Compare 8 types of online conference apps. What is the difference between Zoom, Teams, and LINE? The point is the ease of hosting and participating

A video conferencing app for online meetings that was one of the most user-acquired tools in the first half of 2020 and is still in fierce competition for updates.

Less than three months after the last article was published, the free version of Google Meet was released, and Microsoft Teams is now fully offering it to individual users. Facebook, LINE and Skype have evolved from video calling to video conferencing apps, and Zoom, which has been pointed out as a security issue, is working on solving problems at an astonishing speed.

The dynamic market movements and app evolution in a short period of time are amazing, even to capture the rapidly expanding needs of the world.

Services to compare this time

  • LINE
  • Messenger (including Messenger Rooms)
  • Skype (including Meet Now)
  • Zoom
  • Webex Meetings
  • Whereby
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams

This time, based on various updates made during the three months, we will introduce a video conferencing application from the perspective of which is easier to hold a meeting as an organizer and which is easier to attend a meeting as a participant. Compare.

All of the items introduced here are free for individuals to use. Please note that some functions are different from those of corporate apps and paid versions.

For organizers: Is it possible to issue advance URLs and links with calendars?

The first feature I would like to see if I am the organizer is “to be able to schedule future meetings” and “to be able to notify participants as smoothly as possible”.

For example, LINE can be said to be a low threshold app even for video conferencing beginners in that it is easy to start a video call from the group chat screen. However, the URL of the future meeting cannot be issued in advance. It’s like getting together without reserving a meeting room and starting a meeting on the spot.

Making video calls one-on-one or in groups with friends on Facebook Messenger or Skype is basically the same as LINE.

However, Facebook Messenger has “Messenger Rooms,” and Skype has “Meet Now,” a new video conferencing service. If you use this, you can issue the URL in advance. In other words, you can start a meeting by reserving a meeting room and gathering at a fixed date and time.

The URLs that can be issued include those that are fixed for each user and those that are issued each time a meeting is set up. You can hold meetings at either Zoom or Webex Meetings.

A fixed URL for each user is like having a meeting at home. Instead of using the same URL every time, you need to manage it thoroughly.

In addition, Messenger Rooms, Skype’s Meet Now, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have a mechanism in which a new URL is issued for each meeting. Conversely, the free version of Whereby only allows you to use a fixed conference room that you get for each user.

To encourage participation, simply share the code (meeting room number) required for direct access from the issued URL or app to the participants by e-mail or other means. With apps that can work with the calendar, you can also share information through the calendar.

Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams can work with Google Calendar. In the case of Google Meet, the schedule for future video conferences is set from Google Calendar in the first place.

For Participants: Do I need to register for the service?

The easiest way to attend a meeting is with a video conferencing app that allows you to join with as little effort as possible. If user registration is not required, the threshold will be much lower.

Messenger Rooms, Skype Meet Now, Zoom, Cisco Webex Meetings, and Whereby can join a meeting without registering by simply accessing the shared URL .

Skype Meet Now can be used by the organizer without user registration. It is a big attraction that you can use it quickly without the step of registering both sides.

On the other hand, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams require guest account registration in the free version, while the paid version can invite guests who do not have an account to the meeting. It’s a little troublesome if you don’t have a Google account or Microsoft account, but once you register, you can participate without any burden.

In terms of user registration , LINE, which requires accounts for each other and can only hold meetings with friends, has the highest threshold . It’s best to divide this into a tool for video conferencing with friends you already have.

For participants: I’m also worried about the virtual background and the maximum number of simultaneous displays

From the participant’s point of view, I would like to pay attention to the functions of each app. For example, if you are concerned about the appearance of the room reflected in the background, the presence or absence of a function to synthesize the background or blur it is also important.

Zoom’s “virtual background” feature is famous for its background compositing feature, but several apps have already caught up with it in the last three months. As of the end of June, in addition to Zoom, LINE, Skype Meet Now, and Microsoft Teams can use some background composition function.

Even if the service is not supported, you can use the filter function such as background composition by setting the application called “Snap Camera” as a virtual camera.

Extra: What can display the faces of the most people on a smartphone …

As summarized in the table at the beginning, there are many other features available in the video conferencing app. Screen sharing and chat, which are convenient for presentations, do not change much in what you can do with any app, but it is clear what you can and cannot record, so be careful if you want to keep minutes (the function at the beginning). Refer to the comparison table).

Also, especially when participating from a smartphone , the number of people displayed per screen greatly affects comfort. If the number of people displayed is small compared to the number of participants in the meeting, you will end up swiping and scrolling the screen frequently, which is quite tiring.

Therefore, at the end of the table at the beginning, we investigated how many people can be displayed on one screen on each of PC and smartphone, and summarized the results. We hope this will help you choose the best video conferencing app for the number of participants.

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