Covid has forced the entire world to practice social distance to remain safe. With social distancing, socialization became problematic for many and video chatting platforms made a comeback and now, it is trending amongst all age groups. Technology has made it possible for millions of users to interact with each other not only through audio but also video. Even though these video chatting platforms are used by all age groups, it is mostly popular for the age group of 21 and 34. With the popularity of old video chatting platforms like Omegle and Chatroulette, many alternatives of the platforms like Ometv and Strangercamchat have emerged in the market and it has managed to draw the eyeballs of both users and non-users of these platforms.
The popularity of Video Chatting Platforms are rising
According to reports from Semrush, the popularity of Omegle rose from 34 million users in January 2020 to 65 million users in January 2021 which is huge. These chatting platforms are especially popular in the following four countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, India and Mexico. The traffic from the United Kingdom increased by 61% and a huge chunk of the users are still teenagers. In addition to common people, many influencers have also made their appearance in these chatting platforms like KSI, James Charles and Emma Chamberlain. This has further contributed to increasing the popularity of these platforms.
Factors Contributing to popularity of Chatting Platforms
One of the most important factors behind the popularity of video chatting platforms is their easy user interface. Most of the video chatting platforms are pretty straight and easy to use. By choosing a username and accepting that they are above 18, a user can proceed to video chatting on these platforms. In addition to that, it also eliminates the burden from the user for finding a partner to chat with by randomly connecting one user to another. Also, the user has the direct option to either continue the chat or leave it.
Even though these platforms are primarily created for video chatting, it also offers the option to the user to engage in either voice or text chatting too. Most of the chatting platforms come with moderated and unmoderated options. Depending upon the conversation with which one wants to engage oneself with, they can choose a mode. Newly added features in platforms like Chat Avenue allows the users to engage in both private and public video chat.
65 million in a single platform refers to a mass audience. When so many users are available on a platform, it becomes possible to always find someone with whom chatting is possible. Hence, the audience attracts the audience to such a platform and helps the platform to grow.
What precautions need to be taken?
Even though video chatting platforms have helped people in socializing from a safe distance, the platform demands few sets of precautions itself. Just like everything is filled with its very own sets of pros and cons, these video chatting platforms are no different. If proper safety measures are not considered, it can leave the users vulnerable to compromised privacy and security. Even though most of these platforms are moderated and a safe environment is provided to its users, a lot more needs to be done especially to save the teenagers who are using these platforms.
Chatting started from Yahoo Chatrooms and since then technology has evolved and along with that the way of taking part in a conversation have changed too. Yahoo Chat, Orkut, Facebook and now platforms like Omegle have always remained popular especially for the young age group. Technology has changed the way digital communication takes place. One trend that has remained constant is text chat. No matter what forms of communication appear, texting will always remain common due to reasons as you can think before typing, you do not need to get conscious about your looks and many people are able to communicate better in texts. It would be interesting to see whether Omegle that has made a comeback because of Covid would still remain prevalent when actual offline socialization is possible or not. Precautions of Covid are still applicable in many countries of the world and it might take a few more months to see whether the popularity of video chatting platforms will decline or not.
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