Video Chat for Free Using One of These Messaging Apps

Use one of these messaging apps for free video chat!

Video Chat
Getty Images/Emma Kim

Video chat has become increasingly popular, and many messaging apps now offer the ability to chat via video for free!

Before you start, you may want to make sure you that have the latest version of the app that you’re going to use. Since video chat is new to several of the messaging apps, you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the most recent version in order to access the latest features. If you have any trouble using video chat, you may also want to confirm that the friend you are trying to reach is using the latest version as well — and always make sure that you’re connected to a cellular or wifi network. To use video chat you’ll need to permit access to your phone’s camera and microphone on mobile devices (the app will prompt you to do so), or on a laptop or desktop computer, you’ll need to use either the built-in camera and microphone or connect external ones.

Here’s a look at a few of the most popular messaging apps that offer video chat:

  • Facebook Messenger: You probably already use Facebook Messenger to chat by text with friends, which makes the app a convenient way to start chatting by video. To start a video chat, open Messenger on your phone or desktop, and locate the friend that you want to chat with. If your friend is available, the video icon located at the top-right of the app will be enabled. Tap or click on it to start your call and your session will begin. Currently, you can only video with one friend at a time. For more information and FAQ’s visit the Facebook Help Center.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat rolled out video chat recently along with some pretty amazing features. To chat with a friend, locate that person in your friend's list and tap on their name. If your friend is not available, you can leave a video message — and if your friend is available they can choose to either “Join” so that you can see each other, or “Watch” which allows them to see and hear what you’re doing without being seen themselves. For more information, visit the Snapchat Support Center
  • Skype: Established in 2003, Skype was one of the very first video chat platforms. Skype enables one-to-one chats as well as group video chats. To begin, click or tap on the contact that you’d like to speak with. On mobile, you may be presented with icons for both a video call and an audio call on the top right of the app. Tap the video icon to begin your session. To add additional people to the call, tap the “+” sign which will bring up a menu of contacts to select from. On the desktop, you may be presented with only the audio call icon. Click it, and once your session starts, you’ll be able to switch to video by clicking on the video icon at the bottom right of the screen. As on mobile, you can add more people by clicking the “+” icon. Find out more about Skype video chat by visiting the Skype Support Center
  • Facetime: FaceTime is a popular video chat app that comes built-in to iOS devices, so there’s no need to download and install another app. There’s also no need to worry about keeping the app updated — as long as you’re using the latest version of iOS then the Facetime app will also be up-to-date. To make a call, simply open the app and tap on the name of the contact that you’re trying to reach. For more information, visit the Apple Support Center.