Video communication has dramatically impacted the way businesses function and teams communicate in recent years. With a rise in distributed teams and a shift towards remote work, video conferencing has become an essential tool for the global workforce to communicate and collaborate across borders.
With its ability to unite distributed teams, reduce travel costs, and facilitate multi-media collaboration effectively and conveniently, it’s no wonder that the market for video group chat apps is booming.
There are countless video calling solutions out there, so how do you know which one is right for your business and your workforce?
Let us take you through all you need to know about choosing a comprehensive video calling solution, and introduce you to our very own answer to a video call app: RingCentral Video.
What is a video group chat?
A video group chat is typically conducted using an internet connection and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to transmit live pictures of the people participating in the call. It involves the transmission of video and audio signals between users from different locations.
Video group chat facilitates face-to-face, real-time communication anytime, anywhere.
How do I host a group video conference call?
To host or participate in a video group chat or call, you’ll need a video call app and a webcam or an electronic device with a video camera and microphone, as well as a stable enough wi-fi connection to stream live videos. With these, you can start engaging in a group video call with friends and family or coworkers.
Pros and cons of video chatting
There are plenty of pros…
- Video participants can view each other’s body language and facial expressions
- Reduces in-office costs and costs relating to telecommuting
- Replaces co-located team experiences, which, depending on the situation, could mean less distraction
- Facilitates regular and clear communication among remote teams
- Cheaper international calling than traditional voice calls
… And just a few cons to video calling:
- Slow internet connections can cause images or audio to lag
- Video participants talking over each other can result in a lack of clarity
- The cat might walk over the keyboard and accidentally disconnect the call
Overall, a video chatting app or a video calling app is a cost-effective, time-efficient, and simple-to-use solution for small-medium businesses and enterprises. With video chat apps or call apps, you can chat face-to-face with colleagues and customers in real-time.
How to choose the right video conferencing software for your business
With so many video calling software solutions on the market today, how do you know which one is right for your business?
Consider whether a free video calling solution will cater to your needs or whether a more robust one is necessary. How many people will be using the conferencing app? Are you likely to use it for small-scale team calls, happy hours, and one-on-ones, or large-scale conferencing and webinars? Do you need it to have a mobile app version?
Whatever your purpose, it’s important that your video conference solution is reliable. Of course, you’ll also need to evaluate which video calling solutions are available within your budget.
Often, free group video conferencing apps don’t offer the same levels of security and functionality as paid versions.
When it comes to choosing video calling software for business communication, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it have all the essential features of a video group chat platform?
- What value-adding features does it offer?
- Is it safe and secure?
- Is it going to be easy for your team to adopt and use?
Essential features of a video chatting app
A great video call app should always have:
- Simple user experience - People invited to your call should be able to join effortlessly without having to enter complex PIN codes, download software, or switch from one web browser to another.
- HD video and voice calls - Voice and audio lags only serve to exacerbate the distance between participants. The solution you choose should transmit HD video and audio, even when someone’s wi-fi connection isn’t reliable.
- Dial-in and voice-only options - People should be able to dial into a live video group chat by entering a phone number from a landline or mobile device (with a mobile app). This enables people who don’t possess the necessary equipment to participate.
Additionally, video participants should have the option to click the camera icon to turn off their camera in certain situations.
- Support for different devices - In today’s world, we’re always connected. It’s essential that video chat apps can be used with a desktop app, on your web browser, and on any mobile device (iOS or Android phones, or iPad).
Nice-to-have features of a video chat app for groups
- Screen sharing - The screen share tool allows the web host and video participants to share their screen during the call. This is a useful video call feature for webinars and project collaboration meetings.
- Video recording - Record video tutorials, webinars, and team meetings that can be shared later with third parties or key team members who couldn’t participate.
- Text chat - During webinars and team meetings, it can be beneficial for video participants to be able to share their thoughts or questions on the chat screen while the call is ongoing. This way, they can get real-time answers.
With in-call text chat, attendees can call and text message (via the chat room) simultaneously, and less confident team members can show how they feel about what’s being discussed with an emoji or a sticker. The text chat feature makes this much easier than having to use a separate messenger app, and ensures they can keep their attention in one place during the live video call.
- Calendar integrations - This video call feature makes coordinating meetings much simpler. Using your Google account, for example, you can connect your Google Calendar to your video chatting app.
With this integration, you’ll be able to schedule and join an audio or video conference with ease. Calendar reminders will be sent out to participants to give them a heads-up about an upcoming meeting or webinar. This is particularly beneficial for remote teams spread across time zones.
- File sharing - As a business professional, you’ll likely want to share important files and documents with your team members when communicating information or collaborating on projects. While there are web apps that can do this separately, it’s easier to have it all in one place. File sharing via the cloud ensures information is accessible and secure at all times.
