Free multispeaker large group web presentations

2 minute read

The programs described allow hosting or attending a live Web group conference:

  • host large number of viewers
  • live feedback
  • several speakers/presenters who can share their screen
  • allow others to draw on that screen or edit the document

There are many more options such as Talky, Zoom, etc. Here are some of the most popular web conferencing methods that work for Linux/Mac/Windows/Android AND that I have used more than once.

Unlimited viewers

YouTube, Facebook and Periscope enable very high quality live streaming HD broadcasts via an API that requires just a bit of reasonable technical knowledge to accomplish. Google Hangouts only requires a web browser and plugin (or mobile app)–thus Hangouts is a little simpler to get started and has historically been the free business-grade choice.

YouTube

According to GlobalWebIndex, 82% of Web users visit YouTube at least monthly. YouTube Live is free for live events with live user feedback and multiple speakers. YouTube Live is easy to stream using FFmpeg, without bulky complicated programs.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts On Air with YouTube Live free broadcast solution can share your desktop, allow multiple speakers, allow speakers to draw over another’s shared desktop or canvas. Users can comment in realtime to the speakers. The Live Event can be public or private for invited users only.

The advantage of Google Hangouts on Air vs. YouTube Live is that you don’t need special encoding software configuration with Hangouts On Air, it just fires up with your webcam from the web browser. Advanced users would use YouTube Live to have more control over video quality.

If you have users that have no smart devices, you could tie your Google Hangout to the standard phone lines via freeconference.com, which offers free dial-in conference calls for old-fashioned dumb telephones.

Periscope Producer

Unlike the standard Periscope app, Periscope Producer can broadcast from mobile AND desktop/hardware devices. Periscope can be viewed from mobile and desktop devices. Using Periscope Producer, screensharing is also possible.

Facebook Live

The Facebook Graph API makes it possible to live stream broadcast from a laptop. You can use FFmpeg to stream to Facebook Live from the desktop/laptop. Facebook Live is growing in appeal since so many are on Facebook.

Two-way

If you want the audience/group to be able to respond with their own video/audio, these methods are up for consideration.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting allows up to 100 participants, more with higher-tier plans. HTML5 GoToMeeting in the Google Chrome browser on Linux, BSD, Mac, Windows, etc. works quite well.

WebEx

WebEx also has HTML5 platform independent conferencing. WebEx is limited to 50 participants, more with higher-tier plans.

Google Hangouts

HTML5 based screen sharing / video group calls for up to 25 two-way participants (unlimited one-way broadcasts with On Air).

Google Meet

Google Meetgle is for paid G Suite accounts.

  • G Suite Enterprise: up to 50 participants
  • other G Suite: up to 25 participants

Skype

Skype has a plugin-free access via the web browser. Skype is limited to 25 conference participants.

AdobeConnect

AdobeConnect is HTML5 based and does NOT require Flash player. AdobeConnect is limited to 25 users in a Meeting, more with higher-tier licenses or 600 users in Seminars.

Notes

  • http://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/what-to-know-about-youtube-on-its-10th-anniversary (link went down)

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