COVID-19’s lockdowns are anything but entertaining for most people. Unless you’re an introvert basking in reduced social interaction across the country, quarantines can be stressful and induce mental anxiety. Social media has proven a relief valve for many people seeking some sort of interaction after two months of quarantines, with the likes of Zoom rising to popular recognition.
But the competitors to Zoom are slowly rolling in.
It’s hard to keep people focused on one thing when they’re stuck in their house all day, as everyone knows the feeling of being bored as a kid. Zoom fatigue is real, and users are increasingly pivoting to some shiny new alternatives.
Some, such as LoomieLive, are bringing Hollywood-esque animation to the virtual interaction market. And others, such as Fiesta, are bringing a blend of TikTok, Zoom and Eventbrite to the digital arena — sprucing up apps like Zoom that have people’s interest waning.
The Demand for Virtual Nuance
Much of current social media design dictates engaging with other users via slight nuances in visual or text-based mediums. For example, the difference between Twitter and Reddit largely hinges on the explicit word limit of Twitter that creates a more dynamic type of engagement with pithy comments, while Reddit is more attuned to storytelling and community discussions.
The variations between visually-based social media apps is also similar. TikTok relies on short-form video content with music threaded through the background while Snapchat is based on “disappearing” videos that take on a very personal hue.
But the type of engagement needed to keep interested during quarantine is different. Zoom was hugely popular in the beginning, but people want more flare and more nuanced features. Chatting with your friends using weird backgrounds on Zoom is cool for a month, then it becomes boring really quickly. Formerly, there was never an incentive to revamp the design of virtual video chats like Zoom or Skype, but now there is one — COVID-19.
However temporary the ongoing ordeal may be, the lasting effects could drastically change the virtual-only interaction space. For example, just look at the new virtual game world Dreams by Media Molecules. It’s like an artistic fusion of Minecraft, Twitch, and its own creative blend of actively participating in other people’s creations — their dreams. It’s highly rated, and so originally creative and visually stunning that it has left some reviewers in awe of its potential.
Dreams wasn’t born out of COVID-19 lockdowns, but it represents the massive opportunity for building virtual communities. And other apps, that were either born during quarantine (e.g., LooomieLive), or had to pivot to adapt, like Fiesta, draw fascinating visions of the future as well.
Fiesta Translates Your Favorite Live Events to Your Computer
Fiesta rose to popular claim as Miami’s party-finding event app, recognized as a distinct blend of TikTok, Houseparty, Zoom, and Eventbrite. Users could follow trending live events across the city, post live videos and photos, share comments and stories, and participate in a thriving community of Millennials and Gen Z.
For the time being, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into that plan as virtually all sizeable congregations of people are halted for the foreseeable future. No matter, Bernardo de la Vega, the Founder of Fiesta, and his team have pivoted the features of the app to cater to the unique circumstances of quarantines.
Miss your favorite live events, like a DJ show or band playing at your local venue? Fiesta now has a #stayhome option populated with RSVP prospects for virtual DJ shows, thematic parties, and other replacements for the shuttered live events. Users can even join virtual cooking classes or workout regimens with established influencers — all via a single click.
For people that are tired talking about the same topics with their friends on Zoom’s bland interface, that’s a highly appealing option. In particular, for younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, who comprise the bulk of Fiesta’s user base and are sorely missing their favorite live events.
Eventually, quarantines will end, and life will resume, but Fiesta’s increasingly popular new suite of features may prove a lasting addition to the app. Imagine the potential for connecting users to live events in various cities around the world, or empowering users to build digital brands for cooking or other more nuanced professions where most influencers were previously limited to the Instagram fitness world.
If you’re bored, you might as well give Fiesta a shot; otherwise, you can continue with Zoom until you throw your computer out the window.