Group Video Chat

Download these top 5 apps to socialize and beat the quarantine woes

The present COVID – 19 pandemic might be an introvert’s dream but it is quite a nightmare for a social butterfly. Sitting at home with nowhere to go and not meeting your near and dear ones for months on end can be frustrating and distressing. From doing household chores and working online for long hours, to looking after cranky children and ailing parents at home, we all have tough jobs in a pandemic. You need a break from all this, a time to just be by yourself and indulge in some ‘me time.’ The Internet and its various means of entertainment and education are great ways to find something interesting to do for yourself. Today, many apps are meant just for that purpose. If you’re looking for options, here is a list of the top five apps that you can download to get rid of your quarantine woes and have some fun. From connecting with friends and family on video chatting apps to co-watching movies and having a virtual party, these apps provide you all that you need to get a sense of normalcy into an otherwise isolated, boring life.

  1. Camfrog

Connecting with people through the virtual medium is the new normal and video chatting is the simplest way to go about it. All you need is a smart device, a fast internet connection, and a camera, microphone, and speakers. Camfrog is one of the most popular video-chatting platforms connecting people from all over the globe to stay united during these trying times. It is a great way to reach people you know and a unique platform to find new friends who might be unknown to you at the moment.

The app offers the option of private chat rooms where you have control over who joins the group. It is a more intimate set up and is ideal for those who like a one-on-one interaction. However, if you are looking at having healthy discussions with a large group of people, Camfrog has public chat rooms too. Therein, you get to interact with multiple people simultaneously and what’s more, you can share videos, audio clips, and even documents. This makes the whole experience of chatting more exciting and fun.

Besides this, Camfrog also has a gaming element to it, wherein you can find new ways to earn virtual gifts through credit points. These gifts can be good conversation starters and a way to break the ice. Another interesting feature of Camfrog is its built-in software for hearing impaired users. It has a hearing-impaired video chat room list with special features for deaf and hard of hearing people, making it convenient for you to converse regardless of hearing level. So break away from boredom and download this app now.

  1. Google Duo

It is tough to meet family and friends during COVID-19 and the ongoing social lockdown. However, thanks to video chat apps, you can at least feel close to them. These apps allow you to stay connected through the virtual medium and spend an enjoyable time face-to-face when you can’t be together in person. Google Duo makes it all the more seamless for you to stay in touch. This latest app from Google is perfect for making video calls and works with Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The best part is that it is a built-in video chatting app for both iOS and Android devices so you just need to turn it on in your device, without searching for it on the Play Store. This is the perfect answer to Facetime used by Apple users.

Google Duo is secure with end-to-end encryption and has amazing clarity in both audio and video. You can add a maximum of 12 people to a single call, which is ideal for having a family party remotely. The app has a great feature called “Knock Knock” where you get a preview of the person making the call before accepting the call. This works especially well when you do not know the person calling, as it gives you the option of not taking the call on seeing the preview. The app also has options for audio calls and sending notes and fun stickers. Google Duo makes it easy to send customized video and audio messages too when calls are not possible. From photos, simple notes to doodles and videos, you can show your emotions and feelings in different ways. This makes conversation fun and more interactive. An extension of this app is Google Hangouts, which works well for work calls. Download the app to make your loved ones feel special and wanted.

  1. Instagram Co-Watching

Instagram is the go-to app today with the millennials. You can see the youth using it extensively to post pictures and upload videos of their latest hobbies, cooking skills, or even their workout regime. It is the coolest thing to do today, especially in times of social isolation. You can see your friends and family and also what they are up to in times of COVID-19. To make the experience livelier and more interactive, Instagram has launched Instagram Co-Watching, a novel way to be in touch with people.

In this new format, you can invite your friends on a video chat and browse through feed posts together. It could be a feed someone has liked or saved or even one that Instagram recommends. The idea is to do this activity in a group and share views and jokes and give comments, making the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. The app allows up to six people to co-watch at one time on Instagram. You can share private or public posts that everyone in the chat can see. With this extension of one of the most popular social media apps, people are sure to feel genuinely connected even though through the virtual medium. It will definitely add some momentum to your potentially stagnant life.

