What is the best platform for video conferencing?
This is one of the top questions we hear. In our 2021 State of Remote Work Report, we found that 38% of employers upgraded their video conferencing technology to allow for better hybrid collaboration, and 24% expanded meeting rooms and collaboration spaces. People are trying to find the best video solutions for their teams, especially during a time of transition.
In the survey, we also found that 70% of employees feel that it’s difficult to participate during video calls, 72% can’t tell who’s speaking, 63% can’t see in-room participants’ faces, and 62% can’t see the whiteboard.
This tells us that people are still struggling to find a cohesive video meeting solution to meet the needs of their entire company. We created a video conferencing comparison guide that outlines the strengths of the top platforms and key features for growing teams.
Types of Video Conferencing Platforms
Video brings conversations to life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a meeting with 1 or 1,000 people, adding video makes the conversation drastically more dynamic and inclusive to all attendees.
Thanks to the growing adoption of remote and hybrid work, there are tons of options for video meetings and video conferencing, with more than 300 video platforms on G2. Video platforms range from free to enterprise pricing, and have the ability to connect two individuals or tens of thousands who are tuning in from anywhere in the world.
Types of video conferencing platforms include:
- One-to-one video conversation apps
- Company all hands meeting apps
- Live streaming platforms
- Small group brainstorm platforms
- Webinar services
- Online classrooms
- Telehealth software
- And more video-based conferencing solutions
Most Popular Video Conferencing Platforms
According to G2, the top five most popular video conferencing software platforms are:
- Microsoft Teams
- Webex Meetings
- BlueJeans by Verizon
Ready to find the best video conferencing platform for your team? Check out the matrix below.
Video Conferencing Platform Comparison Guide
Let’s review features, plans, pricing, and performance across the top video conferencing platforms to see which tool is best for your use case.
1. Performance + Reliability
Zoom is a top-rated video conferencing platform, with over 40,000 reviews and a 4.5/5 star-rating. This app is also a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for meeting solutions and offers HD video and audio streaming.
Users say “I am very happy with the performance of this software, specifically during the group meetings,” “The most helpful thing that Zoom has provided us is its performance. The quality of the video calls is high definition, and the audio is clear and loud,” and “Compared to other meeting software that we have used, zoom has the most reliable performance with the least latency”.
2. Meeting Size, Streaming, + Live Events
For group meetings, webinars, and live-streamed events, each video platform offers free and paid participant limits, based on number of participants or meeting length.
- Zoom: Supports up to 100 participants in the free version and up to 1,000 interactive video participants with the Large Meetings add-on. Zoom Webinars enable live webinars for 50,000 people with live streaming to Facebook Live and other services.
- Microsoft Teams: Allows up to 300 meeting participants in the paid plans. Webinars are included in Microsoft 365 Business Standard.
- Skype: Video and audio conferencing can host up to 100 participants. Skype for Business, the enterprise solution of this tool, is now Microsoft Teams.
- Webex Meetings: Free meetings can include up to 100 participants, and paid plans allow up to 200. Webex Webinars allow for up to 100,000 live attendees and real-time translation in more than 100 languages.
- BlueJeans by Verizon: Meetings can hold up to 200 participants on the paid plan, and webinars can host up to 500 interactive attendees, or up to 150,000 view-only live streaming attendees.
3. Interactive Features
Interactive video conferencing features like screen sharing, hand raising, polls, and breakout rooms help boost attendee engagement and encourage discussion.
- Zoom: Screen sharing, breakout rooms, private and group chat, spotlighting individual attendees, co-hosting and alternating hosts, live transcription, hand raising, recording
- Microsoft Teams: Screen sharing, Together mode, breakout rooms, interactive webinars, file sharing, reactions, recording
- Skype: Custom reactions, hand raising, background effects, location sharing, real-time translation, file sharing, screen sharing, smart messaging, live subtitles, call recording
- Webex Meetings: Captions, highlights, automatic transcription and recording, gesture recognition, breakout sessions, interactive polling and Q&A, animated virtual backgrounds, 1:1 and group messaging
- BlueJeans by Verizon: Moderator dashboard, chat, hand raising, Q&A, voting, live polling, automated closed captioning, cloud recording
Integrations with project management tools, calendar apps, and email providers can help to streamline business processes and reduce the number of clicks it takes to start a meeting or collaborate.
