start a video chat

Ready to have some face-to-face time in your pajamas (or ball gown or anything in between)? illumy offers a high-definition video experience that’s 100% free (and free of ads).  

Here’s how to get started using video chat. First, find the name of the person you want to chat with, and look for a teal dot or star to the left of their name. That means they’re online. (If they’re not, you won’t be able to video call them. But you can still send them messages, giphys, files, etc.—or you can leave them a voicemail.)

Alexis from Schitts Creek video chatting with someone

    1. In Contacts view or Messaging view, click the name of the contact you want to call.
    2. At the top of the middle panel, you’ll see a video camera icon (Messaging view) or the Video Call button (Contacts view). Click it.
    3. In the pop-up window, you’ll see their profile pic, your live video feed, and an audio indicator with a Test function. You can test your audio and make sure your webcam is working (you definitely need a webcam to video chat with someone.
        1. If you don’t see your live camera feed, make sure you’re using the latest version of Chrome or Firefox (see supported browsers, and that the browser has permission to use your microphone and camera.
        2. To check your audio levels, click the Test link. A very short ringing sound will play. Turn your volume up or down to suit your needs.
    4. When you’re ready, click the red Call button in the pop-up window. You’ll hear ringing. To hang up, click the red video camera icon that’s in the right panel, under their photo.
    5. If they don’t answer, you can leave a voicemail message or just hang up. But you’re awesome, so of course they’ll answer. 😎
    6. Start chatting.
    7. Goodbyes are never easy, but when you’re ready to end the call, click the purple video camera icon.

    options during the chat

    While your call is underway, you have a few pretty cool options. While the video chat is in the default view (small, picture-in-picture in the upper right of the screen), you’ll see four icons. Click the leftmost one. The video chat enlarges, and there are more options. From left to right, you’ll see:

          • Mute/Unmute—toggles your microphone on and off
          • Camera Off/On—toggles the camera on and off
          • Screen Share—allows the other person to see your screen (great for presenting)
          • Hang Up—ends the video call
          • Minimize—returns the screen to the default view
          • Full Screen—fills your entire monitor with the video call
          • Settings—gives you options for your camera, mic, and speakers

    Want to video chat with a friend who’s not on illumy yet? That’s easy! Just send them a text message or an email and invite them to sign up. And they can do the same. 👍