How to use video chat platforms to group chat with family and friends

Over the Easter break it may be quite challenging to be away from family but a great alternative is making use of free video chat platforms to help you and your love ones stay connected.

There are a range of video chat platforms available but as many have found some are more tricky to use than others. So what we’ve done is given you a quick how-to guide on how these can be used to group chat.

WhatsApp

1. Start a one-to-one video call with a contact
2. Tap the ‘Add participant’ icon on the screen
3. In the next screen select your contact(s)

You can make a group call with up to 4 people.

For more information on how to make video calls on WhatsApp visit FAQ page on Group video calls.

Facebook Messenger

  • You can see up to six people at a time but up to 50 people can join in on voice or camera
  • Once more than six people are on the call, just the dominant speaker is shown to everyone on the call.

1. From chats, create a group conversation or go to an existing one
2. Then tap on the video icon on the upper right of the screen to enter the video chat
3. Everyone in the group will be notified to ask them if they want to join

To get more support on how to use this option visit Facebook Help Centre

Skype

How to group video chat on iPhone

How to group video call on Android devices

1. Once you have signed in, start a chat by tapping the name of the friends you want to have a group call with from the contacts panel
2. Tap the camera icon to start the video call
3. You can add more people to the call after it has started by tapping ‘Add participant icon’

You can have up to 50 people on the video call.

For more advice on how to use Skype for group calls visit Skype website.

FaceTime

1. Tap Messages, then open or start a new Group FaceTime message with people you’d like to call
2. Tap on the group name or contact at the top of the messages then choose Facetime from the menu. This will start a Facetime with everyone on the message
3. To add someone swipe up from th handle at the bottom of the screen, tap add person and type in a name. Tap add person to Facetime to invite them to join.

  • You have to have iOS 12.1 or later to use this function
  • You can facetime with up to 32 people

For more support on how to Group chat on facetime, visit Apple support page

Google Hangouts

1. Go to hangouts.google.com or open Hangouts in Gmail.
2. Click New conversation and then New group.
3. Enter or select the names, phone numbers, or email addresses of people you want to add.
4. To start a group conversation or video call, click Message or Video call.

You can video chat with up to 10 people.

For more support on how to use Google Hangouts for group chat, visit Hangouts Help page

Zoom

Once you have signed up for free you can follow these steps to set up a video call with friends and family.

1.To host a meeting login to the site or the app and then click ‘New meeting and Start With Vido,.

2. Then you can share the link to invite people to join the call. They just need to click on the link to join the call but they also need to have Zoom installed on their phone or web browser.

See Zoom Safety tips on video calling

Top safety tips for video calling:

If your teen is using video calling here are some simple tips to help them stay safe.

1. Advise them only to video chat with people that they really know – some friends of friends may still be strangers. It is also important not to accept video chat request from people they don’t know.

2. Encourage them to leave personal details out of video chats to make sure they stay in control of what can be made public as everything can be recorded and shared.

3. Set a strong password to avoid their account being hacked.

4. Make sure they are aware of how to report or block anyone that may be saying or doing something inappropriate.

5. Walk through the privacy settings on the platform to make sure these are set to the right level.

6. Encourage them to video chat in a high-traffic area of the house and be dressed appropriately.

7. Even with people they are familiar with, it’s important to set some boundaries on where and when they can chat as children can be too trusting if they are talking to an adult or someone they consider as a close friend.

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Visit our #StaySafeStayHome advice hub for more tips on how to make the best use of tech.

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