Online Meeting Platforms- Best Free Virtual Meeting Platforms

 Online Meeting Platforms- Free Best Virtual Meeting Platforms also Web Meeting Platforms List. The Best Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms are Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings. Virtual business meetings platform. Best Online Meeting Platforms for Business Meeting and Online Learning.

Online Meeting

Online meeting refers to the virtual communication among a group of people who stay far away from each other. It is a process of virtual discussion in which the speaker and audiences remain far from each other, and they use communication tools or software to interact. The alternative name of the online meeting is virtual meeting, web meeting, conference call, web-based seminar, web conference, e-learning, mediated group discussion, and so more.

For example, a lecturer University of Putra Malaysia is giving a class via Zoom meeting. The student participates in class from different countries, including China, Singapore, Indonesia, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, UAU, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, etc. The lecturer is the host of the meeting, and students are the participants who join the class via a mobile tab, computer, or laptop.

Online Meeting Platforms

Online Meeting Platforms refer to social media tools and software that allow multiple people to communicate virtually through video or audio calls. People use the online meeting platform to conduct personal, social, political, educational, and professional meetings. These are virtual conference calling tools that allow connecting a group of people to interact simultaneously. Online meeting platforms are also known as virtual meeting platforms, virtual conference platforms, web meeting sites, or web conferencing software. A virtual meeting is the part of mediated communication conducted among a group of people, and online meeting platforms are the media or channels of the communication process. These online meeting platforms, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Team, are also known as communication channels.

For example, Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings are online or virtual meeting platforms.

Best Free Online Meeting Platforms

The Best Free Online Meeting Platforms are

  1. Google Meet
  2. Zoom Meeting
  3. Microsoft Team
  4. GoToMeeting, Skype
  5. Skype
  6. Cisco WebEx Meetings
  7. Adobe Connect
  8. Uber Conference
  9. Ring Central Meetings.

They are also known as the best virtual meeting or web meeting platforms.

Online Meeting Platforms, Virtual Meeting Platforms
Figure 1: Best Free Online Meeting Platforms or free virtual meeting software, free online conference platforms

1. Google Meet

Google Meet is the most popular free virtual meeting platform that allows around 100 participants to join video and audio conferencing calls for 60 minutes. Actually, Google Hangouts is the former name of Google Meet. Anyone can use this platform via a browser to conduct a virtual meeting with the Google account. The meeting duration for the free plan is up to 60 minutes, so participants need to join again if the discussion is not finished within 60 minutes. Google Meet uses an anti-hijacking feature; therefore, it protects participant’s personal information.  More than 250 participants can join the virtual conference meeting internally and externally, and around 100,000 audiences can enjoy live streaming.

Google Meet launched its operation in 2017, and it is a replacement for Google Hangouts.

The official website link is meet.google.com.

Google Meet Plan

Google Meet offers three users, including Free-plan, Google Workspace Essentials, and Google Workspace Enterprise. It charges USD 8 per active user/month to increase participant up to 150 and time duration up to 24 hours. In contrast, only 60 participants can join for up to 60 minutes through the free plan.

Free Google Meet Duration and Participant

The total meeting duration for free users is 60 minutes, and 100 participants can join the virtual meeting via Google Meet. Anyone can join with a Gmail account.

Google Meet Online Meeting Platforms- Google Meet Setting
Figure 2: Google Meet Setting
Google Meet Setting

Google Meet online meeting platform offers many features, including whiteboard writing, Change Layout, Full-screen, Change background, captions, and so more. The user can write on the whiteboard to inform other participants. The user can share the screen via Google Meet virtual meeting platform.

Google Meet has four layouts that you may apply one by one during an online meeting, for example, Auto, Title, Spotlight, and Sidebar. The user can view a maximum of 49 titles or participants’ names with photos on-screen during the meeting. You need to click the change-layout option to maximize the number of on-screen titles.

Does the user able to set customize background in Google Meet software?

Answer: No, Google meet allows to choose the auto-generated background but not the customized background.

