Social networking apps have had an extreme surge in popularity in recent days, and you might have heard everyone suddenly talking about all sorts of different platforms. So, what’s the deal with them?
For many millennials going out drinking and partying with friends was the best way to stay connected with friends in a Pre-COVID-19 world. But in a Post-COVID-19 world quarantine, isolation and social distancing have become the new norm. So, it’s no surprise that many millennials are turning to apps as a way to stay connected.
Currently ranking at number one for social networking apps in 17 countries on the Apple app store, Houseparty has become an overnight sensation among company-starved millennials. It offers in-app games such as Trivia, Heads Up and Complete the Lyrics. The app also offers screen-sharing services for up to eight people in a one group conversation, notifies users when their friends go into the app, and shows who is talking to whom.
Houseparty has been showcased on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, as people share there positive and negative experiences with the app. You’ve most likely seen your favourite celebrities and even your friends sharing footage of themselves playing games or the funniest parts of their video group chats.
But you may have also seen the not so fun side of the app as people took to Twitter and other platforms to talk about how “users can also enter conversations without their permission unless users have specifically chosen to ‘lock’ their room”, or the rumours that the app is stealing or hacking user’s private information.
Another app Millennials are turning to is ZOOM, originally meant for video conferencing, web conferencing, and webinars. The platform is already well known and used by many businesses, but most recently millennials have coined a new term for the app, “Zoom-University”, as many university campuses migrate onto the platform. It’s no surprise then that millennials have re-imagined the platform as another way to stay connected.
The platform allows you to create a virtual conference room, allowing you to add to 100 participants. The service doesn’t require an account or payment to join a video you just send them a link to join. Zoom also has other features which many millennials have taken a licking to such as adding “virtual backgrounds”, is a fun way to amuse yourself and others on the call. Another feature which many millennials have all used is the “Touch Up My Appearance feature”, this softens the focus of your video to make your skin tone look smoother and hide imperfections. this is perfect for those early morning classes.
Another video conferencing platform millennials are using is the classic Skype, an oldie but a goodie that has been around for ages. With lockdown, the ubiquitous video chat app is making a stellar comeback. The platform allows users to video chat and voice call as well as instant message between computers, tablets and mobile devices anywhere and anytime for free.
For many millennials, Skype was probably the first video app you ever used. I and many others remember the good old days when our friends would jump on to Skype after school and just laugh and have fun. Well, know we can relive the glory days during quarantine, isolation and social distancing by skyping mates and curing boredom. If that platform doesn’t appeal, WhatsApp and Facetime (on iphone) do a similar job.
So, while we’re in lockdown and we’re in social distancing mode. It feels good to know that we are doing our bit to help flatten the curve amid this pandemic. But doing this can be boring. But using these apps and staying connected can easily fix these boring times.
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