What the heck is ooVoo?
A free video-chat application that lets you connect with up to 6 users at once (see last week’s post). Over the last few days, participants from around the world logged on to try it out and chat with various social media experts as part of a promotion put on by the social media consulting firm crayon. I signed up for 4 sessions, all of which went flawlessly (aside from a few minor sound issues some people had). I had a great time meeting and chatting with both people that work in my field and others that work in completely different areas (film, music, writing, legal, medical, to name a few) but share a common passion for social media. Here are some screenshots:
The conversations were completely organic/spontaneous and didn’t follow any particular format, which is what made this experience so interesting. I found this to be a great tool to quickly put names to faces of various business contacts I’ve amassed either through email or by following their blogs and podcasts.
These last few days really got me thinking back to the origins of video chat and the choppy frame rates in the 90’s (remember “Internet Phone” anyone?). The reality is that those days are long gone for most people. Broadband is here to stay, and most modern mainstream computers have all the necessary processing power and video memory to handle real-time video efficiently, and then some! The technological barriers have been obliterated. You can chat with multiple people around the world, (often times with better sound quality then on a phone) and see them on your screen at 30 fps–>FOR FREE!
So why isn’t there widespread adoption of these tools? Why aren’t organizations using them for quick meetings? Why are they paying monstrous fees for proprietary software that’s often just as buggy? I don’t have an answer for you there. You may say that it’s lack of features and security, but I beg to differ since most people that I seen using WebEx, SVI, StreamLogics, and the likes often aren’t aware of 90% of their software’s potential.
Sure, ooVoo has certain limitations such as lack of a whiteboard and application sharing. However, at the moment that’s not its purpose. Communication simplicity is meant to be its prevalent theme. That being said, there are many competing applications popping up every day, and effective differentiation is going to make or break many of these start-ups. Let’s just hope ooVoo finds a solid business model for itself to ensure sustainability.
My verdict: I will be ready to support it even at a minor fee (which should be expected at one point or another unless affiliate advertising proves to be a sufficient source of income). In the meantime, try it out for yourselves while its free! You can add me by searching for “Mike Kujawski”.