Oovoo to refresh iOS, Android apps in June; promises BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone apps this year
BARCELONA, Spain--Video chat and instant messaging provider ooVoo said it will overhaul its iOS and Android apps in June in order to improve its user interface and to drum up interest in the company's mobile offerings.
Zhila Shariat, ooVoo community manager, said the company's new apps will support a range of new features like video calling filters, which will allow users to impose images like wigs over their outgoing video image. She also said ooVoo will support additional sharing and social functions, group calling capabilities and gamification mechanisms that will reward heavy users of the service.
Shariat said the company's planned overhaul of its mobile apps is a response to growing demand from the company's customer base. She said 70 percent of ooVoo's new registrants are arriving to the company's offerings through its mobile channels.
"We're moving toward being a mobile company," she said.
OoVoo launched in 2007 with a desktop video calling and instant messaging service. During the intervening years, the company launched an iOS and Android app, and has since seen its mobile usage grow dramatically. Shariat said ooVoo now counts 70 million users who make an average of 120 minutes of video calls per month (she said those figures include both mobile and desktop usage).
Interestingly, Shariat also said ooVoo plans this year to expand its mobile efforts onto Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. The goal, she said, is to make the company's services available to the widest possible customer base. The announcement is notable considering most developers' relatively tepid response to the Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10. For example, Instagram reportedly is not planning to build a native BlackBerry 10 app.
Oovoo plays in a crowded market. Not only do third parties like Skype and fring provide mobile video calling, but vendors like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also offer their own video calling services. Furthermore, the space continues to evolve with the introduction of video calling standards like WebRTC.
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