Video conferencing and online meeting services have been around for a long time, but the pandemic lockdown has caused their use to skyrocket. People need a way to talk face to face when they can’t meet in the physical world. Tools that once served the job now connect us to family, friends and school.
Even when we emerge from our bunkers, these tools will likely be part of everyday life. People now know that just because we can meet in person, that doesn’t mean we should. Still, a pure audio call is a poor substitute. Now, hybrid meetings are becoming more common, with some people physically together and others connected online. Many of us probably won’t be working from home as often as we used to, but there will always be days when you need to connect with colleagues around the world.
In this month’s PCMag Readers’ Choice Award survey, we asked you about the video conferencing and online meeting services you use. Read on to see which tools our readers prefer the most.
Video Conferencing and Online Meetings Services 2022
This is our first survey of video conferencing and online meeting services, and we have two winners: Apple Face Time and Zoom Meetings. These services meet different needs, although there is some overlap. FaceTime is typically used for spontaneous video conferencing calls. Zoom is used for online meetings, often pre-scheduled, in which participants not only see each other but can also collaborate via chat and screen sharing.
FaceTime and Zoom have top marks on nearly every satisfaction metric in our survey. FaceTime receives an overall satisfaction rating of 8.5, while Zoom trails very slightly at 8.4. (Respondents rated the services on a scale ranging from 0 for extremely dissatisfied to 10 for extremely satisfied.) FaceTime holds a slight advantage over Zoom in terms of likelihood to recommend (8.6 to 8.5), an indicator of satisfaction Very important. But Zoom had a higher Net Promoter Score (50 to 45), which compares the percentage of respondents who enthusiastically recommend the service versus those who don’t. That said, an NPS 50 isn’t exactly a major endorsement either.
Google (8.2) and Microsoft’s Skype (8.1) and Teams (8.0) services all have overall satisfaction ratings of 8.0 or higher. (Note: Google’s ratings include ratings for its Duo and Meet services.) In fact, only Facebook Messenger (7.3) — which further competes with Apple’s FaceTime for video calls — has an overall satisfaction rating. below 8.0. That said, you’d think Skype, a noun that was once used literally as a verb for video chat, would do better.
FaceTime has top marks for ease of use (8.9), reliability (8.8), sound quality (8.8), video quality (8.7), mobile support (8.7 ) and safety (8.5). Zoom, on the other hand, is best of the bunch in satisfaction with hosting meetings (8.9), joining meetings (8.8), scheduling (8.6), screen sharing (8.5), recording of meetings (8.5), text chat during meetings (8.4) and cost (8.3). Note that the cost question was only asked of respondents who reported using a paid version of the product. The only other service to receive a cost note was Microsoft Teams (8.2). Zoom and Teams also offer free versions that limit meeting times.
It can be very helpful to get a transcript of what is discussed at a meeting. Both Teams and Zoom offer automatic voice-to-text transcriptions. Respondents are slightly more satisfied with Teams transcripts (7.7) than Zoom (7.6).
Recommended by our editors
Often call and meeting participants are not regular users of your service of choice, so it is very important that you consider their experience when choosing a service. We asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with the services they were forced to use as participants. Again, FaceTime (7.9) and Zoom Meetings (7.8) finish first. No other service scored higher than 7.1; several finished under 7.0.
To learn more, read The best video conferencing software for 2022.
PCMag’s Readers’ Choice survey for Video conferencing software and online meeting services had been in the field for March 14 for On April 4, 2022. For more information on how our surveys are conducted, read the survey methodology.
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