Free Video Conferencing and Chat: No Downloads!

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Matt says: “I just found out about this free service that allows you to video/voice chat with as many people as you like over the Internet using a flash plug-in within your browser. You just don’t have to install it on your computer or anything!” The flash software you already have installed will make this chat service work!

MeBeam is a free web-based chat service. It’s so simple, it’s almost scary. You simply choose a room name, invite people to join you, and start chatting. That’s seriously all there is to it.

I was surprised at how easy this is to use. It may not be “pretty”, but it works! I created a temporary room, and sent out a link. Within seconds, I was video chatting with about seven other people. You can imagine the fun you can have with it. More than anything, I know I will be using this site to conference with people from now on. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s web-based. What more could I want?

MeBeam comes to us courtesy of the folks at Meebo. Meebo is a new communications and media company that’s re-writing the way people have conversations and communicate on the Web. You can keep in touch with friends you know on any instant messaging network. Instant messaging from absolutely anywhere, no downloads or installs required, and free!

If I had one request, it would be that I would get more emails from all of you at The emails I love to get the most are ones like these, letting us all know about free services and products that can help make our lives earlier. So send yours along!

Webcams on Amazon to help you video conference!

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109 thoughts on “Free Video Conferencing and Chat: No Downloads!”

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  2. It’s a nice site but word of warning, but don’t go clicking the Next Room button to browse around… you won’t come across anything very nice to say the least.

  3. awsome video! my names Trinity, kinda feelin bored if any1 wants to join me on cam or wana chat i will be signed on at __ FriendlyFlirts(.COM) __ my user ID there is Trinity_jzxvjlpai chat soon xx its FR33 to j0in! mwah

  4. I think this would be a good idea, but I just use aim for all my talking. I like it to be separate from my web browser because i am constantly opening and closing windows.

  5. I have to say that’s an amazing website, I’ve been using Meebo for a very long time now, and it’s one of the best websites I’ve ever used – they made it simple, fast and easy to use. They’re the kind of websites I like to use.

    Anything from the people at Meebo must be a good and useful site, and I’m right. I’ve been meaning to buy a new webcam from Amazon or somewhere. I suppose I’ll have to do that now that I’ve discovered this site!

    I’ve always been forced to mess around when wanting to “camchat” with people, even MSN brings a struggle (which is why I stopped using the damn program). Thanks for the link Chris!

  6. I have never had or used a web cam, but it sounds pretty cool! Im going to have to start emailing you about the tech problems I have been having!!!! I have been to that website without a webcam and it does seem to be easy to use. Just enter the name of the chat room that has been set up and your done, amazing!

  7. I love the idea of web video chat. I love meebo and I hope this works well. Thanks for the tip.

  8. I was actually looking for PhotoBooth Type software for the PC (found something called Snap Strip) and came across that site through Googling. I was a little frightened by the idea that they could access my Camera through a flash interface like that.

    However, the benefits could be great if business wanted to setup video conferencing, they could do so without spending a bunch of time before hand making sure that everyone has the same version of whatever app they decide to use.

  9. Looks like the future of Video Conferencing is starting at last. Been using Yahoo Messenger for Voice Chat + Webcam. Better try this one out. I’ll ask some friends whether if they are interested with this program..

  10. Wow, it’s definitely worth a try if it’s made by Meebo! Meebo is the best online instant messaging system. I do think it’s kind of not a good idea to chat online with strangers. It can lead to a lot of bad things. Like the MySpace incident for example.

  11. Chris,

    Thanks for the site! I have been looking for an easy way to set up video chats with my friends who are not tech-savy and are in other countries. This site is a great resource! Thanks!

  12. Oh perfect! I love that more and more open-source software is becoming popular and making our lives that much easier. I often chat with collegues and friends on skype so this software will be perfect for me when it comes time for my next conference chat online.

