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Definition: videoconferencing software


There are a variety of video conferencing/calling products on the market. The terms video conferencing, video calling and video chat are used synonymously. Following is a brief summary of Internet-based conferencing software that anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone can use and does not include room systems from companies such as Poly, Cisco and VTEL. See videoconferencing.

Skype
In 2004, Skype started the whole idea of one-to-one video calls for consumers and added group calls six years later. See Skype.

FaceTime
Three years after the 2007 iPhone launch, Apple debuted its video calling service. Unlike other video products, FaceTime works only on Apple devices. See FaceTime.

Zoom
Launched in 2011, Zoom has become an extremely popular video meeting service with free and paid options. See Zoom videoconferencing.

Google Duo
Videoconferencing aimed at consumers, Duo was designed to operate well over slow connections. See Google Duo.

Meet (Google)
Originally Hangouts Meet, then Google Meet, Meet is aimed at businesses and one of several videoconferencing services from Google. See Google Hangouts.

Cisco Webex
A business-oriented early entrant into videoconferencing, Webex was founded in 1996 and later acquired by Cisco. See Webex.

GoToMeeting
Introduced in 2004, GoToMeeting supports video meetings with hundreds and thousands of participants. Support for conference room training is also provided.

U Meeting
Offers free and paid video meetings and Webinars. Also provides instant messaging for communications and file sharing that synchronizes with Active Directory in the enterprise.

BlueJeans
Introduced in 2009, BlueJeans specializes in large interactive video meetings. Security features keep unwanted participants from joining meetings and supports end-to-end encryption.

Lifesize
Debuting in 2003, Lifesize features high-definition video for global meetings. Offers free service for a limited time. Room systems also supported.

FreeConferenceCall
Free videoconferencing for up to 1,000 participants. Consumers are asked to pay what they can afford, but there are fees for business users.

Houseparty
Houseparty was designed for people to join in when they see their friends are having a "party." Facebook and Snapchat friends can also be added.

Microsoft Teams
Unified communications from Microsoft that integrates with Office 365. See Microsoft Teams.

Jabber
A unified communications platform from Cisco that provides messaging, Web conferencing, voice and video calls. See Jabber.

WhatsApp
In 2018, video was added to the WhatsApp service. See WhatsApp.

join.me
Videoconferencing from LogMeIn. Another early entrant into this field, Join.me offers a free trial for paid subscriptions and features remote control and annotation capabilities.




Join.Me Video Screen
Join.me offers a unique option of placing participants in bubbles rather than only rectangular windows.