And the price of admission is dropping — you probably don't need a separate webcam, because they're now being built directly into most new computers and smartphones.
Software giant Microsoft made a monster bet last week that video chats would soon become more central to our everyday Web tasks.
It snatched up video call leader Skype for an astounding .5 billion.
"There's not always an option to hop on a plane to meet up with a developer who is overseas or in another part of the country," said Greg Schwartz, CEO of Birmingham, Mich.-based app developer Mobatech.Video chats have also become a way for many to connect with far-away family members, as seen in many an i Phone commercial.Here's a look at some of the best options out there for video calls online: Skype Skype — the undisputed video calling leader — has a new partner in Microsoft.The software giant is hoping to include the power of Skype's Internet-based video and voice calling features into products such as its Xbox 360 gaming console.While some of the features are pay-only, much of the service is free.
One-to-one Skype voice and video calls are free to anyone else in the world with a Skype account and a Web connection.
Group video chats are part of Skype's premium package, which runs .99 a month.
Skype accounts can also be used, for a small charge, to call traditional cellphone or landlines.
The Skype service can be used on any Web-connected Mac or PC computer and most smartphone platforms.
Skype video calling is not available on most Android phones, but has been unlocked on some.
Video calls can be placed using any i Phone and i Pod Touch with a video camera.