2. Zoom Meeting

Zoom meeting is another famous free web conferencing software to conduct virtual meetings. The user applies this online meeting platform in multiple sectors, for example, education, finance, government, and healthcare. Zoom meeting has become the most popular tool for offering various features, including virtual meeting, phone, chat, zoom room, webinars, and so more. Usually, students prefer to use this platform for easy accessibility and free feature. There is no communication noise in the Zoom meeting, so students hear the lecture clearly.

Zoom meeting platform started its operation in 2011. People can use it from a PC or Smartphone. The application is available at Google play store and Apple app store to download free for mobile users. However, the user might download the zoom meeting software from the official website link- zoom.us/download.

Zoom Meeting Setting

Firstly, download the zoom meeting software and click the new meeting icon to organize a web meeting discussion. Participants can join the virtual meeting via Zoom software or Browser, so it is unnecessary to download the software to join. The host needs to click on the new meeting icon to conduct a new meeting.

Zoom Online Meeting Platform Setting
Figure 3: Zoom Online Meeting Platform Starting Point

Secondly, click the blue icon top of the left corner to find the online meeting joining link. Additionally, you will get a setting icon mentioned below in Figure 4. The user clicks the setting icon to copy the meeting link and share it among participants to join the meeting. Additionally, participants may click the setting icon to get all settings mentioned in Figure- 4.

Zoom Online Meeting Platforms, Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms Zoom meeting settings
Figure 4: Zoom Online Meeting Copy Link and Setting Icon

Furthermore, Figure 5 represents how to share the screen, change the background image, record the meeting, and so more.

Zoom Online Meeting Platforms, Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms Zoom meeting settings
Figure 5: Zoom Meeting Share Screen, Background & Filters, Recording, and so more.
How To Use Zoom Whiteboard?

Click on the share button and click the whiteboard icon to optimize the feature. Follow Figure 4 to get visual instruction.

Free Zoom Meeting Duration and Participant

The total meeting duration for free users is 40 minutes. Around 100 participants can join at the same time in the virtual meeting.

Does the Zoom Meeting software allow users to set customize the background?

Answer: Yes, You can upload your company logo or any other photo as a background of the Zoom meeting platform.

3. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an exclusive virtual business communication platform established and regulated by Microsoft. Apart from Google Meet and Zoom, It has also become trendy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has replaced other Microsoft-regulated online meeting platforms, for example, Skype and Microsoft classroom.

Microsoft launched the Microsoft Teams virtual conference meeting platform in 2017. The official website link is Microsoft-Teams.

Free Microsoft Team Online Meeting

In similar to zoom meetings, the total meeting duration for free users is 45 minutes, and 100 participants can join the online meeting simultaneously via Microsoft Team.

4. GoToMeeting

Go To Meeting is a familiar online business meeting platform for its clear and noise-free audio and video conference call. It is owned by LogMeIn, also known as a software development company. In 2004, it started its journey as a virtual or online meeting and video conferencing tool. Usually, administrative management authorities and employees use GoToMeeting online meeting software via computer or laptop to conduct real-time corporate meetings.

GoToMeeting provides the service free of charge for 14 days of the trial option, so users need not pay to enjoy the benefits.

Download the App from the official Website link – Download GoToMeeting.

GoToMeeting Best Free Online or Virtual Meeting Platforms
Figure 6: GoToMeeting Virtual Meeting Conference
GoToMeeting Services

GoToMeeting online meeting platform provides the following services:

Conference Calling

Firstly, it provides a conference calls service to interact with many people at the same time. Conference calling event saves both time and money.

Video Conferencing

GoToMeeting also allows conducting a face-to-face HD video conference call.

Screen Sharing

Apart from Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Team, the GoToMeeting also has a screen-sharing option for all participants.  The user can share desktop, smartphone, or tablet screens quickly and securely from anywhere.

Meeting Recording & Transcription

The user can record the real-time meeting event to share with others after the meeting. It also provides HD video, taking notes, marking action items services.

5. Skype

In contrast to the zoom and Google meet and Microsoft team, the total meeting duration for free users is 24 hours; however, only 50 participants can join the online meeting simultaneously via Skype.

