When was the last time you opened your heart to someone without having to think about how they would judge you? Perhaps it happens when talking to a friend who lets you be just you. But in the mad rush that has engulfed our lives in modern times, friends have also become busy with their own lives and are often unable to give much time to us. Physical meetings have become rare, but virtual interaction has increased to fill the gap.
Your devices now keep you connected to the world and your friends. Humans are instinctively social, which is why in the physical absence of friends, they reach out over the phone or social networks. Be it an old acquaintance or a new one, chatting with friends can help us unwind, but work schedules can keep us from socializing with friends. The human need to socialize doesn’t just disappear, though. In such cases, this need can open the door to a world where perfect strangers can listen to us, talk to us, and become friends—the world of social networking.
While regular or voice chats have their own appeal, what really interests people is video chats. Video chats have a certain element of surprise in them. Not only can you hear the person on the other side, but you can also see them and read their expressions. This makes the process of familiarization easier and more exciting. And if communication becomes exciting, it could be the beginning of a most exciting friendship!
Someone intending to commit a fraud is generally not too inclined to show his or her face and hence prefer more messaging or audio chats to video chats. Hence, video chats act as a great form of defense, preventing users from falling prey to cyber fraud. To have an uninterrupted conversation over video chat, you need to figure out the best possible video chat option from the long list of service providers that are now available in the market. Start by identifying the features that are necessary in any video chat option that you choose.
- Check the security of the chat provider
Opt for popular and recommended platforms. Most video chat options have free and paid features, but it is always better to go for a paid service since it is generally more secure. Remember, recommended and popular options do not come free, but it ensures cybersecurity while offering great quality.
- Emphasize audio or video quality
Security might come foremost, but the quality of the service should be the next most important factor in your search. Imagine your connection having time-lags or unclear visibility. Do you think it would be a great experience when you are trying to know somebody better? Go for the option that offers smooth, uninterrupted service.
- Platforms supported
You might have an Android device today but can choose to buy an iOS or Windows device in the future. To ensure that you can continue to make new friends and talk your heart out, make sure the provider works across all platforms. You should not have to give up on a budding friendship just because you want to switch to a new platform. Most popular services run smoothly across all platforms. This gives you one more reason to choose a stable and popular option.
- Sharing options
In the middle of a conversation, you might just want to share something important with your friend. It could be a photograph, an audio clip, a video, or a document. Your video chat provider should ideally be able to support file sharing. And the most popular services are equipped with this feature. So, before making a choice, check if this is available.
- Group conferencing
Group conferences are also fun sometimes, particularly when a group of friends tries connecting with each other. While most video chat services offer group conferencing options, the number of connections might be restricted. Check out how many connections can be accommodated by your chat service at one time, to avoid missing the fun!
So, what are the most convenient and useful video chat options to meet new people and make new friends? Here are a few recommendations to compare.
- Facebook Messenger
Facebook today is among the most popular social networking sites in the world. With over 2.4 million active users at any given point of time, Facebook is not just a fad— it is a multifunctional social network that can connect you to the world. In the world of smartphones, Facebook has become a habit. It is this popularity that attracts more people towards Facebook Messenger, a video chat option where you can log in without logging in to Facebook. Facebook Messenger is believed to have a user base of more than 4 billion users worldwide.
While it may lack some of the jazzy features provided by other chat apps, it is one secure, simple, and stable option appropriate for people across all age groups. The advantage of a Facebook Messenger is its interconnectivity to Facebook, which can validate profiles and give you that much-needed familiarity if a stranger approach you.
Facebook Messenger, like its parent app Facebook, is easily used over all devices, cutting across platforms. It hardly matters whether you use Android, iOS, or Windows. Although logging in can be done separately and separate apps can be installed, Facebook Messenger can also be used from the version embedded within the Facebook site.
Facebook Messenger allows you to set your status, sends auto-replies in case of absence, and ensures superior quality individual and group messaging as well as video calling facilities. Be it connecting with old friends or connecting with new ones, you can do it all on Facebook Messenger. Additionally, it also allows you to share files, videos, photos, audio recordings, as well as live and static locations, not to mention the whole range of emoticons, stickers, and gifs that enhance your experience.
With Facebook improving its features to accommodate business, it has introduced a new and most unique money transfer feature. And if you are still not convinced, the encryption that keeps the app secure from hackers and potential catfishers should be able to do the trick to win you over.
For almost 16 years, this PeerStream product has been a hit among millennials and older adults alike.
