Video Calling Apps to Make your Friends and Loved Ones More Accessible this Holiday Season November 24, 2020 Like most events, activities and celebrations this year, the 2020 holidays are likely to be far different than your past Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa celebrations. But just because you’re not visiting family or friends in-person, doesn’t mean you can’t carry on your celebrations and traditions. One major step of 2020 is the new awakening to experiencing video conferencing for everyday life for millions of people. So, this holiday season, don’t skip the celebration, consider trying out a video calling app to connect with family, friends, or social groups while COVID-19 makes it more difficult to hang out in person. To take some of the trouble out of finding apps that are affordable these holidays, here are a few of the apps we’ve found*. Zoom Basic – Despite its 40-minute limit on meetings, Zoom Basic is one of the most full-featured free video-conferencing service you can get. (In 2020, Zoom has suspended the usual 40-minute limit for all meetings globally from midnight Eastern time November 26 to 6 a.m. Eastern time November 27.) Google Meet – If Zoom’s massive feature list is more confusing than helpful for the kind of meetings you want to have, consider Google Meet. It’s much simpler, and offers long meetings and high participant counts, even for people using the free version. Jitsi Meet - Think of Jitsi Meet as Google Meet’s quirky, nerdy, free-spirited cousin: It’s totally free, anonymous, and full of fun features. Those who need absolute privacy can also install it as a private server. Facebook Messenger Rooms – Facebook has added a wave of new video-calling features to its Messenger app. You now can use Facebook Messenger for free to start group video chats with any of your friends who have the app up to 50 people. Marco Polo App – When it comes to different staying in touch with friends and loved ones across different time zones or varying availability for cell or web reception, Marco Polo is a private “video walkie-talkie” app that allows you to send messages immediately but are available for the recipient to view and respond at their own availability. *LifeWays does not endorse or get affiliate paybacks for any of these links.