Rounds is a favorite Facebook video chat app. After about an estimated $5.5 million in funding from Verizon Investments, Rhodium, DFJ’s Tim Draper, and other investors, web users will soon be able to use Rounds without having to log into their Facebook accounts!
If you’re unfamiliar with Rounds, it has become popular for its interactive video chat functionality, which for example, allows you and a friend to watch YouTube together or play each other’s favorite games. An even more appealing segment of this app is the use of a collaborated study and research browser that study buddies can access together. The app also lets you draw on whiteboards. Rounds has a total of 30 games and activities. One of the more recent games is called “Friends of Friends,” which enables you to chat with the Facebook friends of your buddies.
The team behind Rounds is a Tel Aviv Company. Their executive Vice President, Oren Levy explained: “Rounds is a hangout platform, and our mission is to take the experience of hanging out in the real world and bring it to the online world.” He adds that the apps main aim is to make for a fun environment. In fact, recently, Rounds designated a space for Israeli and Iranian users and called it Rounds’ “We Love You” campaign; the result was a rather unique and emotional video:
Round has an estimated user base of one million users per day with most users averaging about 40 minutes on the app. Approximately 10% percent of users rarely meet to chat with friends or friends of friends; in fact, 90% who use the platform use it to meet new people.
In many ways Rounds is similar to Google+ Hangouts, but Levy explains that though the Rounds team admires Google+ for its functionality and efficiency, Rounds “is a more personal and emotional tool.” It is the only “communitainment” platform in the world that combines video chat (communication) and social apps (entertainment) into one fun, real-time, live hangout experience which gives users the closest feel to actually hanging out in the real world.
There’s been no specific date for the standalone Rounds, but it is expected to be available soon. In the meantime, check out the Facebook version for yourself for FREE. The Rounds video chat Facebook application can be found at http://apps.facebook.com/chatrounds.