Camfrog is one of the most secure video chat options, supported by technology, encryption and security protocols similar to the ones that support Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and such popular chat providers. With the younger generation finding it easier to communicate with each other using emojis and stickers more than entire sentences, Camfrog is particularly popular among the millennials who love the unique and appropriate range of stickers and emoticons. Many are free and once you exhaust the free ones, you can also buy more with credits to suit your needs.
Camfrog also has the unique feature of supporting multilingual facilities that can break the barrier for non-English-speaking people, who can also conveniently use the app. A very special feature in the app is its accessibility feature and quality of video streaming that allows deaf people to use it for communication. This sensitivity makes Camfrog even more popular among the deaf community and social advocates and care-givers.
Known widely as an individual or group video chat service, Camfrog is accessible from all platforms and meets most of the criteria that you might be looking for in the best video chat option selected. Camfrog is also supported by an extensive cloud-based user directory which offers logged-in, paid users access thousands of profiles to choose from.
Camfrog also supports file transfer and has recently added a broadcasting option from which users can even earn money. With more and more people choosing Camfrog as an alternate video chat option, it is becoming one of the most sought-after providers.
Another popular alternate video chat options is Viber, a cross-platform application for instant messaging and voice and video calling. Owned and operated by Rakuten, a Japanese multinational company, Viber is available as a freeware for all platforms, be it Android, iOS, Windows, or Linux.
Another app that appeals to the younger generation, Viber has reportedly been downloaded more than 11 million times and has a user base of over 1 billion. It is used extensively across the world and comes only second in usage after WhatsApp and Messenger. What makes it a favorite among users is its encryption and secret chat features, making chats secure.
Signing in to Viber offers you an array of features including file, photo, video, audio and location transfer or sharing apart from the regular video and voice chat services. Viber allows you to make free audio and video calls without having to log in to the app, so that you can enjoy smooth and buffer-free calls with existing Viber users as well as unregistered users. You can create communities and use available stickers, emojis and gifs to make your conversations more interesting and playful.
What makes Viber different from other chat options is that it allows registered users to make calls to any other mobile, landline or non-Viber users as well. This compact app can easily be downloaded and occupies little of your device memory space.
As per some research results acquired in 2019, WhatsApp has an active user base covering 1.5 billion people across more than 180 countries in the world. The convenience of use, quality of calls and video chats, file sharing and security together make it one of the most dependable alternate video chat options for the world, regardless of the age group of users.
WhatsApp is an easy-to-download and easy-to-use application that hardly takes much space as long as it is used to its maximum potential. The app can be installed and used across any device sitting on any platform, be it Android, iOS, Windows, or Blackberry. As long as you have 3G, 4G or a Wi-Fi network, your WhatsApp account is active even if your phone network does not work. You can make video or voice calls to any mobile number in the world.
Its acquisition by Facebook in 2014 has further enhanced the credibility as well as the reach of the app. In fact, most countries in the modern world as well as the developing world use WhatsApp as their official communication medium. This speaks volumes about the security provided by the app. Needless to say, it is one of the most popular services among people wanting to make new friends as well. Customized emojis, gifs, and the recent inclusion of stickers mean WhatsApp is fun and easy for new members.
WhatsApp settings can be customized to allow you to view and respond to messages through pop-ups while you are doing something else on your device. It also allows for push notifications and file transfer options. You can transfer whatever you like including documents, PDFs, audio files, videos, pictures or links to Facebook or Google apps. The location-sharing option of WhatsApp is a great additional feature.
These major players aside, there are also a number of other options that you can choose from depending on your location, budget, device and choice of services and features.
Also owned by Peerstream, Paltalk, is a fast-rising video chat service with enhanced security and privacy features. Started over 20 years ago, Paltalk has grown to embrace 200 million users, with a large percentage in the United States. With more than 5000 group chat rooms and one-on-one messaging services across myriad topics, Paltalk also supports multiple languages.
Then there is IMO, a more old-school yet trusted and dependable video and audio calling service. When Georges Harik created this app almost at the end of the last decade, it was a Google supported-app that connected Google to the world. Since Google occupied a large part of our lives around the end of the last decade with not much competition, IMO also got a ready user-base, happy to get an audio or video calling option that could make communication easier.
These are a list of alternative video chat options that are available in the market. Take your pick from among these to ensure you can meet more strangers and make new friends without having to worry about security or streaming issues. So, end your wait and pick the chat option of your choice to make new friends online.