Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Omegle – how did these services become so popular worldwide?
A lot changed in our lives during 2020, and the internet was no exception. With billions of people trapped within four walls due to quarantine, the Internet became almost the only way to communicate, work and play. The popularity of social networks, instant messengers, dating and communication applications grew rapidly.
While for some sites and services the pandemic became in some sense a booster, and they experienced a renaissance during coronavirus, others were already very popular in what we used to call normal life. We’re talking about the social networks Facebook and Instagram, video hosting sites YouTube and video chat Omegle. What are these services remarkable for and what is the secret of their worldwide popularity. Read on.
Today Facebook is the most popular social network in the world. But initially TheFacebook (this is how the site was first named) was created for students of American universities. But only two years after launch, any Internet user who had reached the age of sixteen was able to use it.
Facebook was early among the rapidly growing number of social networks to introduce “likes”, with the help of which users could indicate content they approved of. A little later, likes started to influence the selection of recommended content for the user.
Following likes on Facebook, time killers such as mini-games and add-ons created by third-party developers. They significantly increased the interest of users in the social network and raised their engagement.
Groups that unite users by interests, place of residence, field of activity, as well as pages that brand owners use to advertise their products and services and expand their target audience also contributed to the popularity of Facebook.
Facebook is now so ingrained in people’s daily lives that many do not start the day without updating their feed.
The situation is similar with Instagram. A couple of months after the app appeared in the App Store, its audience had already reached a million people. And in 2019, the developer said that about 500 million users visit Instagram every day!
The secret of the popularity of this social network is that it was originally a unique product. Ease of use, the ability to very quickly edit, caption and upload a photo or video from a smartphone in a couple of clicks is what Instagram offers to users and what Facebook and Twitter lack.
Also, the service is constantly evolving, following the interests of users and even anticipating them. Small-resolution square photos quickly changed to vertical ones — suitable especially for smartphones, and 30-second videos were replaced by video options ranging from a minute to an hour.
More evidence that Instagram developers are always keeping up with the times is a new service using which you can sell products and services within the application. On Instagram, despite the huge number of innovations, interacting with the application remains simple and intuitive for the user.
This service has been around since 2005, and its popularity is only growing. It was originally created as a platform for amateur video uploading and video content sharing. Today, YouTube is used to host news and entertainment shows, movie trailers, music videos, advertisements and even election campaigns. And it’s thanks to YouTube that a whole community of YouTubers has emerged with channels dedicated to games, beauty, travel, tech reviews, cooking and more. For many, YouTube has become their main source of income.
This is the secret of the popularity of YouTube — here you can find anything you want: from TV series to educational videos. And if you wish, you could yourself the one whose content gets millions of views and makes you rich.
Another innovator in its time was the video chat Omegle, before the appearance of which there was no such thing as “chat roulette”. This was the first anonymous chat in history, created by eighteen-year-old American Leif K-Brooks. He offered users a completely new format of communication – the system connected people with random strangers from anywhere in the world. At first, the chat was text, and a year after the launch, the developer implemented the ability to communicate via webcam and microphone.
Despite the fact that Omegle has been around since 2009, it is still very popular, and during the pandemic, its popularity more than doubled. If before there were up to 15,000 users online simultaneously, today this figure often exceeds 30,000. On Omegle, you can choose the language of communication, chat in an unmoderated section, or chat only to fellow students at your university.
However the service is not without its disadvantages, and the main one is the lack of geographic or gender filters. Omegle also has pretty average moderation – bots, fakes and annoying ads are not rare guests here. WHile ten years ago there were no alternatives to Omegle as such, today there are many more functional and well-thought-out options.
As an example, for those who want to meet and chat only with the opposite sex, developers have created the CooMeet video chat. This Omegle chat alternative connects men only with girls and girls only with men. When communicating on CooMeet, you can be sure that there is a real person on the other side of the screen, as when registering women are required to prove their identity.
Another simple, convenient and functional alternative to Omegle is OmeTV video chat. Here you can select your gender and country. OmeTV also offers automatic translation of text messages, which greatly simplifies communication with people in other countries.
Shagle video chat has a similar functionality. There are geographic and gender filters, as well as an interesting feature — virtual gifts that can be sent to other users.
The ability to choose your gender is offered by Chatrandom too. This video chat also has a separate field for entering interests, so the chances of finding like-minded people are significantly higher. Another feature of Chatrandom is chat rooms defined by interests.
From all of the above, we can conclude that the secret of the popularity of modern applications and services is novelty, functionality, ease of use and constant development.
Perhaps the Omegle service would be even more popular if its developers kept pace with the times and implemented functions that meet the needs of modern users, as the creators of its alternatives do. The same can be said for other internet services. The more innovations they offer, the more interest the audience will maintain. Users have the luxury of choosing those sites that fully satisfy their requirements, and capabilities of the modern Internet to the fullest.