The video communications industry should be a huge industry by now but for some reason, the market hasn’t picked up yet. I believe it is because people are used to their traditional way of communicating with each other and they haven’t found a crucial need to migrate to a new form of communication. It was rather difficult to get a web cam few years ago for a decent price but now almost all of the personal computers, laptop to desktop, come with a free web cam.
Even with all of the tools at hand, video communications industry is behind every other communications industry. It could very well be due to “convenient” for the people. I still believe it is difficult and sometimes rather tedious to setup a video chat with a family member or a friend. Not everyone is familiar with the tech stuff, so it makes it even more difficult to explain to your caller how to setup the camera, etc.
However, I am hopeful that things are about to turn around soon, especially with new startups like 6rounds.com. Recently I’ve been contacted by Ilan Leibovich who is the co-founder of 6rounds. 6rounds was created by Dany Fishel and Ilan Leibovich. 6rounds is a rich, interactive and personalized video chat platform that takes shared experiences and real-time collaboration to a whole new level.
In Leibovich’s words, “by combining webcams, social activities, and interactive zones, the platform offers users an exciting variety of experiences that they enjoy and share together live and in real-time: from watching videos, playing real-time games, listening to music, co-facebooking or youtubing, to shopping together and beyond.”
6rounds vision is to allow users from all over the web to interact live and in real-time, no matter what their favorite social network or services are. It doesn’t matter if they use Facebook, MySpace, or even other traditional communications tools such as Instant Messenger, ICQ, Skype. 6rounds platform can easily be integrated into any 3rd party website, hence the flexibility for users to interact without leaving their own comfort zone. Many people are comfortable where they are and I said earlier, it is one of the reasons why the video communications market hasn’t picked up yet. 6rounds believe they can provide the user what they need and make them feel comfortable to use video communication rather than their own traditional way of communicating with their friends and family.
This definitely has great potential and it could become live meeting point for friends, family members and even for your co-workers to collaborate on projects, etc. A wonderful tool that can be used in various ways to make you feel like your caller is in the same room as you are when talking to them.
Sharing the experience with the caller seems to be a great feature with 6rounds because it allows you to watch a Youtube clip together, play a game together and or do other stuff at the same time.
We’ve had a chance to ask Leibovich a few questions:
Why did you start this website?
“As heavy Internet users for many years, we’ve always searched for new services that bridges the online and the offline world, but other than 3D worlds, the multi-player games and the various IMs, there were no real answers for creating a live meeting point online, no real place which truly connects the physical space with the virtual one. We started the website in order to bring this idea to the world and to change the way people interact and engage online.”
What is your business plan or model?
Our business model is based on the activities and interactions users perform during the video experience using micro-payments transactions and one-time fees. The main revenue streams will be from Virtual and Real Gifts (users can purchase gifts and send them to other users during the video experience), Personalized Modes and Applications (users will personalize their video experience by purchasing customized skins and choosing different applications for private arenas), E-commerce Affiliation (from offering various goods through the user’s personal profile to a dedicated co-shopping experience for various online retailer stores) and Product Placements and Advertisements (on a later stage, we’ll offer licensing to brands and ads will appear in the video experience as sponsored gifts, targeted activities, and promoted themes).
How are you planning to market it?
“Raising awareness and acquiring new members, will be achieved through a combination of a few channels such as: social media optimization (covered on blogs, engagement in social networks such as Myspace and facebook, submission to user generated news sites such as digg, reddit and StumbleUpon and personal website blogs which will publish link-baits and industry news), press releases distribution, invite friends promotions on the website, search engine optimization, viral widgets, partnerships (with existing social networks and niche websites), b-level celebrities hosts and on a later stage media buying and affiliation (depends on the fund raising amount of the next round).”
“The two founders (Dany and Ilan) have extensive background in online marketing and advertising from our previous work in companies such as 888.com, PLYmedia, aniBOOM, KwaKwa and Jinni.”
Why is your site different than your competitors?
6rounds is a totally new way for people to meet and spend time online. We are inspired by offline interactions between people and our innovative platform mimics various elements from these interactions and for the first time, people online can really feel close to one another.
We live in a thriving space – we have social communities, such as facebook and myspace from one hand and instant messaging services and dating sites on the other hand. These websites and services are a great partner for integrating, cooperating or using as marketing channels for our website. By offering users to install our application in facebook, embed our widget on their blog, or download a plugin for their favorite IM application, we will leverage this space to our own advantage, which is just one thing none of our competitors could accomplish.
Another great advantage is our open API video platform, which allows developers and designers to enrich the interaction and collaboration between users, by creating dedicated real-time flash applications and theme designs. This will allow us to grow quickly the number of activities and games we offer our users and gain a momentum from any of our potential competitors.
6rounds is currently in private beta. They’ve prepared a dedicated code for my readers. The first 250 readers to register using this link will have the chance to be one of the first to enjoy their platform.