Meeting Place Can not Be Changed, seven services for multi-user video chat

Video chatting

Relatively new, but have become so much a part of the internet, like watching videos on YouTube and sending messages to Twitter. Chats are remarkable given the opportunity not only to hear but also see companion. And when it comes to holding hangout among several participants, this pastime is doubly interesting.

Multiplayer video calls have gained popularity around the middle of 2010, when the feature was added Skype to communicate with five people at a time. The most famous competitor Skype – Project Google Hangouts, launched as part of the social network Google+ last summer. However, apart from him, there are other services for Web conferencing between multiple participants. Some work only in the browser, others, like Skype, require the installation of client software. We decided to look into the features of seven similar services.

Skype Premium

Refers to video chat free features Skype, however, to arrange a hangout between three or more parties to subscribe to Skype Premium. It will cost $ 10 per month (if you pay by three months a discount). To get a one-day access to the opportunities Skype Premium subscription can be purchased for $ 5. However, there is a free opportunity to try how the multiplayer chat: within seven days, it can be used without restrictions. When does the trial period, the user decides. Enough to select a Skype contact list of two people, and then start a video call, and you’ll be prompted to try group chat.

Video chats can participate up to 24 people. Interestingly, the subscription only need to make a video call, and all its members, except the organizing meeting can not have premium access. However, they will still see all the people who chatted.

Chat window also contains an area to exchange text messages and files. By default, this field is not visible, but if you have a new chat message, the icon for its display turns red.

Group video conferencing in Skype can be used not only for the living to communicate with friends, relatives or business partners, but also for educational seminars. Any of the parties can show video chat happening on your desktop (this can limit the display of single window). To do this, by the way, the presence of a webcam is needed. That is why in videoconferences can take part, even if a web camera to the computer is not connected.

Among other advanced features in Skype video calls can be identified the recruitment of new members directly into the call and screen capture from the cameras of all participants.

Google Hangouts

Laquo; Hangouts Googleraquo; – this is a relatively young project, but almost a year of existence, he had time to acquire a number of interesting features. Two main advantage to the same Skype is that, first, it runs in a browser, and second, completely free.

To work with laquo; hangout Googleraquo; need only have an account to Google+. No additional software other than a browser plug-in, which is installed automatically the first time you use the service, do not need to install.

Laquo; Hangouts Googleraquo; supported in mobile applications for Android and iOS. Each group videochat may attend up to nine people.

Google Hangouts include a variety of tools. As in Skype, there is a function of the transmission screen content. You can show all the participants of the meeting that happens on the desktop, or forward only one window.

Addition, laquo; Hangouts Googleraquo; integrated with the service Google Docs, so you can collaborate on documents directly in the Hangout. True, be sure to pay attention to the rights of access. If other people can not view or edit a document open, the left side of the screen will be notified and you can fix it a few mouse clicks.

Another service that integrates with Google Hangouts, – it SketchUp. Thanks to all the participants can draw video chat in the browser and changes made by them will be immediately displayed on the monitors of all the participants.

Not without integration with YouTube. Under platform Hangouts can be together with friends to watch a live broadcast of various events, and any clips on the popular video sharing. Integration is twofold: on the one hand, starting a hangout, you can go to the YouTube tab and use the filters and search, a list of videos to enjoy your. The saved playlist can later send to those who could not join the hangout. On the other hand, if, moving on YouTube, you’ll find a video that will want to discuss with your friends in real time, you can press the laquo; Podelitsyaraquo, and start a hangout with a single click on a bright red icon.

In laquo; hangout Googleraquo;, as in Skype, there is a text chat. The service has built-in effects with which you can change the appearance. It is true that to really hide his face behind so laquo; kamuflyazhemraquo; unlikely – overhead glasses, mustache and hat are likely to tomfoolery.

Besides the usual hangouts in Google+ is a new tool laquo; In efireraquo; (On Air), created mainly for celebrities, and for all who organize hangout for a large number of viewers. This tool, which appeared by the way, most recently (in May 2012) is an excellent alternative to the many paid services for webinars. Join video chat, as in the usual hangout may not be more than nine persons, but the number of spectators, just watching what is happening, is not limited.

To start a hangout

Laquo; In efireraquo, we set the appropriate checkbox in the settings when creating a video chat. This differs from the usual hangout that stream from it automatically relayed to the YouTube-channel user.

Hangout When completed, it is automatically konvertirvoanie content and upload videos to YouTube. Thus, during the meeting, users can watch YouTube broadcast in live mode, and later – in the record. Hangouts laquo; In efireraquo, also broadcast a tape Google+. The person conducting the meeting may be watching the number of spectators, as well as block some users, disabling them for the transmission of video and audio.

