How to Video Chat for Free on Imo

Install the mobile or desktop app to start making video calls

Man carrying baby son (6-11 months) and holding smartphone

10'000 Hours / Getty Images

With the free video chat service called Imo, users can connect with friends for an impromptu video call. The app can message one person or a group of contacts and supports not only video messaging but also texting and internet-based audio calling.

Imo provides an impressive array of features that are easy to access and understand on iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. However, the setup can be a little confusing because, unlike similar apps, Imo requires a cell phone number and makes you install the app on your mobile device before you can use it on your computer.

Using Imo as a Skype Alternative

The Imo app supports numerous social networking sites and chat networks, including Yahoo, Facebook, and Google Hangouts. When Imo lost its ability to interface with Skype in 2013, the company rebranded itself as the alternative to Skype and added video chat to tempt platform switchers.

Imo includes lots of features, including the ability to add friends to separate groups to keep things organized. Imo makes it easy to set a status message and includes a searchable chat history and support for voice messaging. The addition of a sticker package enhances the chat features.

The Imo app supports push notifications so that you’ll be alerted when you get a new message or call.

How to Download and Set Up Imo

Screenshots of the imo iPhone app
Jon Fisher

You can install Imo on a mobile device by downloading the application from the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad, the Google Play Store for Android devices, or the Microsoft Store for Windows Phone.

  1. Open Imo and your phone number will be inserted into the text box automatically, but if not, type it in manually.
    1. Note: If you're on a tablet or phone that doesn't have a number attached to it, enter any phone number to which you have access. For example, if you're on your iPad, enter your cell phone number.
  2. Tap Next.
  3. Type the code sent to your cell phone into the space provided in the Imo app.
  4. Enter your name if asked.
  5. Tap Get Started.
  6. Add a profile image or tap Skip to do it later.

If you've ever used Imo before on the same phone, some of the steps above won't be shown on your screen.

To download Imo on a Windows or macOS computer, visit the Imo download page. In order to use Imo on your computer, you have to first install it on your phone or tablet.

Screenshot of the imo messenger windows desktop program
Jon Fisher
  1. Click Yes to the question about whether you have Imo on your phone.
  2. Enter your phone number in the space provided.
  3. Click Agree and Continue.
  4. Locate the code sent to the Imo app on your phone or tablet, and type it into the space provided on your computer.
  5. Hit Enter on your keyboard.

How to Start a Video Chat on Imo

Screenshots showing how to start an imo video call on an iPhone

Jon Fisher

You can start a video call or an audio call by selecting a contact from your address book. The button used for making calls is the same on desktop computers and mobile devices.

  1. Search for the contact or group to call, or browse the list.
  2. Tap or click the contact or group to open a texting window.
  3. Select the video button to start a video call.

Imo lets you make a group so that you can video chat with every recipient simultaneously. To do that on your phone or tablet, open the Chats window and tap New Group Video Call. If you're using Imo on a computer, click Contacts and then Create Group.

From the Imo mobile app, select the recipients you want to start a group video call with, or if you're on a computer, tap the group you already made and click the video button to start the call.