A Cisco research report last summer estimated that although video calling and video instant messaging are still a "small fraction of the overall internet traffic," video communications will increase tenfold from 2008-2013.
All that activity has some forward-looking marketers and ad agencies exploring how they can use video chat for advertising directly to customers, market research, customer service and even branded interactive experiences. One of the things marketers want to do is to humanize their brand. She pointed out that some research shows video is the most trusted medium by consumers and wondered, "Why aren't they using video more? Why not get the brand manager on talking about your new product? " Rachel Geltman, founder of Video Chat Network, is a former ad-agency researcher and account planner who now works with agencies and marketers using video chat for market research.
Blab is a video chat app that allows group interactions with up to four people that anyone can watch in real-time.
Users can create their own talk shows, conduct interviews and debates or simply hang out with a group of friends.
"You get a great ethnographic snapshot of each person in their own house," she said.
"If I'm talking to women in their kitchens, they'll do things like walk over and get products or appliances to show me. You are moving into their turf, so you get a little snapshot of what it really is." That's also the idea behind video-based focus-group alternative Qual Vu, which has conducted far-flung research for Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft, Microsoft and Kimberly-Clark.
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alone, 65 percent of adults use social networking sites, according to Pew Research Center, and among millennials age 18-29, that figure hits 90 percent.
Another popular new messaging tool, Slack, which reached 2 million users in 2015, is expected to keep growing.
Slack found a niche in the market by focusing on business users fed up with sorting through a glut of email.
Every time you skip to a new user, the new user is picked completely at random, so you never know who the next person will be. Now, you're probably wondering, why do we provide an alternative to sites like Chat Roulette?
Well, one reason is because a lot of times a popular site like that one will get an established community of users that gets kind of old or boring, and you will want to branch out and find a new community of people that maybe have a different sort of culture or a different set of interests on average.