Need a simple alternative to Skype? Would it be a surprise if that alternative came from none other than Google? Of course not! If you already have a Gmail account, you have already done most of the prep work. All that is left is installing a simple plugin from Google and voila: Free group video calls! Google Hangouts allows up to 9 friends, family, acquaintances, whomever to join in on a single video conference call, for free. Skype requires an install of the program and a monthly subscription to its service to initiate group calling, but this alternative makes it very easy to ditch the mainstream giant.
Spontaneity Meets Simplicity
The idea behind Google Hangouts is to create an experience where a user can drop in for a few minutes to spend some free time with a small group, much like bumping into a group of friends at a coffee house. By inviting contacts with free time to a group call, everyone can sit and chat and come and go as they please.
Hangouts easily installs into your Gmail for a more convenient experience and can invite up to 9 contacts. Google’s technology is intuitive to the point to recognize the speaker during a call and have that speaker be the focus.
Google designed this to meet the needs of 3 or more contacts who enjoy getting together for a quick hello. While it might not be the best option for 1 on 1 calling, it’s very capable to meet the needs of circles of people who have a few free moments to spend.
Bottom line is that Google Hangouts is a great Skype alternative to users who enjoy quick video group chats. It’s built for people to get in and get out.