It doesn’t feel like that long ago where I was in the computer lab at my college browsing the Internet with pure amazement. I couldn’t believe back then what was available to all of us. There were text chat systems where you could *actually chat with real people* as if it was some miracle thing. And perhaps it was. It opened the world up more to the shy as well as the social.
And it was so much fun to load an image on the screen. The image may have been written to the screen one line of pixels at a time as it downloaded, but was such a feeling waiting for the finished product.
These days, new technologies and ideas have come into manifestation and do so on such a regular basis, that… for those of us who still remember the click and whir and hum of the 14.4 modem, these new ideas are still kinda cool… maybe just not as amazing as text based chat was back in the early days.
Top 4 Online Video Chat Software
Well, it’s no secret that we are able to chat in real time through video. That’s not a new thing. What’s new now are the tools that make the service available and the differences with each.
Using Skype to Chat
We all have heard of Skype I am sure. It’s been around so long that I think a lot of people use it still only because they haven’t sorted out how to export their contact list for use in other software.
Or maybe it is just a really cool system and I am missing the point. My feeling is that it’s a bit clunky, and it’s actual *software* … meaning… it has to be downloaded and installed. I really enjoy browser-based apps for the convenience. Plus, Skype used to overheat my system so I stopped using it for the most part.
Google Hangouts for Video Conferencing
I really like Google Hangouts. It serves many purposes. It’s not just for one on one chat, although that is available when choosing the *hangout participant* specifically, but we can chat in groups and broadcast to an audience of a giant size.
Plus, the Hangout is recorded for archive and playback. It’s open to add plugins for further functionality. I like it for business and personal.
What is Firefox Hello?
I only just stumbled across Firefox Hello when I opened up Firefox one day (I usually use Chrome) in order to login to a different Google account. Hello was being advertised on the main Firefox page when I opened the browser, so I took a peek.
I like how simple Hello is for quick chat. You basically initiate a session and you are given a web link. The web link can be shared in any way that a web link can be shared. It gets clicked, and regardless of browser (actually, here are the compatible ones), people can join the chat session.
Firefox Hello is very simple.
I have never used Periscope, and may never. I am not an avid Twitter user either. I just happened to receive an email about it the other day. The link in the email goes to this iTunes app page, which further indicates to me that it’s not for me… I am an Android user after all. Edit: The main Videos on Twitter page on Twitter.com suggests it is also available on the Android. No matter, I still probably won’t use it. What I do like though, is how Twitter *delivers* the download for the apps. So simple that it’s strange that that wasn’t the default standard way from the beginning for all apps.
At any rate, it does appear to be an interesting tool, and was the motivation for this blog post.
The description in the email about it reads:
“We’ve launched Periscope, a live, interactive video app that lets you teleport anywhere with a tap. Broadcast privately to a few people or publicly to the world. Periscope seamlessly integrates with Twitter, so you can share with your followers in real time.”
With all that said, I personally don’t do much video chat, but it’s hard NOT to see the value in it for communication and business. I am a “content marketer” for the most part, and “live” video is a great starting point for any and all content types, and is certainly worth exploring.
At TRFW, we use Google Hangouts technology for Matt’s weekly hangouts. It works beautifully and auto-archives to YouTube. Love it!
Image source: flic.kr