Eleven Free Ways to Connect with Family & Friends Online

let's connect

Thank goodness for technology right now which allows us to achieve some semblance of togetherness. Trying to puzzle out the best method for contacting family and friends in the middle of this pandemic can be overwhelming.  Below are some ways you can put the social back in social distancing!

Facebook messenger. If you have a Facebook account, you can use Messenger to make voice and video calls over the internet. You can video chat with just one person, or with a group of people. In order to use Facebook Messenger you must have a Facebook account.  Join messenger by visiting https://www.messenger.com/

FaceTime is one of the easiest ways for making one-on-one video calls between users of Apple devices. You can Facetime up to 32 people at once.  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204380

Google Duo offers simple, high quality encrypted video calls for smartphones, tablets, and web browsers.   https://support.google.com/duo/answer/6376137?hl=en

Google Hangouts. Connect with your family and friends from anywhere. With easy-to join video calls, you can connect face-to-face with team members around the world. You and your friends will need gmail accounts. To download gmail: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/56256?hl=en  From there, you send an invite to whoever it is you want to talk to. 25 people can share a Google Hangout.  https://www.wikihow.com/Open-Google-Hangouts-in-Gmail

Houseparty is a social networking service that enables group video chatting through mobile and desktop apps. You can invite up to eight people to achieve a remote houseparty experience! https://houseparty.com/

Line offers free international voice and video calls and is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, PC (Windows and Mac). https://line.me/en/

Signal Messenger.  Signal users can send private messages and make secure calls to other Signal users anywhere in the world for free over the internet.  https://support.signal.org/hc/en-us/sections/360001602712-Signal-Messenger-Basics

Skype, a division of Microsoft, specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Calls are free anywhere in the world.    https://www.skype.com/en/

WhatsApp is a free service that lets users talk or video chat with one another seamlessly between mobile and desktop devices. This video-chat app is especially nice for families connecting internationally. WhatsApp group calling allows for up to four people to video call with each other at once. https://www.whatsapp.com/

Viber is a free to download app that allows users to make free calls, send texts, pictures and video messages to other Viber users. It works on both mobile and desktops and can be used to connect with people around the world.  https://www.viber.com/en/

Zoom is a communications app for video conferencing and meetings. Individuals can set up a free personal account and have meet-ups with colleagues, family or friends.  https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697-Getting-Started


See also:

"10 free video chat apps to use if you're social distancing," CNET.com,  https://www.cnet.com/news/10-free-video-chat-apps-to-use-if-youre-social-distancing/

"17 Best Video Chatting Apps to Keep You Sane While Social Distancing During Coronavirus Pandemic",  Parade.com,  https://parade.com/1010666/jessicasager/best-video-chatting-apps/

All the Best Video Calling Options, Ranked," Gizmodo.com, https://gizmodo.com/all-the-best-video-calling-options-ranked-1839854653