From Video Dating to Playing Games



By: BRIAN BLUM  
Published: October 29th 2010
in Economics » Israel

Dany Fishel and Ilan Leibovitch demonstrate the effects on their video chat program.

Shine mentions eventual advertising as well. But "we're very focused on providing the best user interface possible," she says. "We don't plan to bombard users with ads. It will be very subtle." Virtual (paid) gifts will also be available to purchase within the Rounds world.

 

Rounds comes in two flavors: The newly-released Facebook app, and its web-based parent. The latter is far more functional than Rounds on Facebook - you can watch YouTube videos together, listen to music and browse external photo sharing sites like Flickr. The company is planning to release its own browser so that users will be able to visit websites together.

 

Integration with Facebook's text chat?

 

Up next is expanding to mobile devices such as the iPhone, and Rounds is using its latest investment to that end, and planning to add new features - for example, the ability to chat with up to six people at once. "A US office is also in the long-term pipeline," Shine reveals.

 

There may even be a new version of the original online dating service. For now, only two people who are formally friends on Facebook can video chat, but that may open up into what's known as 'chat roulette' where people can talk freely with anyone (with strict user privacy controls in place, of course). Intimations can already be seen. When you post a snapshot to Facebook, all Facebook users - even those you're not friends with - can see it and contact you.

Rounds isn't the only video chat program in Facebook; Friendcam is a notable forerunner. And the company has had some preliminary discussion with the social networking giant, although Shine would only disclose that a meeting between Facebook executives and Fishel and Leibovitch had taken place.

 

Could Rounds' video chat be integrated more tightly with Facebook's existing text chat function? We'll have to wait for the 'next round' to find out.

 

This article originally appeared in Israel21c

Related articles: (Rounds, Facebook, technology, games, video, dating)

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