A while ago, many office workers were left without their main means of information exchange. Skype, the most popular service for business communication at a distance, suddenly went out of order and made many companies consider using an alternative. Not that people were completely satisfied with Skype before, e.g. with its unhandy large group video call option or the mobile version taking too much time to load, but for some a whole working day without Skype became the last straw. We have rounded up a few services that should replace Skype for you.
OoVoo is a pretty handy service to use at work. It solves the problem of inconvenient Skype video conference call feature, at absolutely no cost. It can hold up to 12 people simultaneously. The service works on Windows, Mac and Android. In the process of communication, you can record and send videos as well as text messages and files up to 25MB. During a video call you can make the other participants see your document or presentation. If you log in to the service via your Facebook user account, OoVoo will automatically create a list of your friend contacts.
Viber is quite a decent alternative to Skype. At the beginning, it was more a VoIP service with the option of calling between devices, but now Viber also offers a handy chat feature and allows for sharing files. The software works on a wide variety of platforms and devices including Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Such a large number of supported platforms is one of the greatest things about the service, since it makes the experience of video calling between devices very simple and smooth.
Slack was launched only in 2013, but has already became quite popular among many companies. The service offers some paid features like support and statistics service, which might be pretty useful for large companies. Slack has a handy option of creating a channel and inviting your team members via email. You can send private messages there and communicate in group chats. One of the interesting features that Slack offers is the ability to configure notifications: you can set the icon at the bottom of the browser to blink only when receiving messages where you are mentioned. It greatly helps to focus on your work, even when colleagues discuss something incredibly interesting.
Jitsi is an open-source application with a significant focus on security and privacy. The software offers audio calls and video chats, as well as messaging. Moreover, it also allows for streaming and sharing desktops, can record and encrypt calls and lets you communicate via instant messaging. Jitsi supports a vast number of protocols, like SIP, XMPP (Jabber, Google Talk, Facebook), AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo! and Bonjour and is available on the following platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux.
Telegram is the freshest service on our list that has nevertheless already managed to become a very popular place for group chats. Having started as a mobile messenger, the app has successfully been transferred to other platforms including Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Telegram allows for chatting in groups of up to 200 members, encrypts the information, lets you send files of any type and size and even has the feature of destructing your messages with a timer. The service seems to be really full-featured, although to start using it on any platform, you need to download the mobile version first.