I have been a longtime fan of a website/app called appear.in. I’ve probably taught thousands of people about it over the years. Well, as of August , they’re changing their name. The new name is Whereby, a play-on-words decision that emphasizes the company’s vision to allow people to choose WHERE they want to meet and work BY using tools that allow them to collaborate.
If you have an account with appear.in, no worries. They’ve automatically migrated your account and you can still use your site with the appear.in/_____ domain address for now. However, after September 1, you’ll be switched over to your new Whereby domain address, which will just have the new domain prefix. (see image below).
If you’ve never used it, like I said, the site is basically a virtual meeting room. It is, in fact, the EASIEST virtual meeting room experience that I know. I recommend it far and wide to users of all ages and “digital abilities” because there just is no simpler way to connect directly via video chat. To set up your own account, you just go to the website, choose an available username, and once you submit, you OWN that room forever. What you really own is the URL, the website – it is forevermore unique to you and all you have to do is share it with someone and be on the site as the same time as the other person/people. For example, if I choose the username HappyFaceSmileGrin, then my room will be whereby.com/HappyFaceSmileGrin. If I tell my friend Sally to meet me in that room (go to that URL/website) at 7pm EST, we will literally be in a video chat room immediately when the website opens. That’s it. No logins, no remembering passwords, no guest access QR codes…just go to the same site at the same time. Up for 4 people can meet in a room at a time (for free).
There is a way for the owner to “lock” a room, which requires the visitor to “knock” virtually, which prompts the owner to look through a virtual peephole, see who wants to enter, and permit entrance. I definitely advise keeping the lock on. If you want to keep it unlocked most of the time, selecting a really unique but easy-to-remember username will also help strangers from randomly accessing your room!
Whereby says that they’ll be making a few more changes, including a new “new visual profile” to go with the new name. Their blog also reports that they’ll be making some updates to the platform. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there are still quality options available for people who want to use the free version. Change can be a good thing, whereby we all benefit from thoughtful upgrades and a new look!
Read more about the reasons behind the change on their blog post.