Although worldwide lockdowns are easing and have even been lifted in Monaco and France, social distancing is still in effect across the globe due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning many people continue to rely on digital technology to keep in touch with friends and family.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, many social media platforms and digital tools have seen a huge spike in downloads as we hunted for the best video calling apps, the coolest virtual quizzes and the easiest messaging software.
While the last few years have seen a raft of reports and research highlighting how digital technology is making us less social, the coronavirus has actually shown how the virtual world can be a force for good. Today, friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours are connecting digitally, utilising a vast array of sophisticated platforms.
From group chats to virtual parties, dinner dates and yoga classes, the world of digital technology has enabled us to connect even when we are all forced apart.
Here are seven tools we used to stay connected during the coronavirus crisis.
Discover the best video calling apps & social platforms
Facebook Messenger is an easy-to-use tool allowing you to message and video call friends and family, one-on-one, or as part of larger groups. Easy to use, in order to access this app you’ll need to first create a Facebook page. Facebook Messenger also helped in the fight against Covid-19 and spread of fake news, launching a programme to help government health organisations and UN health agencies share accurate information.
Most people are familiar with Skype, the original video call platform – to this day it is still one of the best video calling apps. It’s great for catching up with people one-on-one, or for small groups. A handy tool for staying in contact with friends and family, no matter where they are in the world.
Described as a face-to-face social network, this digital platform has seen a huge surge in use, responsible for keeping digital natives entertained while in lockdown. Houseparty is a video chat app that allows users to congregate spontaneously with friends via a video hangout. Use this tool to connect with friends and family, hold virtual parties and happy hours, or simply go about your usual social activities, only digitally.
Designed for short-form mobile videos, Tik Tok helped people stay connected during the coronavirus crisis by creating a virtual community. Many users utilised the platform to share informative and fun videos in the wake of the pandemic, from reminding people to wash their hands and how they were staying entertained during lockdown to memes about their experiences. As videos are so easily seen and shared, doctors even used the app in an attempt to spread accurate information on coronavirus.
Similar to Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp is a great tool for staying connected with friends, family and community groups, via text messages, calls, or video calls. The mobile app works on all phones and is free to download. In the wake of the pandemic, the app teamed up with the World Health Organization to launch a messaging service designed to get the very latest news and information on coronavirus to people, from symptoms to look out for to how to best protect yourself.
FaceTime only works for Apple users but is one of the best video calling apps thanks to how easy it is, allowing you to connect instantly with people across the world. In 2018, FaceTime expanded its offerings, and now allows groups of up to 32 people in a call – perfect for catching up with all your friends and family at once.
A great app for helping us stay connected during the coronavirus crisis, Zoom is designed for video conferencing, web conferencing, webinars, and more. The app was also extensively used as an online learning tool in the wake of school closures across the world. Zoom works across a wide range of operating systems, including Android, Windows, and Mac. Users can opt to mute themselves or turn off their cameras if they wish, while the presenter has the ability to share their screen with others to present information. Its Relevance’s CEO Rumble Romagnoli’s favourite digital platform for hosting our Relevance Academy webinars!
This is just a small listing of some of the most popular digital tools for staying connected during the coronavirus. Whichever one you opt for, you’ll be able to stay in-touch with everyone long after the crisis, no matter where they might be in the world.