It’s something we’re all having to get used to, and it’s making physical boundaries a thing of the past: video calls. But what is a video call, how do they work, how to do a video call, the best video calling app and why should you get involved? Video calls are here to stay as the next step in communication technology. They’re making staying in touch with friends and family easier than ever, as well as allowing businesses the opportunity to keep running efficiently without team members physically being together.
What is a video call?
A video call is pretty much what it sounds like: a call that gives access to video as well, letting you see the person you are speaking to. Some mobile devices have video calling features built-in, but apps like WhatsApp also offer video calling as a feature. Essentially it works just like a phone call but taps into the device’s video camera. It lets you put a face to the name and gives you more of a personal connection with the person you are speaking to.
This is perfect for keeping in touch with family members if you can’t see them in person, and also for business meetings if your teams or clients are working remotely. Video calls are the next best thing to meeting face to face.
How to make a video call
The process of making a video call varies depending on which video calling app you are using. iPhones for instance have an app called FaceTime which will let you dial directly into another person with an iPhone. Just like a phone call, but with the video cameras turned on. Android devices have a similar feature.
For users of WhatsApp, simply tap the camera icon at the top of the screen to begin a video call. This will activate the cameras on your device and the device of the person you are calling. You can either speak to them with headphones through the microphone or by using the in-built hardware in the mobile itself.
The best video calling app
There are many video calling apps, and the best one depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are just calling your friend or grandparents, the pre-installed app on your phone may suit you just fine. If you want to hold a business meeting from the comfort of your own living room then a professional virtual meeting app like BlueJeans is designed for exactly that.
BlueJeans is a secure platform that provides users with options to bring multiple people together into the same virtual space for a group video call. This is perfect for client presentations, or catching up with your team members who are working remotely, and negates the need for everyone to travel to one place. All you need is a laptop or mobile and an internet connection.
How to make group video calls
To make a group video call in an app like BlueJeans, you can schedule a meeting or start an instant meeting. This is straightforward to do within the app itself, by entering the meeting start time and end time if it’s scheduled. This then creates an event that you can invite other people to by adding their email addresses. Those invitations will be sent out to the participants with instructions on how they can join the group video call. Start an instant meeting in your virtual office space anytime for ad-hoc, on-the-fly video calls.
How to record video call
Recording a video call is a really valuable feature. If someone isn’t able to join a call, maybe because they are busy with something else or if time zones don’t allow it, recording a call means that people can review it afterward in their own time.
This is perfect for members of your team but also for members of the public or your clients if you want to host a webinar for people to watch later. It’s also handy for your own purposes if you don’t want to take notes and instead want to pay attention to what’s happening in the video call: you can record it and refer back later.
It’s easy to start recording video calls with the BlueJeans desktop app, mobile app or browser. To start off, the only person who can record a video call in BlueJeans is the Moderator, which makes your meetings safe and secure. Ask the people on the call their permission before you begin recording.
Click the Start Rec button in the top left corner to start recording the video call. This will send a notification saying that Recording has started.
While the video call is being recorded, you should see a flashing red icon in the top left corner.
The video call will record in two-hour intervals. If a recording is longer than two hours, the platform will create a new Chapter and automatically resume recording.
To stop the recording, simply click on the recording button again. All participants will be notified once again.
The longer the recording, the longer it will take to render, but once it has finished rendering - the Moderator will receive an email from BlueJeans explaining how they can download the video. You can then do what you like with the video, such as share it on an internal system for people who were not present to view the video.