Let's say you're working on a project and you want to show it to your team. You have a file prepared but it's on Google Drive instead of your hard drive.
If your video conferencing app integrates with Google Drive, you'll still be able to locate that file and drop it into an ongoing video conference with your team. Note that because it’s situated in the cloud, Google Drive doesn’t take up space in your hard drive.
Learn more about the possibilities of integration with other web apps by calling our sales team.
What is RingCentral Video?
Key features and benefits of RingCentral Video
Integrated video, message, and phone calls
RingCentral Video isn’t just video. It allows teams to keep in touch using HD video and seamless voice calls, with fully integrated messaging, and as part of a UCaaS platform. This means you don’t need separate web apps like a text chatting app or a file sharing solution.
Users can start with a message, click an icon to start or join a call from a message window, and even switch devices during the call, effortlessly. This blend of back-and-forth text and call means teams don’t have to waste time switching between apps. That, thus, enhances productivity and streamlines communication for better results.
Document and screen sharing
Users can share their entire screen or a single application with meeting attendees. Other video participants can easily take control and screen share as needed. With screen-sharing, conference leaders can ensure everyone is on the same page by adding guided visuals to meetings, tutorials, or webinars.
As mentioned earlier, it’s easy and safe to share files via the cloud. All important files, documents, and project materials are secure and accessible at all times.
Accessible on any device
In today’s globalized world, people want the freedom to work from where they want, when they want. This can mean tuning into a work call from a mobile device or collaborating on a project from a remote location.
With RingCentral’s mobile app, all of this is possible. Employees can join a meeting from their mobile phone or tune in to a webinar from a tablet.
What’s more, you can switch from a phone call to a video conference with the click of a button, and even bounce live video meetings between any internet-enabled device. What does this mean? More freedom and more flexibility.
With RingCentral, you can rest assured that we take security seriously. RingCentral deploys enterprise-grade security and top-end encryption to ensure your business data and conversations are kept private and secure.
Track real-time analytics to gain insights across your business and make data-driven decisions to improve operations. This video call feature enables you to monitor and track meeting adoption and usage from a dashboard, and view the overall system performance at a glance.
How to start a group video call with RingCentral Video
If you or someone else in your team isn’t very tech-savvy, then you’ll be glad to know that starting a group call with RingCentral Video is something everyone can get right! This holds true whether you’re using a desktop app or any web browser. Simply follow these steps:
- Open the RingCentral app with your desktop app or web browser on a Mac or Windows PC.
- Log in to RingCentral Video with your credentials. You can also use your Google account (Gmail address) or SSO login details.
- Click “meet” to start a call immediately. You can then invite video participants via email.
If you want to program a meeting or event for later, follow these instructions:
- Click “schedule” once logged in to the app.
- Enter a title, date, and time for the event.
- The call link and PIN should pop up. Copy and paste these into an email to send to invitees.
What is the best group video chat app?
At RingCentral, we asked ourselves this question and then decided to create the best group video calling app! RingCentral is the best video chat software on the market in terms of functionality, ease of use, and affordability—even if we do say so ourselves.
With RingCentral, you’re guaranteed a robust, reliable, and scalable video calling app that can be applied in countless business situations to streamline communication, improve collaboration, and enhance team relationships with synchronous interactions.
What is the best free video chat app?
RingCentral Video is available with a free plan that allows for unlimited one-to-one meetings, HD video group calls with up to 100 people with a 40-minute time limit, and desktop and application sharing. If you’re operating an agile team and need a robust communications solution that can facilitate better communication among a remote workforce, this is ideal.
If you’re a small business and you’re just starting out, why not try the free group video app version and later scale up to a paid plan when your business starts growing?
Note that many popular free group video call apps are typically consumer-focused apps that you can merely get by with as a business.
They may allow you to send a video message, get on a live video chat with a few people, and even integrate with smart home devices, but they don't have the flexibility, integrations, and video calling features offered by business-level video conference apps.
Now, you’re probably thinking about that app for video calling you use in your favorite social networking site...
What about video calling on social networking platforms?
Social networking platforms are suited for interaction with friends and family, not business use. They don’t provide essential video calling and team collaboration features like screen sharing, device switching, or analytics, which are all found in a top video conferencing app like RingCentral Video.
Moreover, there are more privacy concerns about social networking solutions being used for business purposes, making them more suited for personal use.
As a global leader in cloud communications, RingCentral is the preferred video calling platform by businesses all over the world. Seamlessly integrating video, phone, and messaging, RingCentral Video provides a flexible, reliable, and frictionless video conference solution for businesses of all sizes.
RingCentral Video empowers remote workforces and distributed teams to effectively work together. With a variety of productivity-enhancing tools, HD video and voice, and enterprise-grade security, RingCentral leads the way in dynamic workplace collaboration among a new, global workforce.