Skype is an instant messaging platform that allows users to send text, images, audio, and video. It also provides a video conference call service.

Skype Features

Skype provides some outstanding features for free users, including audio and HD video calling, smart messaging, call recording and live subtitles, call phones, screen sharing, private conversations, and so more. Call phones at low rates is an exceptional service that Skype provides in 25 countries or regions. The user can call any landlines and mobiles from anywhere globally at great low rates using Skype Credit.

The additional Skype features are share location, background effects, send files, Skype translators, custom reactions, raise a hand, search within a conversation, forward call, voice mail, caller ID, and so more.

6. Cisco Webex Meetings

Webex is a leading platform to conduct virtual meetings from an organizational and personal viewpoint. One host can organize the meeting via a free plan where around 100 participants can join for up to 50 minutes.

Cisco WebEx Online Meeting Platforms, Free Best Online
Figure 7: Cisco WebEx Virtual Meeting Platform

The four basic plans of WebEx are free, Starter, Business, and Enterprise. The user might enjoy almost all the entire features via a free plan, including screen sharing, whiteboard, recording, personal text, reactions, and so more. However, users need to pay $13 to enjoy a starter plan in which more than 150 participants can join the meeting smoothly for 24 hours.

The official website link for all features and plans is WebEx Feature & Plans.

7. Adobe Connect

Adobe Connect is a free web conferencing software that users optimize to conduct virtual meetings. It is a very popular tool for remote training and web calling. The trainer can easily share the desktop to teach students and trainees.

The significant features of Adobe connect are chatting options, whiteboard, screen sharing, recording, and so more.

8. Uber Conference

UberConference is an unlimited conference meeting software. It provides amazing free features for users. Craig Walker launched this feature in May 2012. It is also known as Dialpad UberConference.

The free plan allows joining about 10 participants for up to 45 meetings. However, the business plan allows joining up to 100 participants for 5 hours. The business plan charges $15 to provides multiple features.

9. Ring Central

Ring Central is a virtual meeting platform for voice, video meetings, team messaging, and collaboration. It has 7 layers of security and redundant data centers to ensure user protection and high availability.

Ring Central’s features are video conferencing, team messaging, screen sharing, remote working, and so more.

The Purposes of Online Meetings

The purpose of using the online meeting platform is to complete personal, social, educational, and organizational meetings virtually. People from different professions utilize these online meeting platforms to conduct virtual class meetings, virtual business meetings, virtual family meetings, etc. The online meeting platform has become an inevitable medium to maintain communication during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most significant purposes of online meetings are virtual class meetings, virtual business meetings, and virtual family meetings.

1. Virtual Class Meeting

Firstly, educators, including lecturers, instructors,  and administrators, use online meeting platforms for offering classes to the students.  Students adopt online or web meeting platforms to conduct group discussions. Students also use it due to the easy accessibility feature. Sometimes, teachers instruct students to conduct virtual meetings among group members to discuss the topic and submit the online meeting minutes.

2. Virtual Business Meetings

To make the workplace safe from COVID-19, Many organization decides to adjust to new work norms, namely work from home (WFH). Therefore, the employees use these virtual business meeting platforms, such as Google Meet, Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Team, GoToMeeting, Skype, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Join.me, Adobe Connect, Uber Conference, and Ring Central Meetings. Corporate people must need to use these web meeting sites to operate organizational activities. Many social organizations utilize virtual or online and web meeting platforms to create social awareness among people. For example, in the COVID-19 pandemic, social welfare organizations use these online meeting sites to spread emergency information on how to stay safe from coronavirus.

3. Virtual Family meeting

The individual applies the online meeting platform to organize family programs such as marriage ceremonies, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and so more.

In short, individual, educator, government, and non-government organizations enjoy taking advantage of web conferencing software.

Academic Social Media Platforms- Best Academic Social Networking Sites

Academic Social Media Platforms- Best Academic Social Networking Sites. Social Media For Researchers. The Best Academic Social Media Platforms are Academia, Google Scholar, ORCID, Scopus, LinkedIn. Academic, Researchers and Scholars Social Media Platforms. Also, Academic Social Networking Sites. 

