If you haven’t spoken to me lately, one of the first questions I’m going to ask you is if anyone has turned you on to the best app for social isolation: the free messaging app called Marco Polo. I used to have a snippet of text that I would send to pique interest, but now that I have this wonderful blog, I can provide a much richer explanation!
What is Marco Polo?
Marco Polo is a free mobile phone app (Android and iPhone) that allows us to send short video messages both one-on-one and in a group setting. I like to think of it as the next evolution to text messaging, since I can reach out or reply when my schedule permits.
Before I tell you why I have found Marco Polo to be amazing for both fun and productivity, let me get past some common objections...
Can’t I just FaceTime or use SKYPE or FaceBook to do this?
Provided both people have iPhones or FaceBook or SKYPE installed, you can… but those systems require the other person to be at their device AND available to answer your call live. What are the chances of that happening?
Can’t I just send a video message by text?
Have you tried to do that between iPhones and Androids? Have you tried to do that in a group text? It is a HOT MESS. As much as I enjoy texting, it just doesn’t work well for video. Ain’t nobody got time to watch the progress bar of the video being sent that way! Have you tried sending any video over MMS between an iPhone and Android that is longer than 45 seconds or so? It won’t let you!
Isn’t this just another social media app?
Yes, and who cares? It is BY FAR my FAVORITE social media and messaging app!
But I don’t like seeing my face on camera
You can flip the camera around, so that it shows anything else! If you don't like seeing your face on camera, I will understand.
How long of a message can be sent over Marco Polo?
Holy crap! I received a ONE HOUR Polo back from someone. Who sends a one hour Polo and why? Well, that will be a story for another blog post!
What do you have to lose?
Here are some of the reasons I like Marco Polo:
- I get ideas at crazy times day and night. I can talk MUCH faster than I can type and Siri can’t translate my speech with enough speed or accuracy for me.
- Speech to Text is slow and inaccurate.
- I find sending a Polo to be safe while driving since I can keep my eyes on the road and communicate what I want to communicate.
- Gone are the days of misinterpreted emails and texts!
- Seeing someone’s facial expression can make all of the difference in the world, whether it be a smile, a laugh, a serious face (unless you've decided to turn the camera around, of course!).
- Catching up on a group conversation is as simple as setting my phone down and listening. No more scrolling through and reading a long list of messages. I hear the person’s voice instead of having to squint to see who wrote which text message.
- Have an inexplicable computer error? Flip the camera to show the computer screen. A picture is always worth a thousand words.
- Want to send a photo with an explanation? I just take a picture or choose one from my camera roll and simply talk on top of the photo.
I can go on and on, and I’m sure I’ll add to the above list over time. This is good enough to call it Version 1 of this blog post.
I am willing to bet money (and even a Starbucks gift card) that you won’t use speech to text nearly as often! 🙂 Remember, this post is NOT sponsored. I really think this is the best app for social isolation, and I'm providing this information just to be helpful.
Links to Mobile App
Here are the links to get Marco Polo for your smartphone.
I’m pretty old school and tend to resist too much tech in my life. I didn’t get a smart phone until I got an offer I couldn’t refuse! Comcast had a deal where it actually cost me nothing for 2 years (except the cost of the phone itself, and I buy the cheapest ones). So, when Mike wanted me to use Marco Polo, I basically said I will watch you on it, but I’ll be texting you back as I usually do. Eventually (and he says he hoodwinked me into it!), I had something I wanted to say immediately and it was too late to call, so I sent a polo to him. The rest is, as they say, is history. How did I ever live without it (and I say the same about my smart phone now!)?