Rounds launches mobile version of video hangout platform
Nov 30, 2012 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Israeli start-up Rounds has launched the mobile version of its social entertainment platform available worldwide for free "Rounds Video Chat Hangout."
The platform is compatible with iPhone 4-4S-5 and the most popular Android devices. Users can hang out and share media while video chatting with their mobile contacts and Facebook friends including watching YouTube videos together; switching between five view modes and adding crazy video effects; uploading photos to view together; taking snapshots of their live, shared moments and scribbling over each other's live video streams. Coming soon, users will also be able to send each other short video messages (SVM) and play HTML5-based games together.
The action isn't only in the hangout sessions, but also the interactions around the "Shared Moments" stream featuring snapshots from friends' and featured users' live sessions which greets the Rounds community each time the app is opened, creating the first social network around hangouts. Users can follow, share, like and comment on the captured moments their friends have made together in past hangouts, find new people to engage and receive feedback on their own shared moments.
The Rounds platform has over 6 million users spending an average of 40 minutes hanging out in over 1 million sessions per day. The cross-platform phenomenon already connects users between its popular Facebook app, Chrome application and desktop version for Mac & PC. Users play over thirty different games and activities developed using the platform's open API. The Rounds community is set to erupt again, once mobile users join the fun.
"Video chat is an indispensable part of Rounds, but it's just the tip of the hangout network we're building," said Rounds CEO Dany Fishel. "The internet has enough ways to communicate essential messages with video. Rounds is about stretching the live connection into a true hangout mode less about what's being said, and more about being and doing things together, and recreating the feeling people have when they hang out in real life. And because real life doesn't just happen behind a desktop, we've always known Rounds was destined to become mobile. Rounds Video Chat Hangout is the next step in achieving our vision as the online hangout scene for real friends."
Rounds was founded in 2008 by Fishel, Ilan Leibovich, and Dmitry Shestek. It does not yet generate revenue, and the use of its services is free. "Our focus at the moment is on the user experience and on developing our services for additional platforms," Fishel told "Globes". He says that various business models are planned for the future, including a freemium model and the sale of virtual products in video calls.
Rounds has raised a total of $5.5 million in funding from, among other investors, Verizon Ventures, Rhodium, and DFJ's Tim Draper.
For video presentation, go to vimeo.com/52546072.
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