It is unlikely that anyone would deny that social life has changed for the worse in the past couple of years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ve probably felt it yourself. The question is how serious and global will any further changes be in how we interact socially due to the pandemic. Amy Webb of NYU Stern School of Business, founder of the Future Today Institute, is convinced that even after the end of the pandemic, people will take a long time to comfortably get together again at mass events. And when exactly that will happen, it’s difficult to even guess.

At the same time, Webb is convinced that we are very lucky, because the pandemic occurred during the era of online technological advancement. If COVID-19 had appeared 20 years ago, it would have been much worse for society. After all, now we have the opportunity to study and work from home, communicate with loved ones at a distance and even meet new people, all thanks to fast internet and convenient online platforms.

The legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic is not just the immediate danger of catching the virus, but also less obvious consequences. While the whole world is fighting coronavirus, everyone has forgotten about another epidemic — loneliness. According to the BBC, residents of the United States and many European countries are increasingly feeling lonely. Sweden has turned out to be the “loneliest” country — almost half of all households here are single childless adults.

American psychologists say that in the bodies of lonely people, inflammatory reactions increase, they react more strongly to stress, and have a 22% higher risk of premature death. The main recommendation is to seek social connections and maintain them. But how can this be done in such a difficult time?

Video communication: a panacea for loneliness

Perhaps this is a bold statement, but the various video services for communication have become for millions of people a true sanctuary from loneliness. They’ve given people much more freedom and greater opportunities for easy communication than text chats, instant messengers or phone calls. The ability to see someone in front of you, albeit on a small screen, is a good alternative to live communication. And most importantly, this alternative is completely safe.

Why do modern people choose video communication? The reasons are very different:

  1. The opportunity to see friends and loved ones who are far away from you, look into their eyes, see a smile and smile back.
  2. Substantial time savings. In ten minutes of video conversation, you can have time to discuss a lot more than in text correspondence.
  3. An impressive set of useful functions — from simple video effects to the ability to hold a large online conference for a hundred or more people.

It would take a long time to list all the advantages of this communication format. But is it worth it? If you’ve already discovered video communication, you’ve already answered that question for yourself. So now what’s most important is which service to choose for communication. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Social networks with the video call functions: for connoisseurs of the classics

  1. Facebook. In Messenger, you can not only correspond and exchange media files, but also communicate via video chat. There are no special features here, but this format is perfectly  suitable for a personal conversation.
  2. Instagram. The developers implemented the video calling feature into their app back in 2019. And this feature turned out to be very popular. The ability to contact someone from the Direct section is really convenient.
  3. Twitter. In 2020, Twitter bought the Squad app, which lets you video chat and share your device’s screen. Twitter has proved quite capable of becoming a direct competitor to Skype and its clones.
  4. LinkedIn. There is no video call function in the classical sense, but there are various industry video broadcasts that help keep your finger on the pulse and follow the news in your area, which is very convenient.

Video conferencing and video calling platforms: for work and conversations with loved ones

  1. Zoom. One of the most popular online video conferencing platforms. Even on a free plan, Zoom allows you to hold conferences for up to 100 participants, but with a limit of 40 minutes. In paid plans (from $ 14.44), this restriction is removed.
  2. Skype. A true old-timer among these platforms and one of the pioneers in the field of video conferencing. Skype definitely doesn’t need an additional introduction. However, in recent years it has been losing ground to its competition.
  3. Slack. This is a real Swiss army knife of tools for business and workflow organization. It has everything you need to get the job done — from organized workspaces (channels) to text chats and video calling functionality.
  4. Viber. Yes, Viber is first and foremost a messenger, and only after that an application for video calls. Nevertheless, among messengers Viber was one of the first to introduce video calls. And the rest followed its example.
  5. Google Meet. A convenient video conferencing and video calling service, the main advantage of which is working directly in the browser. You don’t need to install and configure anything else — everything works in the browser tab.

