Paltalk acquires Camfrog for Asia video chat

Two of the world's popular and profitable video conferencing platforms join forces

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
October 20, 2010
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CamfrogVideo chat provider Paltalk announced Wednesday the acquisition of webcam chat community Camfrog. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The purchase bolsters Paltalk’s position as one of the world’s leading video conference platforms.

Camfrog, which will continue to operate independently of Paltalk, is one of the most popular video chat platforms in Asian countries like China, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and the Philippines. Listed on CNET’s top ten most popular downloads for the past five years, Camfrog has been downloaded over 60 million times.

While Camfrog will remain a separate entity for the time being, Paltalk may try to integrate the service further down the line.

“Over time, we will look to integrate the services,” Paltalk CEO Jason Katz tells VatorNews, “but in the near term, we will focus on consolidating and making software improvements to Camfrog in order to reduce redundant expense and maximize revenue.”

While Katz wouldn’t say how much Paltalk paid for Camfrog, he noted that both video services have been profitable for years.

Paltalk has far less reach in Asia than does Camfrog, but, with more than 12 million monthly active users, it has made great strides in the United States, Western Europe and the Middle East. The software has been downloaded 70 million times since its founding in 2003.

As opposed to a peer-to-peer based communications tool like Skype, where each user’s personal bandwidth is responsible for carrying voice and video, server-based Paltalk is capable of scaling to handle video conferences of theoretically any size without loss of quality. With video chat rooms available on the Web, iPhone, and BlackBerry, Paltalk lets anyone use the service for free up to 10 users.

Clients who want to host video conferences with more than 10 users pay either a monthly or annual subscription. Paltalk also generates revenue through advertising.

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