A slow song comes on, and phone flashlights light up across a series of Zoom tiles, swaying like they would at a concert.
In a way, these fans are at a concert, but this is a virtual one on Zoom, with over 200 people all listening to the same songs together from their own rooms. The 5 Seconds of Summer songs cut in and out, getting fuzzy, distorted, muted, and blaring as fans wave their arms, mouth the words, dance along, or just scroll through their phones. Although the members of 5 Seconds of Summer aren’t scheduled to be on the call, their faces appear as Zoom backgrounds, posters hanging on walls, user icons, and, in one case, a mask worn by a fan.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, social gatherings have moved online, and Zoom has become the go-to platform for workers, students, and families to communicate with people they know — and, in some cases, people they don’t. People in various fandoms have started using Zoom to connect with other fans online.