Dating apps with video chats: for those who are seeking love

  1. Tinder. It’s strange that one of the most popular dating apps didn’t add a video chat feature for so long. But in 2020, that finally changed. Now you can chat with other users via video link, but with a caveat — it requires both chat partners to have a Gold subscription.
  2. LOVOO. A very popular application with individual recommendations, search for potential partners near you, flexible profile settings and a pleasant interface. But the most important thing is the built-in video chat and video streaming.
  3. Bumble. As many of you remember, in Bumble, it is the girls who make the first move — men can’t message anyone directly. Not too long ago, a video call function was implemented. It does not offer anything unique, but its presence is useful.
  4. Badoo. This app has built-in video chat too. But there are some subtleties. You cannot call someone as soon as you see them. To be able to make a call, you must first exchange at least one text message with each other.
  5. The League. This whole platform is literally tied to video. Video calling is a standard feature, which won’t surprise anyone. But The League offers more, for example, League Live video streams and quick video dates (Speed Dating). You can also record a short 10-second trailer for your profile in the application — a kind of advert for yourself.
  6. The Intro. This is a platform for video dates. There are actually no settings for selecting a partner for a video meeting — you just enter the date and time, and The Intro looks for someone who chose the same time. There are no time limits, and the service itself is completely free.
  7. Fliqpic. Not a bad combination of dating app and video chat features. In Fliqpic, you can communicate in chat or via video, and add photos and videos to your profile. An excellent platform for those who want to talk about themselves and find new friends.
  8. JustSayHi. The service resembles the previous one, but with some differences. Here you can also add photos and videos to your profile, as well as go on live dates. Besides this, you can send video and audio notes, which helps to diversify communication and make it at least more interesting.

Online video chat: for those who want to date without restrictions

  1. Chathub. A successful combination of simplicity, minimalism and convenience. Other users in Chathub can be filtered by language and gender, which is convenient. Chathub does not have a mobile app but the web version is well adapted for mobile browsers, and is quite easy to use.
  2. Chatrandom. A great choice for those looking for more than just chat with strangers. There’s a gender filter, search for chat partners by interest, themed chat rooms and a separate chat with girls. However, access to the latter is only open to users with a premium account.
  3. Omegle. The first random chat in history, which needs no introduction. Omegle has been one of the most popular chat roulettes for over twelve years. However, there are still no gender and geographic filters or mobile applications.
  4. Omegle TV. An excellent alternative to Omegle for men, because connects them only with girls. Even more importantly, all the girls are verified and confirm their personal data. Forget about fakes once and for all!
  5. OmeTV. A nice combination of convenience and simplicity. It has everything you need — gender and geographic filters, plus the ability to auto-translate messages. Communicate with foreign users with ease!
  6. Emeraldchat. Not the usual Omegle alternative, Emeraldchat combines the features of random video chat, instant messenger and a social network. Here, each user has a karma rating, which directly determines who you can communicate with.
  7. Tinychat. This is not really a video chat site, but rather a service for video streams. If you want you can watch other people’s streams, or even launch your own. If you know how to be interesting and are ready to discuss interesting topics, your stream may appear on the main page, where everyone will see it.
  8. Bazoocam. Some would call this video chat site outdated and old-fashioned. Yes, visually Bazoocam looks like “hello from the early 2000s”. But the site is still quite popular and attracts thousands of users. Among the interesting features of the platform are online mini-games and video broadcasts.
  9. Camsurf. This is perhaps the main alternative to OmeTV, not Omegle. The design and functionality are very similar, but Camsurf offers exclusive features including safe search, hiding location, verification badges, collecting subscribers for other social networks, etc. Just keep in mind that most of these features are paid.
  10. Chatspin. A good combination of simplicity, convenience and great modern design. Chatspin offers users a search for chat partners by country, a gender filter and a video mask function. Those who like to communicate anonymously and confidentially will definitely appreciate it.

A cure for loneliness is online today

As you can see, there are more than enough ways to cure your loneliness. And Amy Webb’s words from the beginning of the article are true. If the coronavirus pandemic had happened in the early 2000s, we would have experienced it much harder.

Today, anyone can find an online communication service that suits their needs. Whether it’s your favorite social network, the familiar Skype, or an original alternative to Omegle. There are lots of options, and it’s definitely worth not limiting yourself to only one service. Good luck picking the perfect communication platform!