Free multispeaker large group web presentations

These program allow hosting or attending a live Web group conference:

  • 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, etc. Here are some of the most popular web conferencing methods that work for Linux / MacOS / 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 Meet only requires a web browser and plugin (or mobile app)–it’s simpler to get started and is a good business-grade choice.

YouTube

According to Omnicore, 95% of global Web users visit YouTube. 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. Since March 2018, YouTube Live streaming is also possible directly from the web browser.

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. FFmpeg can stream to Facebook Live from a laptop. Facebook Live’s appeal is from so many users 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.

Zoom

Zoom currently allows limited free use. Paid plans have unlimited time with large participant count. The Zoom client is available for many platforms, or can be used directly from the web browser. The Zoom Linux client also works well.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting allows small free meetings, with large participant count on paid plans. HTML5 GoToMeeting works well in the Google Chrome browser across operating systems.

WebEx

WebEx HTML5 platform independent conferencing works better than the installed WebEx app. WebEx limits participant count by pricing tier.

Google Meet

Google Meet is not free. Since so many workplaces use G Suite, it may be available for your work use without additional cost to your department. Google Meet has HTML5 based screen sharing / video group calls. Phone dialout/dialin is also provided.

Discord

Discord can be used from an HTML5 browser, and allows thousands of simultaneous many-to-many voice and text chat users. Several speakers can share video/screen and audio as well.

Discord is well known for benefits including:

  • free to use
  • very low latency, HD voice
  • voice activation or push-to-talk
  • many-to-many allows interrupting without pause/break

Skype

Skype has a plugin-free access via the web browser with limited number of conference participants. Skype for Business has higher user count limits, but is not free.

AdobeConnect

AdobeConnect is HTML5 based and does NOT require Flash player.

Notes

  • www.globalwebindex.net/blog/what-to-know-about-youtube-on-its-10th-anniversary (link went down)
  • Google Hangouts On Air was replaced by YouTube live streaming