With normal social interactions severely limited by the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, developers are coming up with new ideas for spurring digital interactions, including some that try to simulate the spontaneity that’s lacking in most digital connections.

Clubhouse allows users to spontaneously jump into voice chat rooms that spark their interest, whether because they see people they follow in the room, or because they like the room’s “energy.” Online Town provides a similar experience with video calling. NextPage is a social extension that allows users to accidentally meet and interact with friends and colleagues when on the same website, with “wave at” and page reaction functions.