Up till now, I am still trying to make sense of this new lifestyle and sudden change in our social behaviours. In this coronavirus lockdown era, wearing a mask out and practising social distancing are both new norms. Our reliance on video conferencing tools to communicate with others is even more eminent now. Because of this COVID-19 episode, everyone is suddenly pressured to become more tech-savvy in order to stay connected and updated with the current affairs. It is still too early to know if this form of virtual communication will have an impact on human relationships but technology is our only source of hope during this pandemic.
There are, of course, limitations to the use of video conferencing tools. You can physically hug or touch the person whom you are communicating with. After a while, things may start to get bored. You might even start to dread going ‘online’ to Skype or google meet your family, friends or colleagues. To liven things up and to make communicating virtually more fun, some video conferencing tools have included other engaging tools like face filters and games.
This week, I’ve started exploring other video conferencing platforms (besides Google Meet and WhatsApp) so as to ‘spice up’ my online conversations with my partner and friends. Through this ‘frantic’ search for cool video conferencing tools, I’ve discovered these 5 free video conferencing tools which help make video calls fun. And I would say that these tools are pretty life-changing as of now.
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Here are my top 5 Free Video Conferencing Tools.
1. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger tops my list of favourite video conferencing apps because of their Snapchat-like face masks or filters and interactive games. Yes, you can not only ‘change your identity’ but also play games during a video call. Currently, I am loving this cute AR pizza face filter while using Facebook Messenger’s video call function. Sometimes I just end up staring at myself because the face filters are too cute!
I sometimes would play AR games where you can play with all the people in your chat. You can host up to 50 people in the video chat. Besides the game and filter functions, you can also share your screen via the app.
The only limitation is that you have to add all your friends in the chat group first before starting the video chat. I’ve tested it with 10 other friends and it sometimes can be quite laggy. Also, the AR games, face filters and other functions are only available on Facebook Messenger Mobile app.
Houseparty is another fun video chat tool which allows you to play games online with one another. It is developed by Epic Games which is a renown American video game and software developer company.
You can play Houseparty games like Heads Up!, Trivia, Quick Draw, and Chips and Guac! These games are free to play and the rest of the games require you to pay.
It’s a pretty cool app to try – considering that you can literally play Quick Draw via the app without having to use another online game tool or website. But you might get bored after a while. Also, they can only house up to 8 pax in one virtual video chat ‘room’.
FaceTime is another social networking app that allows you to make both audio and video calls. However, it is only available on iOS.
I personally have not tried it yet but I would likened this to Facebook Messenger app where you can play with their Face filters. You can also replace your head with their cute memoji or Animoji (Apple’s animated 3D emoji). In addition, you can also add text to your video chat call screen.
Zoom is by far one of the most popular videos conferencing tools available in the market. It used by many people across all industries, especially during this pandemic. It is currently used for work meetings, chats, webinar, conferences and even lessons.
This powerful video conferencing tool can host up to about 1,000 participants at one time. It also allows you to record the meeting and save it to your computer.
One cool feature which Zoom offers is the change of your screen backdrop or background. You can upload images and even videos to the desktop or mobile app to add an element of fun to your meetings.
However, there are several security breach issues with Zoom. They have came up with measures and security features to prevent unwanted strangers from ‘Zoombombing’ video conferences but things still do happen. Such security issues are unheard of for other video conferencing tools thus I had no idea why Zoom has such privacy flaws.
5. Snap Camera by SnapChat
This isn’t exactly a tool that allows you to hold a video chat but it will add a magical touch to your video chat screens.
If you prefer to use other video conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Google Hangout and Microsoft Teams but wish to liven up your conversations, you can try using SnapCamera. It is an app developed by Snapchat and it features many cool face filters. To simply put it, it acts as a magic lens to your webcam. And it is compatible with popular video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Skype and Zoom.
To operate the Snap Camera, all you need to do is to head over to the settings of the video conferencing app you are using then click ‘Snap Camera’. And that’s about it!
Bring your video conferencing to the next level with these fun video chat tools! If TikTok has a new video chat function, that would be sensational.