Israeli startup Rounds is launching a video chat platform for Facebook that will target social gamers and other heavy social network users.
The idea is to let gamers and other social networking users to chat in real time while engaging in various fun social activities and games.
“We’re trying to bridge the offline and online worlds, through a fun, real-time, collaborative environment,” said co-founder and CEO Dany Fishel. “It’s not just about seeing the person you’re talking to – people want to share the experience of being online together, show each other cool videos, play games and feel close to one another. This is what we are focused on at Rounds – tapping into the emotional aspect of an in-person conversation and trying to replicate that online.”
This represents an attempt to stretch users beyond what they already do on Facebook. Most apps on Facebook are asynchronous, where people play multiplayer games one turn at a time. Real-time games are a relatively small part of the audience, but they do exist. Facebook users also do a lot of real-time text chat.
But the Tel Aviv-based company believes the time for video chat has come. Many devices, even netbooks and smartphones, come with webcams built into them these days. Users are more comfortable sharing their lives with other users. Hundreds of thousands of people currently use Rounds’ platform to play real-time games, take funny snapshots of themselves, watch YouTube videos together, listen to music and share photos, as if they were in the same room.
No download is necessary.
The company, formerly known as 6rounds.com, is rebranding itself as Rounds. Rounds was founded in 2008 by Fishel and Ilan Leibovich. It has raised $2 million in venture funding from Rhodium and Startup Factory.