Free Group Video Calling services
2019. Skype now supports up to 50 group call participants
Skype is doubling the number of people who can simultaneously participate in a group audio or video call. It now supports as many as 50 people at once, up from 25, previously. With the expanded support for more participants, Skype tops the abilities of other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Instagram, and instead competes more directly with enterprise-grade calling solutions like Zoom, for example, which supports up to 100 or even 1,000 participants, depending on the plan, with up to 49 webcams displayed in its gallery view. Skype also one-ups Facebook Messenger, which allows 50 people to join a chat but limits the screen to show only the speaker after more than a half-dozen people join in. On Skype, participants are shown in bubbles across the top of the screen and the end-user can choose whose feed they want to focus on in a multi-paned main window.
2018. Snapchat introduced group video calls for up to 16 people
Snapchat introduced a new group video chat feature, letting users chat with up to 16 people. It is also offering group voice calls with up to 32 participants. The feature is relatively simple. Just tap the video icon in a group chat to get started, or start up a call with a few people and invite new people to join. Alongside the introduction of group video calls, Snap is also bringing @mentions to the platform. Users can now tag each other in their snaps and Stories by simply typing @ before their user name. Users who have been tagged will be notified when they appear in the Stories.
2017. Facebook Workplace gets standalone mobile apps
Facebook Workplace, the business-focused version of Facebook, is officially breaking out messaging features into a standalone app for desktop and mobile called Workplace Chat. Now, Workplace users can access messaging features like screen and file sharing, private and group messages, and video calling all in one app. Speaking of video calling, Facebook plans to add group video calling to Workplace's repertoire of messaging features "in the coming months." Facebook Workplace now counts more than 30,000 businesses and organizations using the software. That group, more than double what Workplace claimed six months ago, includes names like Starbucks, Spotify, Lyft, and Walmart.
2016. Skype adds free group video calls to mobile apps
Skype announced the launch of free group video calling on Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows 10 mobile devices. The feature has been available for a couple of years on the desktop, for both Mac and PC, but had yet to make its way to mobile. Once it's live, the update will allow Skype users to make video calls with as many as 25 participants for free. While Skype has supported group video calls for some time, the feature was previously available only to those who subscribed to Skype for Business (though the free apps have supported group audio calls.)
2010. Google may outgo Skype by means of mobile video
Video chat in GTalk (or more exactly, in GMail) has appeared more than a year ago. And we were confident that Skype will get the very strong competitor. Nevertheless, Skype's market share hasn't suffered at all. Even GMail users mainly continue using Skype for video calls. Probably, it's a question of a habit and Skype's great popularity. And perhaps, when Google adds calls to regular phones with the help of acquired Gizmo5 - this won't also change anything. Without offering some new revolutionary features, pushing Skype from the market will be extremely difficult. Especially now, when Skype introduced group video calling. However, it seems Google has a new idea. Today the company announced the acquisition of Swedish developer of VoIP and videoconferencing solutions - GIPS. GIPS technologies are used in Yahoo Messenger, Cisco WebEx and Lotus Sametime. And in addition, GIPS has created the best engine for video chat on Android. Mobile video now seems geeky. But perhaps soon it will become a feature that most people can't live without. This is where Google has a chance to outgo Skype. The mobile market is very difficult now - a lot of (closed) platforms, a lot of operators who do not like VoIP. But Google has a great advantage - Android. In addition, soon, probably Google will unveil own tablet, which will be perfect for mobile video. So Google's position on the mobile video market looks more preferable. And if mobile video will become the tail wagging the dog, then the traditional videoconferencing market will be also reshaped.