  1. Houseparty

As the name suggests, Houseparty is a fun app to make your social life exciting. This social networking app creates a virtual space where you can chit chat with friends or play games to bring back some momentum into your life. It is easy to use and connects up to eight people to video chat in a single room. You can be a part of infinite rooms and easily float among them.

This social app is like any other video chatting app such as Skype, but the distinguishing factor lies in the intent with which it has been created. Houseparty allows you to host a virtual party and invite friends and family to join in the fun. It also lets people play games together like trivia and quick draw, and chat at the same time. All these games are built-in, so it saves you the time and effort to download them separately. This app is available on both the iOS App Store and Android Play Store. Go ahead and host your first virtual party while you are stuck indoors with nowhere to go.

  1. Discord

One of the best apps for all those who love gaming, Discord also supports voice and video calls and text messaging. It is a great app for gamers and its chatting features makes gaming a whole lot of fun. You can chat with all those in the gaming arena with you and also find other people and add them to your friends’ list. A lot of people use this app as a social tool as well.

Due to its wide-ranging functionality, Discord is used as a forum-style community platform where people with common interests can create servers or join existing ones, both public and private. It allows a lot of people to get together through video and voice calls as well as text. The majority of the servers on Discord are gaming-oriented but you can also find public Discord servers that include topics like cryptocurrency, self-improvement, or just making friends and staying connected. The best thing about Discord is its wide range of chat options. It also has an easy-to-use interface and is accessible through various devices. You need not be sitting in front of a gaming PC to enjoy Discord. The app has a downloadable PC program that can be used on a computer or laptop. There is a web-based version and a mobile version too. It’s time to get onto this app and make life more fun with some games and a lot of socializing with friends on the virtual platform.

Best way to choose the video chat app for you

Most of the video chat apps are free and they all have great features, making it difficult to decide which one to choose. The best way to begin shortlisting is to take stock of what you need to accomplish with the app. If you are looking to chat on your phone only, Google Duo, Instagram Co-watching, and Paltalk will suffice. However, if you and your friends want to connect a number of devices and want to do more than just chatting, then you should look at Discord and Houseparty. Ultimately, you will choose an app that your friends and family also prefer using but if you are looking for more options, try out all these apps. They are feature-rich, easy to download, and simple to use.

Must-haves to use these apps

Now that you have all the information about the most happening and popular social apps, you should also understand the things required to be able to have a seamless interaction.

  1. A smart device

The most important thing to have in today’s age of technology and gadgets is a smart device. It could be a smartphone, iPad, laptop, or even a desktop. The smart device is a basic requirement to begin your journey of virtual socializing.

  1. Proper internet connection

Video chatting requires a good internet connection. A broadband connection with fast and stable speed is preferable.

  1. Compatibility

Any device you have, be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer, should be compatible with the app that you plan to download. You should always upgrade your software or even the device so you can use the latest version of the video chat apps, or else they eat up too much space on your device and make it slow. Also, use a device that can work on any operating system such as Windows, iOS, Linux, and the like.

  1. Proper audio and video

Today almost every device comes with a built-in webcam, but do not rely on it for video chatting as built-ins often have a low resolution, hampering the clarity. Buy an external HD image webcam and get a proper microphone with speakers for the enhanced audio experience. These are available online, making it easier for you to be fully equipped in times of the novel coronavirus.

Normal life has come to a standstill due to the current pandemic and it is likely to continue for some more time. Being isolated and stuck at home with nowhere to go and no people to interact with can get quite frustrating and add to that the fear of losing jobs, getting sick, or handling an economic slump. Everyone needs a vent, a space to have some amount of human interaction to share and connect. These apps provide exactly that. They are a platform for virtual bonding in today’s times of social distancing and self-quarantine. Download them today and you will see your life bouncing back to some amount of normalcy.