The main advantage of this service to other solutions – is that chat participants do not have anything to install and register anywhere. All you need to do in order to join a hangout – paste the link into your browser address bar. Do not even need to register to the person who organizes the hangout – just press a button on the home page, and the service will create room for the video, as well as generate a link to access it.

Strictly speaking, the registration for the service is, but it is optional. Create your free account, you can get some of the benefits that will be very useful for those who frequently organizes hangout. First, each user creates a chat room with a permanent address suchИмя user. This address is much easier to remember than a random type Secondly, working with your account, you can plan your Hangouts, indicating their name, timing and expected duration. Thirdly, the profile is stored information about your visits to meetings and I search for them.

Video chats can participate up to five people. During the chat window in each user displays information about its location, the current time and even the weather at his window.

Addition, you can see how a microphone and web camera uses each participant and what his ISP to access the Internet. The service builds for each participant in a real-time graph that shows the rate of transmission of audio and video data, the number of frames per second, the delay of packet, etc.

In the

Each participant has a quick button to turn off what he says, or video with its camera. Of course, a microphone and a camera can also be quickly disconnected. By default, each room hangouts work is publicly available, and it can connect to anyone. However, there are two modes of operation: private, when to join the new party must obtain the consent of all participants, and private, in which access to new participants is prohibited.

For registered users

Offers interesting opportunities laquo; room ozhidaniyaraquo;, which, in particular, is useful for negotiations in private. If, during a private conversation by a new request from another user, it can be asked to wait in the virtual waiting room and were allowed to enter when a conversation with the previous user will be completed.

Addition to the actual chat, offers a host of other interesting features. For example, you can send comments to the group text chat. Chat laquo; ponimaetraquo; URL-link, as if to share video clip chatting with YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion, the service will disable the microphone and starts to play the clip. Yes and notepad to record your own comments. Notebook, as opposed to text chat, available only to the person who is writing. If a user is logged on the service, after the web conference, you can view records in the profile. Unregistered users can get tips by e-mail.

The free service features look simply spectacular. Perhaps the only drawback is the lack of mobile applications. Service works well in all modern desktop browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (8 +), Opera and Safari) among Windows, Linux and Mac, but here’s mobile platform is not yet supported. In addition, some of the features that have long been offered by competitors (featuring interlocutors happening on the screen of your desktop, the file) in yet under development.


Another multiplayer chat, no registration – is AV, created by AIM. It is convenient to use, in particular, for fast communication with friends or colleagues. All done really very simple: the organizer chat confirmed that he had turned thirteen, one click creates room for communication, sending it to your friends, they insert it into the address bar of your browser, check the settings of the camera – and start communicating. In this case, no advertising in the chat there.

Service functions are modest: you can send text messages that appear under the picture from the webcam user to take pictures in the communication process, temporarily disable / enable the microphone and webcam. Also, the organizer has the ability laquo; vybrasyvatraquo, users of the chat. In general, nothing special, but it does not need to spend time on the registration.

Chat room remains active as long as there are from two to four people. If there is one party, chat stopped and offered to send him the link to chat to friends, to resume dialogue. It does not matter whether the latter was chatting one who organized it, or someone who has been invited.


From the beginning of its development project ooVoo positioned as a cheaper alternative to Skype. Indeed, if one compares the features which give effect multiplayer video chat, it appears that ooVoo profitable. For example, video calls between the twelve participants in ooVoo for free (Skype, let us recall, for video communication, which involves three people, you have to pay) and the cost of subscriptions to premium features (transfer pictures from your desktop, storing up to 1000 minutes of recorded video etc.) is three times lower than that of Skype. True, the free version of ooVoo, unlike Skype, has an ad unit.

Like Skype, ooVoo client integrated with Facebook. In fact, the program can be used even without a service account – just enter your account information on Facebook. The program will immediately those friends who also use ooVoo, displaying their names in front of a video call icon.

However, you can make video calls with your friends and the Facebook, which do not use ooVoo. To do this, they just need to send the link to the room in which web conferencing.

OoVoo is available as a client for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, as well as an application for Facebook. But you can use the service without installing a client. ooVoo has an interesting feature laquo; Call mneraquo.; Its essence is that the request is generated by a reference to the chat, which can be mailed or sent through Facebook. To join the conversation, you will need only a modern browser and Java for Windows. You also need to log in with an account service or Facebook.

Chat window can be expanded to full screen, and attaches to the edge of the screen, making a side panel.

The latest version of ooVoo video chat can be recorded. Recorded videos are stored on the hard drive (and for premium users – even on a remote server) and can be reproduced by means of the embedded player, and uploaded to YouTube directly from the program.

