Skype has been around for quite some time offfering a free online video calling service to anyone who has skype installed on their computer. This is a great way to connect with friends and relatives and is fairly straight forward to setup and use. Here I have included a link to the software and a few helpful guides on how to get setup and going. Download at :
Zoom is relatively new but has been a valuable piece of software that has allowed groups of us to connect en masse as we would in our normal lives outside of isolation. A host will setup a zoom meeting, and invite people to join the session whether it be a choir rehearsal, church service or a quiz with your family.
Hangouts by google (soon to be relabeled as google chat) has been used for a while now to link people with interests in a virtual "hangout". This is similar to Zoom but offers a slightly more personal feel and a nice alternative to zoom . Hangouts is a google product so incredibly well supported and well tested and used throught the world.
Facebook is a useful tool for keeping up with what your friends are doing and in the current situation this has become a valuable platform for staying in touch with people you would normaly physically see but are unable to do so now. Facebook can seem pretty daunting to start with as it has so many functions but once you get the hang of it you will see it is pretty straightforward and a wonderfully powerful tool.
Whatsapp is the grown up version of internet messaging. It is a platform that takes the familiar format of a text message and allows you to send messages to one another. The great thing about Whatsapp is that you can setup groups that can include multiple people and be used as a messaging board. This has been used effectively across the village to provide neigbours with support during the lockdown. Please note this is only available on mobile devices .
Download go to your app store and type : whatsapp
Instagram is format where you can share your pictures online with other people whether it be people in your group ( followers) or people accross the world. This is a picture based social media experience complimenting its sister site facebook with a simplier and less involed feel.
Instagram can be accessed both on the web and mobile apps.