In today’s digital age, users are quite a fickle bunch. We’ve read our share of stories about the latest and greatest video chat client, and we’ve even personally used a few of them frequently. Back then it used to be pixelated video chatting over Microsoft Messenger. Then thanks to Apple iChat AIM became a hit. Skype, of course, started out as an audio communicator, but now even TV reporters use its video capabilities during broadcast (Microsoft now owns Skype). Let’s not forget the likes of TinyChat, which made instant video chatting as simple as clicking on an URL.There’s also Tango, billed as the first cross-platform mobile video chat client, enabling iPhone owners to video call Android friends. Those with an iPhone 4/4S or iPad 2 no doubt enjoy the proprietary built-in FaceTime client. Today we also have Google competing for video chat users via its GoogleTalk or Google Hangout features.
I’ve actually signed on to use ooVoo maybe two or three years ago, mainly using it during work. It was more of a novelty at that time and not many of my coworkers or friends used it, or were inclined to adopt it. I was surprised to read about it again on Forbes, and to learn that it now has 40 million users!
That’s a pretty solid user base, and the company is targeting 100 million users by 2013.
Teenagers favor ooVoo for its “hip” factor as well as the ability to video chat with six others across multiple platforms in its free offering:
This feature is key for De Luca, who typically chats with two or three other friends at once. As a Mac and iPad user, De Luca occasionally uses Apple’s FaceTime software for video calls but says she doesn’t like how FaceTime limits chats to one other participant and to Apple devices. Oovoo works on Macs, PCs, iPhones and Android phones. “Not everyone has a Mac,” notes De Luca.
Similarly, though Skype is the world’s biggest video chat provider, De Luca favors oovoo. Oovoo is “newer and fresher,” she contends. Skype, she says, seems to cater to an older audience and business users. “On Facebook, everyone says, ‘What’s your oovoo [username]?’” De Luca reports. Among her friends, Skype gets likened to the no-longer-cool social networking site MySpace.
Hey, Ms. De Luca has a valid point there: most of what Microsoft offers are far from “cool”… and now having absorbed Skype, there’s one more dull business tool for the Redmond Giant to market to companies.
So, what’s your ooVoo username?