COVID-19 restrictions have made businesses turn to video apps to stay in touch – within teams as well as with customers, suppliers and other partners.

With millions retreating into self-isolation, group conferencing services are seeing a steady increase in demand. The choice of software offered can be overwhelming. Which one should your business use?

When we talk business, the most popular video conferencing apps are probably Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Hangouts.

Zoom and Teams offer similar features, such as online meetings, chats, calls, screen sharing and file sharing – even in their limited versions.

Zoom is popular due to its simple interface and ease of use with no IT support required. Zoom’s free version includes unlimited time for one to one meetings, but there is a 40-minute limit on group meetings. Zoom has attracted unflattering media attention for weaknesses in privacy and security but the company has been working to address these concerns and has changed some of the default privacy settings for Zoom meetings.

Microsoft has the advantage of significant integration between Teams and its Office 365 suite, so it’s excellent for working internally, whereas Zoom might be preferred for communication with customers.

Google Hangouts is a bit different. It can be started only by subscribers to G Suite which gives them corporate e-mail.

There are several other apps – such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and FaceTime – that allow video chats. They might be more suitable for conversations with your family or friends because all participants must be members or use an Apple device.

Microsoft’s Skype is free, easy to use and widely known. The maximum number of people joining a meeting is 50.

Jitsi Meet is a free platform that allows you to participate without having to register for the app. There is a quick web version for up to 75 participants. It offers many features found in the other software mentioned earlier. A big advantage is its integration with Slack, Google Calendar and Office 365.