- Zoom: Zoom has an app marketplace with over 1,500 integrations in categories like analytics, broadcasting and streaming, CRM, and more along with Developer tools that make any integration possible.
- Microsoft Teams: Includes real-time collaboration in Office mobile apps, 250+ integrated apps and services, the full suite of Microsoft 365 tools, Microsoft Bookings, email hosting, and a connection to Outlook and Skype.
- Skype: Skype connects to Cortana, Outlook.com, SMS, Skype Translator, Skype Connect, and features a tool called Skype extension to share articles and stories with contacts.
- Webex Meetings: Webex has an extensive App Hub with integrations to tools like Notion, Smartsheet, HubSpot, and more. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can build it using their Developer Portal.
- BlueJeans by Verizon: The BlueJeans app network is available with BlueJeans Pro and Enterprise plans and includes integrations like Slack, Robin, and Trello.
When leadership teams have access to meeting analytics, they can better support their teams.
- Zoom: Zoom reporting gives admins insights into usage, meetings, participants, and activity.
- Microsoft Teams: Teams includes reporting on webinars in the Microsoft 365 Standard edition, allowing for analysis of audience engagement, Q&A, polls, and surveys.
- Skype: To access advanced analytics and reporting, Skype now recommends using Microsoft Teams, their business video conferencing platform.
- Webex Meetings: Webex Control Hub displays analytics as interactive data visualizations that help admins highlight usage trends.
- BlueJeans by Verizon: The BlueJeans Command Center is a comprehensive dashboard with meeting analytics, real-time feedback, and live meeting control capabilities.
6. Meeting Room Capabilities
In a hybrid or flexible workplace, productive collaboration depends on frictionless tech experiences, or employees who aren’t in the office will risk being excluded from the team. With connected video conferencing platforms and meeting room solutions, tech is no longer a barrier to work.
- Zoom: Zoom Rooms are connected meeting spaces that allow for one-touch meeting starts and integrate room-booking software with calendar apps and video conferencing platforms.
- Microsoft Teams: Schedule meetings, integrate with Outlook, offer guest access, and integrate with meeting room platforms.
- Webex Meetings: Webex meeting tools include meeting controls, HD video and audio, easy screen sharing, immersive share, picture in picture, and calendar integrations.
- BlueJeans by Verizon: BlueJeans Rooms are fully connected spaces that include hardware, video conferencing licenses, support, warranties, and upgrades.
7. Browser-based Meetings
Don’t want to download software? No problem, these choices offer browser-based meetings, sometimes called device-agnostic video meeting solutions.
- Microsoft Teams
- Webex Meetings/Webex Web App
- BlueJeans by Verizon
Video conferencing platforms are as concerned with their users’ privacy as their users are. They strive to keep users safe and conversations secure with the latest security features.
- Zoom: Zoom includes meeting security features like locked meetings, controlled screen sharing and recording, and waiting rooms, as well as account-level security like encryption and 2-factor authentication.
- Microsoft Teams
- Skype: Skype utilizes “industry standard end to end encryption” and includes tips for their users on keeping conversations safe, like using incognito windows when on a public computer.
- Webex Meetings: Each Webex plan starts with a base level of security with locked personal meetings, meeting passwords, HIPAA/BAA compliance, end-to-end encryption, and encrypted data transfer, and Enterprise users can access additional security features.
- BlueJeans by Verizon: Users can require passcodes, manage participants, encrypt calls, and lock meetings, among other security features.
Each platform includes tiered pricing, starting at a free version with limited features, all the way up to an enterprise edition with every possible feature, and typically 24/7 enterprise-level support and the highest participant limits. Most platforms have a small team paid plan ranging from $10 to $15 per month. Higher tiered plans start closer to $20 per month, or are billed by the user.
The Meeting Owl Pro is software agnostic, so choose whichever solution works best for you and set up hybrid meeting rooms that support collaboration from anywhere.
Once you've decided on a video conferencing platform, outfit your meeting rooms with the best video conferencing hardware to support inclusive meetings and a truly hybrid work environment.