Connect with loved ones in self isolation with these video messaging apps

With more and more of us beginning to self-isolate during this coronavirus pandemic, many people will feel cut off from loved ones.  There are particular concerns about older people who are being advised to avoid social contact for a considerable period of time.

But if you can’t visit your loved ones, with a little help from the internet you can stay in touch so we've put together this list of video calling apps which will hopefully be of help.  We can all of course make calls and text, but sometimes it can be nice to see a friendly face.

There are a whole host of free video messaging apps, which will allow you to chat in real-time, send video updates and check on people who may be alone.

It's important to remember, you need an internet connection for all of these, whether that be from your mobile phone or your home broadband. These services will use your data allowance so use WiFi or your fixed internet if possible unless you've got mobile data available. Apps like FaceTime don't actually use that much data though. They'll use about 3MB per minute, which is about 180MB per hour. If you have a 3GB mobile plan, that's nearly 17 hours of video calls a month.


Since the early noughties, Skype morphed into a generic term for video calling. To “Skype” someone became an accepted verb for communicating with others over the internet.

Calls using Skype are free though there are some fairly standard features that must be paid for such as voicemail, SMS texts and making calls to a landline.

Skype works well enough on mobile devices though using the app on a desktop computer or laptop unleashes its full potential.


Facetime is Apple’s default app that comes pre-installed on every iPhone. For Apple-to-Apple communication, FaceTime is great and offers a higher video quality than other apps such as Skype. For calls through your iPhone or iPad, the app which launched in 2010, may be your best and simplest option.

Google Duo

Google Duo is Android’s answer to Facetime. Duo is incredibly simple to use and it works on Android and iOS, making it one of the most accessible of all platforms out there.


The gamers in the family probably already use Discord such is its popularity among chatters in the community. Enabling voice chat, text and video calls with multiple users, Discord also has huge chatrooms and forums.


Favoured by millions of youngsters, Snapchat may be one of the few apps that the grandchildren use regularly.

Snapchat is great for sharing small video clips with a tonne of funny filters and ways to create crazy effects to lift the spirits. One-on-one calls are possible but Snapchat doesn’t allow for multiple people to join the conversation.


A stalwart of family group messaging, Whatsapp has a simple to use, free video calling feature. Available on all operating systems, Whatsapp can also be used on a desktop.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook separated Messenger from its main app several years ago. Used by millions, Messenger supports voice and video calling between individuals and groups.


Zoom has seen a huge spike in usage over the last few months, particularly with teenagers and students who have been hosting 'Zoom Parties' with multiple friends joining video chats and virtually hanging out together from their homes.

Remote working meeting apps

With a sharp rise in remote working, and many educational institutions switching to online lessons, the use of apps for online business meetings is also on the rise. Skype For Business, Google Hangouts and Zoom are just three of the options you can try.

Other video messaging apps

While many of us already have the likes of Whatsapp, Facetime and Messenger downloaded on our devices, there are lots of other apps out there that may be better suited to your needs or you find easier to use. Check out the likes of Viber, Signal and Line to find the app that best suits you and those you want to connect with. We hope you found these mobile tips useful, remember to stay safe and stay connected.

If you need any help with these apps or anything else on your phone, you can tweet us questions or send us a message on Facebook.

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