  13. Holy Cow! Thats really cool. Its almost like iChat theater, but with out the iChat.. I will likely try it this weekend while I am traveling to my in-laws -*( for Memorial Day weekend festivities. I’ll communicate back to the home front in Louisville. Seems like a really good product. Thanks Chris for mentioning it

  14. At last no more email inviting people on ustream!. Ustream is probably better but mebeam is better especially when using linux.

  15. There is another free service that is about the same as that, you have to register. It happens to be a live community. One thing that I do like about the service is, just like you said “if only you could block users out and invite other people” Stickam happens to have this feature. You can ban the user for up to an hour or two I believe. Also it’s not p2p so no one has your ip. Video chat and voice, plus a very large text box for all your friends. If you make the user room you can say who’s going to be an Moderator, meaning they can ban/kick people as well. Also yahoo has the same service although I had some trouble with it. It’s beta so they have a couple of problems with it, You could google “yahoo live”. The application doesn’t seem to be user friendly though. But it does work. Thank you for the neat application though.

  16. I do not use chat much but when I do, I use yahoo chat I use to be able to chat on your browser I have not had to in a long time I just installed yahoo messenger.

  17. Flash isn’t slow, it depends on what you do with Flash. And even so, if Flash is slow, it’s due to your computer not being fast enough.

  18. Sounds like a great service for video conferencing. It could also be used for family and friends as an alternative to talking on the phone! I love Meebo, now I have 2 great thing I can use that they made.

  19. At first I thought Skype. Looks like I need to look at MeBeam :D
    I only wish rooms like these can have the replies remain. I have my website with a chatterbox, and it’s too small for the few friends I have to really use it productively. Yet we don’t want a forum that’ll be too big. IRC doesn’t work since we’re in different time zones.
    This is perfect for project discussions, thanks! And I’ll email sometime too!

  20. Wow!
    After reading this blog post I was really amazed! I had to go to this website. Judging the design, its a bit poor.
    Yet the fact of having a video-conversation from ANY computer just fascinates you.

    I think that this website could be better if they could “web2.0 it” a bit more”. Maybe meeting new friends that chatted with one of the people you’re currently/ chatting/chatted to?
    If that option was on it, it would be soooo NICE!!

  21. Awesome software! My mother works all over the country, and is in a different place every month. My father is not often able to go with her and so they are often apart. I mean to give them both this link in hopes that it will help them keep in better touch when they are apart. Thank you Chris. Thank you so very much!

  22. This is nice and simple, I am going to look into using this. I haven’t used a chat in awhile, I usually hang out at the [H]ard forums and 3DGameMan. This is definitely a worthwhile try however.

  23. This sounds simple and easy enough I’ll have to try it out.

    Well I just checked it out and the first conference I saw was basically porn so I would not want any my nieces or nephews browsing through the eConference rooms. Aside from that use the accessibility and ease of use is extraordinary. Nothing to install and no registration I could see any of my technologically naive friends and family using this if they have a mic and webcam hooked up.

    Chris thanks again for you role as The Great Aggregator of useful services

  24. I use WL messenger and I think for private video conversations it’s better you just press the video conversation button in his conversation window and it works and is much more secure.

  25. Seems interesting, even tough I don’t think I’ll be using it, will check it out tough, might be interesting for like big companies… I don’t know :P

  26. It’s almost unbelievable that I was JUST planning on finding some way to have a video conference with 3 of my friends. I can’t believe I saw THIS only 2 days before we made arrangements.

    EVERYTHING worked….fine for us. It can be a bit choppy but I guess it’s a problem on the end of the user.


  27. I really liked the idea of web video chat. Though i’ve never heard about Meebo before you’ve said this here but i’ll certainly give this a try.

  28. Thanks for this tip Chris. I was actually contemplating installing an application from when I read this headline! It was perfectly what I needed to speak to my “students”! Helping people with IT is always a daunting task, and having this as a free and easy to use Visual Aid simply roxxorz!