Video Chat

People Are Tapping Into Video Chat Platforms Like Never Before To Make The Most Of Their Time During The Covid-19 Pandemic

An unprecedented situation has hit the world: the COVID-19 pandemic. It has put a stop to people’s regular lives. Phrases like “social distancing” and “isolation” are now a part of the active vocabulary of every child and adult alike. Masks, a complete sanitation regiment, and unvetted immunity boosters have become the new normal. This unimaginable situation has led to mental distress and emotional turmoil amongst people, and devastating social and economic repercussions.

However, there is a silver lining to this scenario thanks to advanced technology and the Internet. Everyone can be connected easily, linked through the world of the Internet acting as a medium for social interaction. In fact, studies show that pandemic-induced social isolation has changed (perhaps permanently) the relationship people have with technology.

Today, people are more reliant on apps for shopping, communication, entertainment, and staying fit than ever before. Video chatting platforms have proved to be a robust solution for connection as well. Let’s find out more about how they work and their impact on people during the pandemic.

What does a video chatting platform do?

A video chatting platform is a means to connect with known and unknown people through the virtual medium. In this period of social isolation, video chat has become a window to peek into someone’s life. It is one of the best ways to stay in touch with loved ones who are living far away and also to make new associations.

These social apps have become a way to manage our lives while in lockdown. In fact, as per a report by MoEngage and Apptopia, 20% more people used apps in Q1 of 2020 compared to the previous year. In the same time frame, people spent the most ever recorded in a quarter in app stores, amounting to more than $23 million.

Benefits of video chatting apps

Video chatting is the perfect way to socialize in today’s time of social isolation. It is a means to connect with the outside world without worrying about the dreaded coronavirus creeping up in the background. It is now also a way to conduct business for much of the world. Here are a few compelling advantages of using virtual means to stay in touch with the world.

  1. Stay connected with family and friends

Today most of us live in nuclear setups with our extended families spread all over. It is almost impossible to meet them, given the present situation of no travel and self-quarantine. Therefore, video chatting becomes a convenient and reliable way to stay in touch. It gives us a sense of belonging and helps us connect with all our loved ones to know about their well-being and health.

  1. To forge new associations

If you are looking to find new people to interact with but are stuck at home, don’t be depressed. Video chatting allows you to meet and greet strangers in an absolute safe set up and indulge in conversations, share audio and video, and exchange ideas. Who knows? Someone you meet in a public or private chat room could be your soulmate. While hunting for video chatting portals, ensure that you review security guidelines of the app.

  1. A reason to dress up

You are cooped up in your apartments with nowhere to go and nothing to dress up for. A video call with a friend or even a stranger is a reason to get up and into your favorite outfit that has been waiting in your wardrobe for months. It is an occasion to do your hair, wear some makeup, and look and feel good. Get ready to slay those video chatting sessions and make yourself feel great.

  1. 4. A way to network and find new projects

Video chatting portals are used not only for personal chatting, but also as a great way to network with people for new assignments. These times are awful for work with few jobs opening up, nowhere to go out and set up job interviews, and little networking opportunity. However, video chatting portals become a great way to meet people who have similar jobs. You can enter a public chat room where discussions about employment and related matters are discussed and who knows — you might find yourself a brand-new project.

  1. Dating made inexpensive

Think of those times when you had to meet someone on a date in a bar or a cafe. You would spend money on commuting, drinks, and small eats or even a meal before heading home. The entire experience might turn out to be beautiful and unique, but it would add to your monthly expenditure. With video chatting, all those expenses fly out the window as you sit at home meeting new people. You might spend money on your own drink, but you sure don’t have to pay for anything else. So get on one of the reputed video chatting apps and find your date at no cost at all.

  1. Learn new things

For the last few months, everyone has sat at home with nowhere to go. Instead of crying about the lack of things to do, make use of this time to learn something new. Thanks to technology, there’s a lot that can be done without moving a muscle. Use video chatting portals to learn music, try out new recipes, watch and share new shows on Netflix, and participate in good discussions through public chat room forums. All you need is the will and the desire to try out something new and technology will have it serve it to you on a platter.

