Previously with Video Chat Rounds, users could video chat with friends, but the ultimate goal of the product was to eventually become a fully fleshed out collaborative environment, complete with rich media sharing.
Starting today, Video Chat Rounds users can now take snapshots of each other, turn on webcam effects, watch YouTube videos simultaneously, play multi-user games, draw on whiteboards, write texts together and browse websites like Facebook, Google Maps and Flickr--and all this right from the video chat environment.
The service also introduced a new feature called Random Rounds, which connects random users together à la Chatroulette.
Video Chat Rounds really wants to differentiate itself from all the other video chat applications out there with a number of different strategies. The first, already introduced above, is by providing games and activities that video participants can do together. It seems to be popular, since users have already taken two million photo snapshots with the program.
Besides that, Rounds takes a number of precautions to try limiting the amount of explicit content that plagued Chatroulette. For one, there is no anonymity, since your name and user profile are clearly presented during chats. Secondly, users must have over 100 friends to participate in Random Rounds (the idea being that you can’t just create a random new account just to do dirty things in the app). Finally, the system is smart enough not match someone like a 13-year-old girl with a 40-year-old man.
Today, Video Chat Rounds has over 350,000 monthly active users and has as of late been adding almost 7,000 new users daily. To compare, vChatter currently boasts just over 1 million monthly active users, but is currently on the decline after what looked like a healthy holiday surge.
Video Chat Rounds is developed by Rounds, a social entertainment platform founded in 2008 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel.