• Meeting in virtual rooms replaces analogue talk with friends and acquaintances
  • The numbers for social networking apps are exploding both nationwide and in many European countries.
  • The app of the hour is called a house party

Inside is the new outside

Distance is the new closeness and the video chat is the new coffee gossip. Slowly we are all settling into our “new world”, in which we are only supposed to get close to family members and friends at a maximum of two meters. Our lust for entertainment is now being outsourced to a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Our evening appointments such as the sports course or even the choir rehearsal now take place via video chat.
And of course the beloved small talk or the cozy drinking of beer. Countless frequently known apps or platforms make this possible. But what works best:

An overview for the next online coffee gossip & Co:

Houseparty – for friends of surprise guests

The free app Houseparty (for Apple and Android) is currently swirling the download charts and is loaded as often as e.g. Disney +. The name says it all. As with a real party, we always have to expect surprise guests at the online house party. As soon as we are online, the app shows us what conversations our friends and friends of our friends are having. We can spontaneously join in these conversations. In the same way, we can also start a conversation and suddenly a surprise guest visits us. This always results in new unexpected encounters or new acquaintances. However, if we want to stay among ourselves, we can close the talks for other guests. Up to eight people can participate in a chat. The app also conveniently has several games on board, such as a kind of Monday painter or the trivia game “Trivia”.

Four WhatsApp, zoom for a lot of friends

Whatsapp we have almost all of them on our smartphones and video group chats also work here. However, the number of participants is limited to only four people. To start a WhatsApp chat, we first have to connect to a person via video chat. As soon as the connection is established, we see a camera symbol and a small plus sign in the top right corner. Just click on it and invite the next person, so the WhatsApp talk room fills up quickly. However – at the moment WhatsApp seems to be overloaded sometimes, especially the video chat then hooks up.

If you want to video chat with more than four people, you should zoom look at. The app is currently one of the beneficiaries of the crisis and is particularly popular for video conferences. In the free version we can video chat with up to 100 people at the same time, which should be enough for every club or team. However, a video chat with more than two people is limited to 40 minutes.

For shared Instagram surfing

Scrolling through your own Instagram feed is somehow boring at home alone. A new feature comes in handy – Instagram co-watching. This allows us to surf together through saved posts or through the recommendations of Instagram. To start, we first have to start a video chat with our friend and then click on the “Media” button at the bottom right. Then we are shown the last posts that we liked. Simply select one of them, click on it and it will also be shown to our conversation partner (s). For example, we can discuss our favorite posts with up to six friends. However, this requires the latest version of the Instagram app.

Watch and shop for video together

The website promises a quasi-cinema experience without sitting next to each other Watch2gether. We don’t even have to register to use it. It is enough if we simply create a virtual room, then email the link to the film friends and the shared experience can begin. Everyone sees the same film and can chat in parallel. Watch2gether plays content from YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion. Supposedly it is also possible to watch Netflix via Watch2gether with a simple trick.

Another practical option in these times: we can also shop together on Amazon via the website. The website is free of charge, but there is advertising while watching films (ad-free costs 3.50 euros per month) – and if that is ice advertising, then we have the almost complete cinema experience.

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