Features to look out for in a video chatting application

With so many video chatting benefits, you’re probably considering joining an app if you haven’t already. In your search, it is vital to look at the reviews written by other users, read about all their features and make an informed decision. Here are some of the must-have features in a video chatting platform to make your experience enjoyable and interactive.

  1. Suitable on all devices with premier safety features

A lot of video chatting platforms work well only on a single operating system. Avoid these apps as they become a hassle if you change gadgets or shift to another operating system. Always choose those that are compatible with all major operating systems including iOS, Android, and the like. Also, check if your video chatting app is running on the latest firmware version. This ensures that it has all the latest security features.

  1. Public and private chat rooms

Always look out for video chatting platforms where you can have the option of both private and public chat rooms. In the private rooms you choose the people you want to interact with. They could be known friends and family or even strangers. You have absolute control over the people you converse with. On the other hand, the public chat rooms allow you to interact with a larger audience. Try out video chatting apps like Camfrog that offer public chat rooms where you can connect with a larger set of people at one time. These places are great to make conversations more interactive through interesting debates or sharing videos, images, and audio.

  1. Fun through virtual gifts

Video chatting should be as interactive and enjoyable as possible and many video chatting platforms work hard to meet that goal. For instance, Camfrog has a rewards and prizes system wherein users can buy stickers and send them to friends and potential friends. It is a great way to break the ice and to enter a public chat room.

  1. File sharing

Chatting can be even more fun if you share interesting videos and audio with people. Also, sharing your images if you are comfortable makes the conversation more interactive. Look out for video chatting platforms like Camfrog Pro that allow users to send and receive all kinds of files.

Do’s and don’ts of video chatting platforms

Though these video chatting platforms are a huge boon for making new friends and reconnecting with old ones during this phase of social distancing and isolation, they have also left many feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable due to privacy concerns. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts that you should adhere to on video chatting platforms.

  1. Restrict information

To be a part of any social media platform, you need to give out information and details. However, there are video chatting apps that do not ask for sensitive information. For instance, if you do not want to share your picture with a complete stranger in the first few conversations, you should be given the freedom not to do so. Similarly, you needn’t share your exact location with anybody on such platforms. If any video chatting platform asks for these details, it might be a good idea to look elsewhere. Your privacy is ultimately in your hands, so be cautious of what you share online as it can be misused.

  1. Avoid clutter and clamor

It is very distracting for another person to indulge in a conversation with you if your surroundings aren’t peaceful and clutter-free. In fact, it shows a lack of interest in the video chatting experience. Always ensure that you choose a quiet spot with a preferably plain background. Appearances also matter, so take care to look presentable. You needn’t be in your party best, but a clean outfit and well-combed hair is a must. This will not only make the other person feel special but will also help you enjoy an excuse to get out of your PJs and wear something more appealing.

  1. No multitasking

When video chatting, it is crucial to give all your attention to the person you are chatting with. It shows respect for the person and also allows you to focus on the call completely. Avoid attending to calls, answering emails or doing other household work during this time. This is your ‘me time’ so indulge in it completely.

  1. Check the audio and video settings

Webcams can be tricky. Always check your image on the laptop or iPad before you start the chat. For instance, you don’t want the other person to see just your nostrils and not your entire face. Sometimes the angle of the camera is wrong if kept too high or too low. Ensure that the camera is at the eye level as it will allow the other person to see your entire face clearly. Buy an external HD camera if you can to maximize image quality. Similarly, invest in a good microphone for proper audio clarity.

Meaningful conversations and interactions with people are much needed to bust stress for most people. When physical contact is near-impossible, video chatting platforms like Camfrog come to the rescue. They make face-to-face interactions as real as meeting people physically. They allow for socializing with known people and also making new bonds with strangers. Join any of the popular and safe video chatting platforms and get your social life back on track sans facemasks, handshakes, and dicey travels.