calls, group chats, disappearing messages, and location sharing.
WhatsApp also offers unique social features that aren’t included with other video chat apps, like its Status feature, which lets users share videos and pictures from their day, much like Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Video calls are limited to only eight participants though, making it a poor choice for professional use.
If you own an iPhone, FaceTime is the only video chat app you’ll ever need. Although the FaceTime app is only available on iOS, you can invite Android users to join your FaceTime via a link, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family members who don’t have iPhones. Like Google Duo, FaceTime group calls allow for up to 32 participants. FaceTime is the only video chat app to utilize Apple’s SharePlay feature, allowing users to watch videos and listen to music together, and you can use screen sharing to bring your favorite apps into your video calls.
The Voice Isolation feature lets you block ambient noise for more clarity, and the Center Stage feature makes sure you are always centered in the frame during video calls.
Discord is the ultimate video chat app for gamers. Although not just for gamers, Discord offers several unique features that let users share their gaming experiences with others, including video game livestreams, group voice chats, private group chat servers, and group video chats. Like Slack, a messaging app for businesses, Discord chat servers are organized into separate channels to keep discussions focused on a specific topic, and you can create voice channels that friends can pop in and out of at will.
Unlike any other app on our list, Discord livestreams let users stream themselves playing a game while others join the video call and watch the stream together. Nearly all of the app’s core features are free, and, with Discord Nitro, you can unlock higher resolution livestreams, large file uploads, and profile customization features.
The free version of Marco Polo has no ads and includes unlimited chats, unlimited groups, voice effects, camera filters, customizable notifications, and emojis. Marco Polo’s video chat feature stands out from other apps on our list because users can create groups and send videos whenever they want. Other chat members can watch the video at any time and use advanced video playback controls.
With a Marco Polo subscription, you get six free Plus passes for friends and family members, and you can unlock great features like photo messages, high-definition or HD videos, notes, video reactions, and more.
Viber is a feature-rich video chat app that emphasizes privacy and security. All chats and calls are protected with end-to-end encryption, and users can send self-destructing Secret Chats. Video calls support up to 20 participants, and users can even make low-cost calls to landlines with Viber Out.
Viber supports group text chats, and, unlike other apps on our list, users can join public groups to chat with other Viber users about their common interests. You can quickly react to messages with GIFs and stickers, and Chat Extensions allow you to enhance your experience by connecting with apps like YouTube and Spotify.
Instagram stands out from the other video chat apps on our list because it is the only one that is a full-fledged social media platform. You can follow friends, family members, and other users to see their pictures, send them private messages, and view their Stories. You can also share your own pictures, videos, and stories with everyone who follows you.
Instagram Live lets users start livestreams that any of their followers can join. Followers can watch your livestream, chat with other viewers, and even join your Live broadcast to talk with you face to face. Using Instagram’s Direct Message feature, you can also start private video chats with select followers.
Video Can Change How Singles Flirt Online
If you want to shake up your social life, random video chat apps can definitely spice things up. You can meet a random stranger, make new friends, or even find love and romance through sites and apps that set up a video chat room for you and a new person to talk in.
If you’re tired of the traditional dating apps, giving a random video chat app could be a niche change of pace – because you can actually talk to another person instead of texting!
Find the best video chat app and meet someone interesting!