Yowie is looking to compete with Skype and Google Hangouts. The company, which is known for connecting celebrity chats from people like Colin Farrell, Amy Poehler and Interpol to other via online chat is expanding its offering to new enhanced consumer group video chat.
Here’s an example of a Yowie chat featuring Farrell and the cast of the Fright Night remake:
“Yowie, whose executives and advisors have served in leadership roles at DreamWorks Studios, MySpace, the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers and Universal Studios, plan to compete against the likes of Skype, Google Hangouts and Tiny Chat, by making it both simple and safe to group video chat,” a representative for the company tells WebProNews
Yowie says it aims to address the following problems:
– Video chat users sometimes have people harassing them or showing off body parts unsolicited on the chat sites.
– People have a hard time finding others with similar interests on group video chat services.
– Not all group video chat services are free and some of the services require downloading software.
“By working with some of the biggest names in entertainment over the past year, we’ve learned that people with similar offline interests are looking to authentically connect online,” said Yowie founder and president Jamie Snider. “With the new Yowie, we’re making it simple and safe to not just video chat with a celebrity, but with anyone around almost any topic.”
Yowie’s product comes with a reputation scoring system to track on-site user behavior (how and why users are being kicked, banned or reported for abuse). It lets you play YouTube or Vimeo media during group video chats, and new video and audio content partnerships are being added, the company says.
There are categorized topics and search features. Group chat organizers tag conversations so Yowie can aggregate chat rooms by topic, and popular chats are showcased to users based on personal preferences. Users can also search for specific topics.
Users are rated by experience points, and can earn badges as they use sit efeatures (like playing media, sharing the room with friends on social networks, etc.)
Conversations can be made either public or private, and group chats can be embedded on websites.
There is also a Facebook app, and you can send a recorded video invite to Facebook friends.