How to Make Video Chats (Actually!) Fun


This is an unsponsored guest post.

Hi, my name is Alex and I am one of the founders of pop.in.

What is pop.in, you may ask? Pop.in is an app that brings friends, family, and loved ones together, from as near as down the street or as far away as around the globe, to play “game night” style games (more on that below) while on group video. When we built pop.in, our goal was to create a community that allows people who are separated by time and distance, like those in the military and their loved ones, to connect in unique and engaging ways.

The need for connection has become even more apparent in this time of COVID-19. This post will tell you a little bit about pop.in and not only how fun (and different) it is, but how it will help strengthen the bonds between those who are unable to be together.

We have all been on group videos – it’s hard to talk; there is always one person who monopolizes the conversation; and, oftentimes, we run out of things to say (we have all been there).

Video calls can get boring and repetitive. Use this app to make them fun, interesting, and actually interactive. #military #militaryfamily #milfam #deployment #jomygosh #milspouse #milspouses #militaryspouse #milso #milsos #milspo #milspos #longdistance #longdistancerelationship #longdistancerelationship #ldr #ldrs #tech #apps #app

Not on pop.in.

Pop.in makes connecting with friends and family waaayyy more enjoyable because it takes typical group video and adds games to it! The types of games pop.in specializes in are the ones you’d play at Game Night at a friend’s house. They are easy to learn, but hard to master. These games can get quite competitive but in a fun way. The most familiar is Crazy 8s, which is similar to Uno. Another one you might know is Hearts, a card game of bluffing and strategy that goes for multiple rounds. Just watch out when your father in law/son/spouse/crazy cousin Ernie shoots the moon! The most popular parlor game so far has been Liar’s Dice, which is a bit like a simpler Poker.

Today pop.in has five games, but we aim to be adding one or more per month. The magic from the app comes from people connecting with each other and the games are a means to an end to make that happen. In addition to “private” games with your close friends and loved ones, pop.in also has a “public” mode where you can meet and play games with new friends from around the world or in your area. It is so easy to meet new people on pop.in – easier even than meeting someone at your local bar (remember those?) – the community is defined by kindness and inclusivity.

A few months ago, we asked community members how they feel about pop.in and got this video back:

 

Just when you thought pop.in could not be cooler, there is more! Pop.in also hosts larger format games that are sometimes hosted by comedians, musicians, or other entertainers and feature VIP guests from the world of film, television, literature, politics, etc. In case you are curious, here’s a quick cut-down of a video featuring a recent guest, Erika Alexander. You might remember her as one of the leads from the late-90s TV show “Living Single”:

Why am I telling you all of this? Because we are all so grateful for everything that you, your loved ones, and the military community do every day, for the unsung sacrifices you make for all of us. Being separated from loved ones is hard and pop.in is a fun and engaging way to make that distance feel so much closer. Thank you again Jo for letting me post and to you for reading. Hope to see you on pop.in sometime soon and feel free to reach out to me anytime at alex @ pop.in!

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