This year has been pivotal for social networking. June saw the launch of Google Plus
and its Hangouts — impromptu video meet-ups allowing a maximum of 10 people to chat in the same virtual room. A few weeks later, Facebook partnered
with Skype to offer its users one-on-one video calling.
However, since that partnership, the social networking giant has not shown any willingness to build upon this enhancement. And, as could be expected, quite a few Facebook users have expressed their ‘frustrations’ regarding the lack of ability to video chat with more than one person at a time.
One company, Tinypay.me, has listened to the complaints. The result is GroupChat.tv.
This new application brings a Google Hangouts-like chatting experience to Facebook, with a twist: Up to 50 participants can take part in the same conversation.
Groupchat.tv works like any other Facebook application; you must first authorize it. The app will then display a link to email to friends and connections. A user can also choose to share it all over Facebook via instant messaging, on their wall, etc.
The San Francisco-based start-up Tinypay.me created GroupChat.tv in two days, while sponsoring the last HAPI hackathon weekend
in San Francisco (August 13-14, 2011). Within 24 hours of the application going live, it had already been tested and used by 1,000 Facebook members.
"The great thing about Facebook is that the network effect creates exponential growth,” said
Melvin Tercan, CEO of Tinypay.me. “It also helps that we encourage you to invite your friends to join the experience."
GroupChat.tv is one among several Facebook group chat applications available. Tinychat
and Social Hangouts
, for example, are already used by millions of people. Only time will tell if this latest service could become a solid competitor.
Launched in 2010 in San Francisco, Tinypay.me
offers a platform to sell and share products and services around the world.