Communication Trends: Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing, Retail Video Chat, and Omegle and Alternatives
It’s amazing how much the way people all over the world communicate has changed in just a year. In an era of coronavirus restrictions and mass isolation, the internet has become the primary source of information and communication. In addition, the ways people use it are extremely diverse – from traditional couriers to fully functional services for video conference for hundreds of participants.
Let’s take a look at some of the stats. In the first half of 2021, more than 4.66 billion people on the planet use the Internet. This is 7.3% more than just a year ago. Every day, the social media user base grows by an average of 1.3 million users, or about 15 new users per second. The average time people spend on the Internet has increased by 15 to 16 minutes per day compared to the previous year.
It’s interesting to look at some of the types of online services that have generated the most interest among today’s users over the past 12 months.
Video conferencing services for work
Due to the coronavirus, a significant number of companies around the world have switched to a remote working format, so they urgently needed tools for practical communication. Fortunately, these were already available.
- The Microsoft team. A feature-rich service that combines online meeting tools for up to 100 participants, cloud storage, access to Microsoft services, and project collaboration. Microsoft Team will be a particularly interesting solution for companies and teams of employees who use other Microsoft services, such as Office 365.
- Profconf. A less well-known platform, but quite functional and easy to use. Proficonf is primarily designed for video conferencing, online meetings, and webinars. The service works in a browser and does not require the installation of proprietary software on a computer or smartphone. Cool features include a drawing board, Miro collaboration board, video conferencing video recording, live streaming to YouTube, and popular social media.
- Cisco Webex. This service is mainly intended for large companies and companies. It supports the functions of video recording, media sharing, virtual background, dividing conference participants into subgroups, etc. It integrates seamlessly with MS Office, Google Cloud, Slack, and other work platforms.
- Mirapolis Virtual Hall. An out-of-the-box solution for hosting webinars, meetings, business meetings, etc. The Mirapolis virtual room can have up to 15 speakers, and you can manage their access rights directly during the broadcast. The platform is available through a browser, as well as iOS and Android apps.
Omegle video chat and its alternatives
Omegle became the first anonymous video chat service in history and turned out to be the ancestor of dozens of clones. Yet now many Omegle alternatives have become much more functional and convenient. We want to look at the most interesting of them.
- Chathub. Despite its minimalism and limited functionality, this Omegle alternative is very popular with internet users. First, there is a handy genre filter, and second, the site works really fast and finds chat partners very quickly. For many, this is more than enough.
- Random cat. A good alternative to Omegle with more features. For example, in addition to the gender filter and search by interests, there are thematic chat rooms for multiple participants. You can visit a gay chat or a separate chat with girls (accessible only for an additional fee). All in all, a great choice for those who are not happy with the basic functions of Omegle.
- Chatroulette. A close relative of Omegle, who was born just six months later. In fact, it was Chatroulette that became the first anonymous video chat service, as Omegle only had text chat at the time. Unfortunately, due to poor moderation and rather poor functionality, the site quickly lost its audience. But in 2020, it was significantly modernized, and the interest of users also increased.
- Shagle. Popular video chat site that allows you to search for chat partners in over 70 countries and select your gender. You can choose not only “Male”, “Female” or “Couple”, but also the option “Transgender”. This feature is only available in 2021 and will be very useful for many users.
- OmeTV. A decent alternative to Omegle with gender and geographic filters and a useful automatic message translation feature. This is very handy if you want to communicate with people who don’t speak your language and not use third-party translators for that.
- OmegleAlternative. Hands down the best Omegle alternative for men. This is because the site only connects them with girls. The system does not make mistakes because during registration each girl confirms her identity. This ensures that there are no fakes and bots in Omegle Video Chat. Unlike many competitors, Omegle Alternative offers free trial access to all features. You can try everything and then decide if you’re ready to purchase premium access.
Use of video chat in retail
The first attempts to use video chats in sales were made several years ago. But at that time, they were received coldly by the public. However, in 2020, when even going to the store became very problematic, this format finally worked as originally intended.
The typical scenario for using video chat in retail is as follows:
- The user finds the product they are interested in on the site and instead of reading the description or watching the video review, they can click on the “View live” button.
- The manager receives a notification that the customer is interested in a particular product.
- A video chat is initiated in which the seller presents the product to a potential buyer, talks about it, answers questions, etc. This effectively replaces the trip to the store.
- If the customer is satisfied with everything, the manager places the order and the goods are prepared for shipment to the recipient.
To date, video chat in retail is a new phenomenon, and there are relatively few players in this market. For example, RichCall, Lookie and others. Maybe now this format of communication and shopping will seem strange to many, but the future is hers. Remember that ten years ago everyone was quite skeptical about shopping online. And today, they cannot imagine their life without it.
What conclusions can we draw?
The world is changing very quickly and certain factors, such as Covid-19, are only driving these changes. Over the past year, we have seen how much internet technology has improved, the opportunities that various online services have given us, and how much they have made life easier for billions of people.
Perhaps when this whole pandemic saga is over, Internet technologies and services will experience a slight decline in popularity. But humanity can never completely abandon them.