Humans are a communal species, and the need for social networking has always been there. Most of us are stuck in self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means there’s not a whole lot of socializing happening. This has led to a huge increase in the popularity of social networking apps that were very popular to begin with. The traditional social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) haven’t gone away, but there is an increased need for more direct socializing. So we’ve compiled a list of the top five social networking apps to help you stay close to friends and family through these trying times.
Top 5 Social Networking Apps
Houseparty soared into popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic confined people to their homes. It’s advertised as a face-to-face social network, but essentially Houseparty is a video-chatting app. The defining feature of the app is how fast and accessible everything is. As soon as someone opens the app, their friends get a notification and can instantly join their “room” and be in a video chat with them. This makes for a lot of embarrassing and fun moments with friends and friends of friends.
It allows for a maximum of eight people on a call and even lets you play games together. There is the popular Word Up, a Pictionary style game, and a PG version of a game similar to Cards Against Humanity.
Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Chrome
Seller: Life On Air, Inc
Size: 184.3 MB
Skype is a household name in the video-chatting department. It’s been there for a long time and works well at what it can do. Skype supports up to 24 people in a video conference and it’s great for staying in touch with family and friends. Also if you’re not interested in appearing on camera there is also the option of voice calling and even text messaging instead.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, macOS, Windows, Linux, Xbox, Alexa
Seller: Skype Communications S.a.r.l
Size: 151.6 MB
Languages: English, Arabic, French, and more.
Facebook’s Messenger app is also a very well known option when it comes to social networking apps. Using your Facebook account to login you can easily connect with your friends and start chatting as well as seeing their stories. A useful feature is being able to create groups and add friends to them. Video calls on Messenger can support up to 50 people at the same time which is perfect for any small to large gatherings.
One of the best ways to socialize with friends through Messenger is to play one of the various games they have. Unlike Houseparty, for example, users can take turns playing so they dont have to be live at the same time.
Platforms: iOS, Android
Seller: Facebook, Inc.
Size: 65.7 MB
Languages: English, French, German, and more.
Google has two apps for video-chatting: Hangouts and Duo. Hangouts is focused more on being a business video-conferencing app while Duo is focused on being a social networking app. Duo is a simple high-quality video-chatting app that doesn’t do much but does it well. Calls go up to 12 people, but it works really well and relatively good quality video. You can also send a video message in case the person can’t answer or you just want to share a quick moment.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Chrome
Seller: Google LLC
Size: 109.9 MB
Languages: English, Arabic, French and more.
Discord has been a staple communication app in the gaming sphere but it has a lot to offer any group of people that want to connect. You can organize or join different channels that give you space to interact with a community whether over text, audio or video chat. Open voice channels let groups interact much easier, people can jump in when free without having to initiate a call. You can also screen-share sessions and stream your favorite games.
Discord’s interface can be confusing at first, but it is definitely worth getting to know. Whether you plan on gaming with friends or chatting for fun its a powerful and worthwhile tool.
Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux
Seller: Discord, Inc.
Size: 103.5 MB