Want to get a few people in side-by-side video chat but don’t want to set everybody up with Skype, video conference software or a Google+ Hangout? Head to Meetings.io, create a room, and give your people the look. In seconds, you’re all chatting live in a simple side-by-side setup.
Meetings.io does all the stuff you want — video, audio, chat, notes — and hardly asks for anything from you. Coming soon are screen sharing and file sharing, but given the live chat and notepad capabilities, it’s not too hard to link out your files through another service (like Dropbox). The creator of the meeting room can invite and approve people one by one or make the room public. There are even buttons to email or SMS meeting recipients to give them the link. Google+ Hangouts definitely have the edge in a few areas, including audio control and Docs integration, but if video chat is the thing you want, Meetings.io does it quite well, with no overhead.
Meetings.io requires Flash, and will ask you to approve peer-to-peer something or other, along with the standard video/audio sharing options. It didn’t work for me on Linux, but worked like a charm for Whitson and I on Mac systems. It’s free to use, and signing up gets you your own permanent meeting room address, along with a few more controls.