Virtual Meeting Tools

The primary difference between them is the number of people allowed in the meeting. (See the Comparison Chart below.)

Virtual Programming and Patron Privacy

This website has great info on the data collection of each app and their overall security. https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/categories/video-call-apps/

Here is an article from ALA on Virtual Programming and Patron Privacy. https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2020/04/virtual-programming-and-patron-privacy/

Zoom.us

Use the free version of Zoom.us for private meetings with your own personal meeting link. Although one-to-one meeting time is unlimited, group meetings are different. When you have more than two people on a call, the time is limited to 40 minutes. If you go over, the call will drop. (Yes, you can call in again for another 40 minutes.)

This tool also lets you share links to files and attachments right in the chat feature. See a prior Tech-Talk article on Zoom here.

Skype.com

You can choose Skype.com for audio and video calling … or host a video conference … for up to 50 people. One distinguishing option other platforms don’t have is that you can enable the captions and subtitles feature.
Also, during a call you can share documents, photos or videos up to 300 MB by dragging and dropping them right into the conversation window.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams replaces “Skype for Business” as Microsoft’s professional online meeting solution. This tool combines instant messaging, video conferencing, calling, and document sharing all together within the app.

“Teams” is especially helpful when your group already uses Microsoft 365 products.

Google Hangouts

(or known as Hangouts Meet in the G Suite paid subscription)

If your team already operates primarily using the Google platform of apps (Calendar, Drive, Docs, etc…), Hangouts will integrate easily.

This tool allows users to make calls and use messaging — along with video conferences.

You can schedule a meeting or connect right through options in Google Calendar or the Hangouts app itself. You share documents via Google’s Drive.