By Dustin Mendus
OoVoo is a video and chat application that allows people to chat with up to 12 people at a time. According to company reps, the idea is to turn your computer into a living room, at least a virtual living room, where people can talk to each other without the feeling that there’s an LCD screen between them.
And, for several reasons, it seems Latinos in particular love the service.
Ricky Vegas, senior director of advertising operations at ooVoo told Más Wired that what ooVoo does is different from other video chat services because it allows up to 12 people to participate in one voice conversation together. In his view, this turns the computer, iPhone, or any other supported device, into a mobile living room.
This, he says, is one reason why so many Latinos in the U.S. have flocked to the service. All told, the service reports that 15% of its users are Latino. Vegas said that 80,000 to 100,000 users are on ooVoo daily, and 63 million are subscribed to the service.
Most of ooVoo’s Latino users are from the United States. Outside of the continental U.S. and the service is booming in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela, Vegas said. Many of these users are utilizing the service to talk to families in home countries, Vegas explained.
Another reason Latinos may be heavy ooVoo adopters is that they tend to be a younger population in the U.S. and the service is very popular with this age group. Over half of ooVoo’s users are under 25.
Oovoo measures demographic data via user reported information, as well as their location and name, Vegas said. This data is then used to provide the customer with ads aimed at that demographic. The program is also multilingual. Vegas told Más Wired that ooVoo has been used before by music groups to connect to fans — and they hope do this again.
Vegas also seemed excited that a new feature for computers would help the service grow further: Watch Together. This feature takes the generally single-person act of watching YouTube into a virtual television. Your favorite vlogger release a funny video today? ooVoo will now allow you to watch it with your friends. No more linking and sending over messages, ooVoo’s new feature will allow you and your friends to YouTube together. Like the regular video chat, this supports 12 people.
It might not be as physical as sitting down to socialize with your friends and family — but it’s far more lively than a chat window, Vegas said.