We gotta laugh about the awkwardness of video calling.
Try romancing or ‘keeping it professional’ through two-second delays, freezes on grotesque faces, people talking over each other, and the incapacity to make eye contact.
Nothing beats IRL interaction. In real life. In the flesh. Our minds and bodies together in harmonious sync.
But as COVID-19 lockdowns swooped in, the world swiftly pivoted and seized the video call. Life could go on.
In its 12 months ending 31 January 2021, Zoom’s revenue amounted to US $2.65 billion, up from just $623 million the previous year. Apple also reported its highest volume of FaceTime calls last Christmas as families were apart. Video calling will only get more popular, as the pandemic has fast-tracked remote working trends.
This is especially the future for young people. In our What Gen Z Actually Do Online report, we found that 77% of Gen Zs make video calls and 43% do it weekly – so what apps are they using regularly?
Here’s what they said.
1. FaceTime (54%) – Apple’s video chat app that’s built into iPhones, iPads and Mac laptops. Initially, only Apple users could use FaceTime but it was announced in mid-2021 that it will support other devices from a browser.
2. Zoom (29%) – One of the leading video conferencing software apps. Businesses and schools can arrange large group calls, share screens, breakout rooms, and allow participants to ‘raise their hand’ to speak.
3. Facebook Messenger (26%) – Now integrated across Facebook and Instagram, going by ‘Messenger’. It’s known for texting and calling with fun visual features, and people don’t need a Facebook account to use it.
4. Skype (10%) – Owned by Microsoft, it was The Video Chat App for nearly two decades before Zoom took its crown. It’s been losing relevance against its competitors, and it looks like Microsoft is slowly killing it off.
5. Houseparty (8%) – An app allowing eight people to chat in a “room”, where users can move in and out of different live rooms that their contacts are in. It’s popular with gaming features like Heads Up! and Trivia.
6. Google Duo (2%) – Launched in 2016 as an equivalent to Apple’s FaceTime, but supported across Android and iOS. It dubs itself as the highest quality video calling app, with fun features like AR effects and doodling.