Tips for Staying Socially Connected

Social networks have become extremely popular to most people, both young and old and it has made its way to every device that is available to every end user. Whether you use a PC, a tablet or a smartphone, you’ll always get connected to your social media accounts using mobile apps that can be downloaded from mobile app marketplaces like Google Play, App Store or the Windows Store. With all these innovations in the mobile and the PC world brought about by the introduction of Windows 8 , you’ll need some learn some tips that will give you in control of everything and keep you stay connected with everyone. To learn some tricks that will improve your virtual social life, we’ve prepared some tips for you to follow. Just select the ones that will apply to you and tell us the results later on.

Use Skype to its Fullest

You might have been using Skype in doing some chat sessions as well as audio or video calls so be sure to learn all its secrets. This awesome desktop program has an app equivalent which you can get from the Windows Store and if you use it with a headset that has a built-in mic with it, make sure that the correct device is selected so that the person you are talking can hear you clearly. To do this, simply go to the desktop screen and right-click the volume icon found on the taskbar. After doing so, a small pop-up screen ¬†contains a set of menu will appear and from here, you’ll need to click on “Recording devices”.

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After you click on “Recording devices”, a new Window will appear which is labeled “Sound” and from here. you can right-click on the microphone that you want to use then click on the option that says “Set as default communication device”.

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Another clever way of picking the right microphone device that you want to use with Skype is by running the app itself (the modern-style app that you’ve got from the Windows Store and not the desktop version) and once it is open, simply access the charms and click on the “Settings”¬†charm then hit “Options” or you can also press the “Windows + I” keys to access the “Settings” screen where you can find all the settings for the devices that are plugged in to your Windows 8 machine.

Get Skype for Desktop

You might find the modern-style app version of Skype fun to use and neat on the eyes but you can get more of what this awesome program can offer by installing its desktop version for free. Simply head to “www.skype.com” and click on “Downloads” then scroll down to find the version for your desktop. Once you find it, simply download it into your machine, install it and after it gets installed, you’ll find its shortcut on the taskbar and on the desktop screen as well.

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The desktop version of Skype allows you to do something else while you are using it. Its taskbar icon itself is a bit mysterious and works best at the background. For instance, there will be some overlay on the taskbar icon whenever you receive an instant message or there’s a new notification that you need to be informed of. You can move the taskbar icon to a much better place by opening the Skype screen, hitting on “Tools” then “Options” and start unchecking the appropriate boxes for the options that you want to disable under “Advanced Settings”.

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Use Skype Click to Call

Another benefit of using the desktop version of Skype is its plug in called “Click to Call”. Be sure to tick it upon Skype installation and after you do it, the plug in will automatically install to your web browser. Once it gets hooked up, you can call any phone number that you find on a webpage directly but of course, you need to get some Skype credits to be able to do it.

You should also take note that Skype would try to change your homepage to Bing upon installation. You might want this to happen but more often than not, you probably don’t so be sure to untick the option for it that appears during installation.

Start Using Google Hangouts

Google has an awesome tool that lets you chat up to nine people in a group. To start using this free online chat utility, simply open a Gmail account or if you already have one, you can open it then at the bottom-left corner of the screen, you’ll see your usual email contacts listed from top to bottom. If you want to hangout with any one of the people on your contacts list, simply click on their name and a chat Window will appear at the bottom-right corner of the screen. You can add more people to the hangout session simply by clicking on the “Add people” icon on top of the chat Window.

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Google Hangouts also allows you to do even more than just chat or video call, you can also watch Youtube videos together or even enjoy live streams all at the same time. You would need to install some plug-in though but the process will automatically start at your first hangout session.

Get to Chat More People at Once

Do you need to get in touch with more people than what Google Hangouts can offer? If that’s the case then you can try “oovoo”. This awesome online utility allows you to get access to up to 12 people and open a video chat with them. It also allows you to save your chat sessions on Youtube. If this sounds awesome to you then be sure to check it out at “www.oovoo.vom”.

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Get More Use of Your Webcam

Want to use your webcam for more than just video chatting with friends? If you have a working webcam connected to your Windows 8 device then you should be able to find a “Camera” app on tile on the Start Screen. You can then use this to capture videos or still pictures of some special moments.

Explore the Reddit World

There’s a place on the Internet where you can find content that is created and moderated by users and is a good place for finding people that shares the same interest with you. It is called “reddit.com”. Visit the site and you’ll find some stuff that shows what the heart of the Internet has to say. If you like something that you found then you can show your approval simply by clicking on the “up arrow”.

If you want to start posting your own submissions then you can join Reddit by signing up for a new account. If other users upvote your submissions, you’ll receive a positive karma which will improve your reputation on the community.

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You can view Reddit from another web browser aside from Internet Explorer but the latter delivers better experience. To improve your user experience when using Reddit even from another web browser, you’ll need to install the “Reddit Enhancement Suite” which you can find at “www. redditenhancementsuite.com”.

Lastly, you can enjoy Reddit within Windows 8’s modern app interface. To do this, you’ll need to download an app from the Windows Store. I personally recommend “Reddit to Go” which is free to all Windows 8 users!