To chat took place, it is necessary that several people were in touch. If we arrange a live hangout did not manage because of the different time zones or for other reasons, you can use to send video messages. Video message of up to five minutes can be sent by email or uploaded to YouTube.



Free version supported by advertising, which is abundantly supplied page translation. But if this is somehow possible to put up (after all, bannerorubilki has not been canceled), the installer for the Windows desktop application completely discourages using the service. At least with the client. During the installation, proposed to install a toolbar, and in addition to the default search service No problem, there are similar proposals in almost every other free software, but if you remove the check boxes, the Next button becomes inactive.

Other words, to continue without advertising services can be imposed. In addition, it becomes inactive close button installer provided and buttons laquo; Otmenaraquo.; Get out of the mountain, installation succeeded only after the removal of the task in the Task Manager Windows. It is clear that the maintenance of such a service requires considerable investments, but honestly, this method of monetization is alarming. Especially since the service is and the paid version, which differs in the absence of advertising, the ability to view video in full screen mode and the filters.

In desktop applications for Windows and Mac, with TinyChat also have applications for Android and iOS. TinyChat but can do without client programs – service is running in the browser. To organize your chat room, you must create an account or simply login via Facebook. To invite other participants in the chat, just click on the Share button or just copy the link from the browser address bar. When you connect to the chat every new member first acts as a spectator.

Only after they click on the Start Broadcasting, the service helps to select a camera, microphone, adjust the volume and let the new full member chat. When a new participant existing windows, translating images from Web cameras are automatically scaled to display the way for the new.

Just videochat can actively participate up to 12 people (the number of visitors is not limited). In the process of communication can jointly view videos from YouTube, draw (using the service, text chat to communicate, organize, personal interviews with some participants in a video conference, send files, take screenshots broadcast referred to is automatically generated. Also, clicking on the picture of any member, you can send them a private message, hide the video or even choose to ignore, change the volume.


AnyMeeting – is another web service to web conferencing, which is supported by advertising. However, for active users requested premium access, in which advertising, of course, not. It’s nice that there are no restrictions for free users functionality not provided.


Functionality at AnyMeeting, it must be said to the occasion. In order to participate in a video chat, hosted by someone else, sign up for the service is not necessary (although strongly suggested), but to create their own chat rooms you need to spend a bit of time to create an account (you can use the authorization through Facebook). When asked to select a permanent registration address at which you can open chat. Well-to-remember address, type / abrakadabra. In addition, after the registration in your account settings you can see the number you need to call in order to join the conference in the audio mode as a member or guest. Also in the profile it is possible to plan the time of the meeting, review past events, recording them. In short, we see immediately that AnyMeeting created primarily for business meetings, not for fun socializing with friends in his spare time.

Video chats can simultaneously attend to six active members and up to two hundred spectators. When you log into the chat service immediately asks if you need a webcam, and then displays a message box training, in which you can configure the camera and microphone and fix her hair.

Video Quality on this service just excellent. Even if the room is completely dark and the light falls only on the laptop screen, still picture is clear and without squares.

After logging into the chat is possible to exchange text messages with participants in a Web conference. Interestingly, the messages can be sent only to those who take part in the broadcast, and can be made visible for the audience.

AnyMeeting allows you to transfer not only the image from the webcam, but the image on the desktop. You can select broadcast of all events or only the contents of one box. During a presentation to a small panel on the right side of the screen you can see what is at the moment the audience watching a video chat. You can also send text messages without having to switch to the browser window, and stop the broadcast screen. It is worth bearing in mind that the organizer may prohibit the use of video chat its participants webcam and display function screen content.

Another interesting chat function that can be used, for example, to vote, this is My Mood. In the process of conducting a web conference, each participant can choose one of several proposed emoticons, such as laquo; I soglasenraquo;, laquo; I soglasenraquo;, laquo; I have voprosraquo, etc. The selected icons are displayed next to the name in the participant the list of those present.


Multiplayer chat – it’s a long time ago not only Skype, and our review is a perfect proof of this. In order to communicate with five to eleven, and even your friends do not have to buy a subscription to Skype Premium. Service hangouts on Google does not yield Skype functionality, completely free of charge and without even supports recording video. Indeed, except for the two most prominent players in the market you can find quite a decent solution.

For example, the same ooVoo attracts a huge number of additional features, such as hangouts and recording and sending video messages, and integration with Facebook. AnyMeeting – it is completely free solution that only works in the browser, but provides excellent video quality and a decent feature set. And if you want to arrange a meeting in a hurry, without losing time for registration and installation, you can try the service or AV, which make it possible to create a room to hangout just a few clicks of the mouse.

Discuss the material in the conference