  29. Thanks for pointing me to this. I’d been wanting to get my mom and my bro a webcam so we could do something like this but I didn’t want to have to talk them through installing a bunch of software on their puters. With $4.00 gas even in GA we’re going to get together more on the internet I think.

  30. Hey thanks for telling all of us more about this. I have never heard of it before until now. I will try it. What’s nicer is that you don’t have download software and will help conserve hard drive space. I’ll see what it does. Once again, thanks for sharing

  31. i went in and everyone was having a fun jaking off party sorry chris but am not into that damn i hate it thought the service fells awsome just miss derected

  32. Nice Video lolz, my names Haley, im feelin n0rty and h0rn3y if any guyz wana chat im usually on
    ___ ___ my username there is Haley-daltbhtfrvkw chat soon ;)

  33. Web apps really are the future. Stuff like this gets me excited because it’s almost always more accessible to everyone. And more often than not, it’s cross-platform compatible.

    I bet that you could get people using Windows, Mac, and Linux using Mebean all at the same time and none would be the wiser! Brilliant!

  34. I am starting to enjoy these web based applications. They seem to actually be more user friendly than a client-side application!

    It is pretty amazing that all you need to get this working is flash. I usually stick to iChat when I do video chats, but I have alot of problems with that. mostly likely because I am using an unsupported USB camera with a third party driver. I sill give this one a shot. Thank you for the information, Chirs!

  35. Wow, finally I can talk to my friend in another city without having to be there to explain how to use the software. Nice find Chris.

  36. I’ve always been a fan of portableapps.I have a lot of portable programs on my stick,including an antivirus program which doesn’t require any instalation ,or operating system.I love programs like this.If I don’t even need to download it is even better.

  37. This has to be one of the most interesting things you have posted in a while, not to sound rude!

    Now I can actually talk to my friends without having them download something that they don’t want to or parents won’t want them too!

    Just remember people, don’t had out your chatrooms URL to just random people or else you will find yourself in a heep of trouble with spammers, just like Chris showed us here!

    I will most likely use this flash device for a while, lets see if anyone else can top this video confrence site!

  38. I find this to be the best tip of the month. It’s so practical, yet with nothing to worry about in terms of installations, settings etc. I wish life were that easy…

  39. A few months ago I was looking for an easy way to take piano lessons from a distance. If I were still interested in this, I think this would be a PERFECT solution. I would want two or three different cameras running on both ends and I think this site would be one of the easiest ways out there so far to get this to work.

    I still don’t think it matches up to Ustream or Stickam for everyday streaming, but it may just get up there!

  40. Lol, I actually got in a video. Just a tip for people who are looking into making their own chat room on mebeam, don’t just make your room a name. Remember that it is a public room and anyone who guesses that word can get into it. To make it more private, put some letters or symbols in the name of your room. There are some weird people on the internet… avoid them at all costs.

  41. Probably not the best place for someone who is unlucky enough to always wander in at the wrong time. However, it’s pretty neat, I saw Chris’s (CNN video was it?) video. It ran great on my computer as well, no major hiccups.
    But, I will probably stick to video chat or some other conferencing software when I am doing something a bit more private or formal.

  42. Chris, I apologize for the Rick Roll… but I couldn’t resist the chance. Can anyone blame me? MeBeam is an interesting service. I wonder how their video is distributed?

  43. Sounds really nice. I don’t have a “webcam” per se, but when needed, I use a DV camcorder connected via Firewire. This service really shows the potential of online services, and I really hope that more and more applications become web-based.

  44. That is just great, free live stream video communication? Awesome, that means that people will stay more in contact they can chat, talk make new friends mabye even find a person of their love life, you never know and what’s great about it is that it’s simple. Tyvm Chris for this

  45. ouch! mebeam is full of nudity!! no authentication no way I could tell to report abuse, then again their terms of service is pretty open so be careful just searching rooms!

