Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year, with a festive cheer in the air and a lot of fun and frolic all around. It is a time to meet and greet family and friends and also to forge new bonds. With Christmas gifts from Santa Claus and a hearty Christmas meal, winter sees some beautiful cheer during this time. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, festivities this year will be low-key and many family and friends are still stuck across the globe, making it tough to relish the Christmas spirit in all its glory.
Fret not. In such times, technology becomes your best friend with video chatting apps substituting for the actual, physical socialization. You can use these apps to meet and greet and also have a gala Christmas feast. However, you need to be careful about which app you choose. Read on to learn the best way to connect with loved ones this Christmas through the virtual medium.
What do video chatting apps do?
A video chatting platform is the most life-like way of connecting with near and dear ones when distances are unavoidable. It uses the virtual medium to connect people in far-flung places and bring them together, especially during special occasions like Christmas. It not only helps keep in touch with family and friends but also creates new associations and bonds.
These video chatting platforms have taken on new meaning and significance especially in the last six months of social distancing during the COVID – 19 pandemic. They have become a bridge between people to stay connected and together. Today, hundreds of video chatting platforms are available online and each of them promises better features than the last. The problem lies in finding a reliable and user-friendly option that offers a wide variety of choices. A proper sifting and selection need to be done before downloading an app. Let’s read more about what to keep in mind while choosing a video chatting app.
The process to choose a trustworthy video chatting app
A majority of the apps are free and offer great features. They are great ways to see and speak to people, both known and unknown. In cold, frigid winters, these video chatting platforms become a great way to socialize without having to step out of your comfortable home. In fact, some of the apps offer more than just the basics of seeing and speaking with each other. They are an entire ecosystem of entertaining ways to do things together. With so much information about different apps, you can get quite bogged down about which one to choose. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your favorite way to connect this Christmas.
1. Shortlisting of apps based on requirements
To begin shortlisting the apps, you should first establish your requirements. Is it only to chat with a single person on the phone, or would you like to indulge in discussions, debates, and parties together through the virtual medium? This will help narrow down the choices drastically. For only chatting purposes, apps like Google Duo, Instagram Co-Watching, and Watsapp will be great. However, if you want to connect to multiple people through different devices and watch movies together or have virtual parties, then apps like Discord, Houseparty, and Camfrog might work best.
After having decided on the app, ensure that you do not share any private information initially. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Most of the video chatting apps today are more than just chatting platforms. They are laden with exciting and interesting features that make them a fun place to be during cold, dull winters or in the present times of COVID – 19. For instance, Camfrog, a video chatting platform from the US, has a feature called Sponsored Video slots where you can pay for a 30-minute free video time for everyone in your room. This allows all free members in the room to have an extra camera for 30 minutes.
Some of them also have interesting non-traditional ways to video chat by doing exciting things together. For instance, have a movie night wherein you and friends can watch a movie or a show sitting in your separate homes but at the same time giving you a feeling of being in a theater together. You could also make your weekend a virtual party hub with a karaoke night on any of the video chatting platforms. In fact, often people use video chatting apps to attend religious services together. Why not sing hymns on Christmas and all the fun songs together as a family even though it’s through the virtual medium?
Besides, video chatting portals have gaming features and the ability to watch, share and exchange files, audio clippings and videos, making chatting all the more interactive and interesting. Some apps like Paltalk give an option to join public or private chat rooms that allow you to indulge in healthy discussions and debates with strangers. They are a great way to network for work as well. People often find like-minded people in such rooms, with similar work ethics and interests that could lead to better job opportunities and shared knowledge.
4. Gifting service
Some of the apps like Camfrog offer the facility of virtual gifts and stickers. This can work out great as Christmas gifts for family and friends staying all across the globe. You can earn credits and purchase virtual gifts with each of them having a distinct value.
A feature-heavy app is great for celebrating holidays like Christmas together, too. You can sing hymns, have a feast in your respective homes but cut the turkey at the same time while on video chat, and more. The basic idea is to have fun and explore all the options and features the video chatting app offers to make chatting more interactive.
Must-haves to use video chatting platforms
Once you have decided which apps you want to use for video chatting purposes, you need to do a quick check on the paraphernalia needed to have a smooth and easy conversation. Here is a checklist of the must-haves to use video chatting apps.
1. A smart device
First and foremost, you need to have a smart gadget to be able to video chat. It could be a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. It is the most basic requirement to initiate you into the fantastic world of video chatting. If you don’t have one, it’s time you gifted one to yourself. With Christmas coming up soon, it would be a great gift to give and receive.
2. Stable and fast internet connection
Another must-have to be able to video chat is a good internet connection with a fast speed so that downloads of videos, audio, and files are seamless. A fast speed also ensures that your video is not blurred and the voice is not choppy. And in case you are using the video chatting platform for streaming movies, shows or even to exchange files, a proper broadband connection is a must-have.
3. Compatibility of the device with apps
Once you have sorted out the smart device and got a stable internet connection, you need to ensure that the gadget is compatible with the app you’re downloading. Always use a device that can work on any operating system, such as Windows, iOS, or Linux, because the app you use might be compatible with any one of these operating systems.
Also, before downloading the app, always upgrade the software of the device to optimize device speed. Also, download the latest version of the apps, or else they can take a lot of space and cause it to slow down.
4. Premium quality audio and video
Video quality is of prime importance for any type of video chatting. Though most of the gadgets today have a built-in webcam, they have a low resolution, which could interfere with the clarity of the call. Therefore, it is best to buy an external HD image webcam. Even the audio quality of a video call should be maintained, especially if you are using it for listening to audio, videos and more. Thus, it is best to get a proper microphone with speakers for superior audio quality. Both the webcam and microphone with speakers are readily available online so you can procure them comfortably in times of COVID – 19.
Benefits of having a good video chatting app
Now that you know all about the correct way to choose a video chatting app and the basic things needed to have a seamless chatting experience, let’s find out why video chatting is gaining so much popularity.
- Find love
Besides being a medium to connect with loved ones, it is also a popular way to find new friends and forge new bonds. Video chatting apps have thousands of people on them. You can check out different profiles and find like-minded people. Who knows? What starts as a friendly chat can turn into the most romantic love affair.
You can use these apps for networking for work. Many of the video chatting apps have public chat rooms for a specific topic. Join one that has discussions and debates around your professional area of interest and use it to network. You never know, you might find your future boss right there.
It is also a great way to socialize on cold and gloomy winter weekends with nowhere to go, or on holidays like Christmas. Many apps are made with the intention of creating virtual parties. Make these apps your virtual party hub and dance away the weekend. Some of the popular socializing apps are Houseparty and Bunch.
You can even have movie nights with friends through apps like Syncplay and Twoseven. Stream movies online and share it with friends and get the feel of being in a movie hall. To add to the authenticity, get yourself some popcorn and cola. Watch those crucial football matches and cheer for your favorite team with your friends.
With so many different things to do and experience, video chatting apps have become the mainstay for entertainment and keeping in touch with people.
Holidays and festivals are a time to be with family and friends. However, sometimes due to our busy schedules and the ongoing pandemic, it might not be possible for you to celebrate Christmas in all its glory. Video chatting apps come to the rescue in such times, making you feel close to your loved ones in the best possible manner. They also become a great way to find new friends, network for professional work, and to socialize on cold winter days. Let’s celebrate each day with a lot of love, fun, and cheer with people known and also forge new bonds with strangers through video chatting apps, and make this winter a happy one.