Academic Social Media Platforms

Academic Social Media Platforms refer to the social networking platforms for academic people, scholars and scientists to share their experiences, publications, and works. Researchers use these social networking sites to be connected with other researchers across the world. There are more than 500 social networking sites or social media platforms all over the world. In 2021, the most famous social media is Facebook, following Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Researchgate, Academia, and so more. However, researchers prefer to use those kinds of social media platforms where they can share their publications and research works. They also like to be connected with other scholars via these platforms. For example, a communication student can follow a researcher of the communication department who has many publications. So, new researchers can follow the veteran researchers, and they can learn from experts.

The Best Academic Social Media Platforms are:

  1. ResearchGate
  2. Academia
  3. Google Scholar
  4. ORCID
  5. Scopus
  6. Microsoft Academic
  7. Linkedin
  8. Twitter
  9. Reddit
  10. Tumblr
Social Media For Researchers and Scholars- Top Social Media Sites For Researchers and professional networking site for academic person
Social Media Sites For Researchers and Scientists
1. ResearchGate

ResearchGate is the most famous professional networking site for researchers, scientists and students who prefer to share their publications with others. It a great platform to find collaboration and connect colleagues. This social networking site is a join-free platform where users can ask questions to get answers related to research. It is estimated that more than 20+ million researchers are using ResearchGate, and around 130+ million papers have been shared on this social media site. ResearchGate is a European site that started its journey as a commercial social networking platform.

The mission of Researchgate is to connect the world of science and make research open to all.

Advantages of the ResearchGate Account

Firstly, the researcher can see the publication list in their paper when shared with the Researchgate site.

Researchgate is a very familiar social media site for scholars, and the Alexa ranking is approximately 160 that less than 200. So, it is the most popular social media platform for researchers after Google scholar. 

Additionally, ResearchGate is an open-access social media site where anyone can read the paper without registration.

Also, ResearchGate has become a very famous platform for asking and answering questions. Anyone can ask any questions here, but new researchers ask a question regarding the publication and research discipline.

Further, ResearchGate provides stats and scores for researchers based on the activities. The score gets improve when the researcher performs well in four sections, such as publications, questions, answers, and followers. The score gets high when researchers ask more questions and answer more questions. Apart from that, it will progress when they share more publications to this social media site and the number of followers increases.

ResearchGate Contact
  • Help Centre
  • ResearchGate GmbH, Administrators: Dr. Ijad Madisch, Dr. Sören Hofmayer
  • Register: HR Hannover B 202837, VAT-ID: DE258434568, Tel: +49 (0) 30 2000-51001.
Academia

Academia is a social media platform for sharing research papers. It has uploaded around 22 million academic papers. The number of the total registered user is 153,000,000+. Every month, 31 million researchers, academics, students, and professionals access this site to read papers.

Richard Price is the founder of Academia, who has completed his PhD at Oxford in philosophy. The mission of Academia.edu is to accelerate the world’s academic research.
Advantages of Academia.edu Account

Firstly, the Researcher can generate the APA, MLA and CHICAGO style of citation automatically. Academia.edu create citation while author uploads his or her paper here. 

Academia.edu is a totally free platform for the scholar to upload and download papers. The user needs to have an account here to upload the paper.  However, anyone can read the paper without having any account here.
Google Scholar
Google Scholar refers to the academic article publishing platform where researchers share peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents.
ORCID
ORCID is another vital platform for connecting research and researchers together. Researchers may own and control forever ORCID iD that is totally free. ORCID iD distinguishes a researcher from every other researcher across disciplines, borders, and time. The researcher can use their iD with your professional information—affiliations, grants, publications, peer review, and so more.
Advantages of the ORCID iD

Firstly, researchers will be separated from every other researcher; even they share the same name.

The research outputs, contributions, and affiliations will be attributed or credited to the respective researcher correctly.

Finally, the ORCID iD and record is free forever.