  46. good idea, things like msn messenger and e-mail programs take up allot of space and effort with installs and so on, ill use this loads more in the future! I mean WOW this is gr8 10 out of 10

  47. That is just a sweet idea! I live in CT and everyone else lives all over the continent for me! The only question I have about this is how would the bandwith do under that kind of thing? I have a cable modem and I still have trouble getting video chat sessions going with my parents.

    The idea is fantastic… but I’m more curious to know about the logistics and how they pan out.

    Do you have anymore info on this?

    Kind Regards,

  48. I think I’ll stick with iChat and Skype and MSN, these kind of things don’t work for me lol.

  49. That seems like a really good idea, however i wonder if it would completely die on comcast’s connection. I cant video chat on anything with this, and i can barely even get on this site. However, for those who like to chat with friends but dont like IM clients, this would be the program for you :)

  50. Its really great because, we need not install any software and we can chat directly just by inserting a plugin,
    I generally use orkut and yahoo messenger to chat as everyone knows orkut is a social networking site and yahoo mess – we have to install it and run it.
    But chris i think the features are same as that of yahoo mess like that chat room and al that u have said.

  51. Chris. I tried this site recently, but it seemed to be full of spam and not so nice characters. I would suggest people consider other alternatives, due to the moderation practices that allows anyone and ANYTHING to be live on the site (and I mean anything)

  52. You’ve been rick rolled! :) I’ve tried this with a couple of my friends and it works very well for a plug-in. I don’t usually use web chat but this one is very easy to use and I kinda like it BUT I can see this being used by predators and what not because of the lack of security and moderation but none the less very good plug-in.

  53. Another app moving from our desktops to our web browsers. These things are now happening more frequently and they are great. Having Apps in Online is a great idea. I wonder what will come next?

  54. I was reading posts on mebeam wondering about security issues and as of March 08 there were still no admin commands to help get rid of disturbing people who like to invade your room. However, it is extremely easy to use for web conferencing and will be exciting when it gets out of beta :)

  55. I’m glad you posted a video about this website. I didn’t want to have to pay for a program to do web conferencing like this website did. I am now using it regulalry to conference with co-workers and sometimes just for talking with a lot of my friends that have a webcam. This video sure helped me out because some of my friends thought it was fake. Thanks Chris.

  56. Hey thanks for telling all of us more about this. I have never heard of it before until now. I will try it. What’s nicer is that you don’t have download software and will help conserve hard drive space or maybe ram sapce as well . I’ll see what it does. Once again, thanks for sharing chris

    Meebo must be a good and useful site,I’ve bought a new webcam from radioshack and suppose I’ll have to do that now that I’ve discovered this site!

    thanks chris for the link to Meebo and i hope you have a good day

  57. I tried meBeam a while back and I have to say I was quite impressed. But… yes, there’s a but… I started using three days ago and quickly fell in love. It integrates all your IM and email accounts, into a single page and you can video chat with multiple people at the same time! Also… in fullscreen!

    Whenever you have the chance, you should try getting an account. You won’t be disappointed.

  58. Wow! That sounds so cool! I usually use skype to video chat/voice chat with people. But now i’m going to use MeBeam! Thanks for informing Chris of this Matt! And thanks for telling everyone about it Chris! :D

  59. Yes i love this place i cant wait till my friends get cams we can sit ehre and talk for ever this palce is awesome!!!!!! Thank you Chris!

  60. Thanks for the pointer! I’ve always maintained that Skype’s mode of operation (them making money to use *your* resources) and consumption of resources on ones machine just to transmit *audio*, was atrocious. It never even ran on my machine or in a VM. OoVoo is a far superior product. I just wish there were a decent open source alternative.

  61. Seems to be unavailable right now, it looks frickin’ cool though. Will keep checking. I’m sure with the exposure Chris provided they’ve been overwhelmed with traffic from his podcast and live stream!!!

  62. I have read this post. This is very much true. Even I own a blog account on video conferencing. Video conferencing is indeed a great innovation in technology and communications. One day video conferencing will be like an ordinary house-hold item in the next 5-10 years.I will mention your post in my blog.

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