For marketers, the most intriguing aspect of ooVoo is a video
conferencing feature that allows up to 11 users to video chat with
one another while watching an Internet video together. The mobile
version accommodates four simultaneous streams - the image to the
right is how the app will look on the BlackBerry 10.
"If the ultimate goal of a brand is to get into the
conversation, then ooVoo takes that literally," ooVoo president Jay
The company has deals in place with broadcast networks to help
them with appointment viewing. If you're on the east coast and
using ooVoo to video chat with your family around 11:30 p.m., Jimmy
Kimmel may appear on your screen to tell you to watch his show that
will start in five minutes.
Outside of the U.S., the app is used to power online poker site
888poker's "pokercam," a feature that allows players who are
head-to-head in a poker tournament to see one another. Future
advertising campaigns include a L'Oreal-sponsored virtual mirror, and
the company is working on integrations with shopping and search
Mr. Samit said ad revenue was in the "tens of millions" in 2012,
and he projects fast growth in 2013 as ooVoo's user base expands,
primarily in Android and now the Blackberry mobile ecosystems.
ooVoo is is a popular app on the iPod Touch because it essentially
turns it into a video party line.
According to ooVoo, the platform has more than 70 million users
and adds between 100,000 and 120,000 new accounts per day. In the
second quarter of 2013, the app will start coming pre-loaded on all
BlackBerry 10 phones, something Samit believes will help the user
base crest 100 million people.
It may also allow ooVoo to reach a market segment it has yet to
infiltrate. The app over-indexes among young, African American,
Hispanic and foreign smartphone users, and BlackBerry owners skew
older. Just more than a third (35.2%) of BlackBerry users are
younger than 35 compared with 49.4% of Apple users and 46.8% on Android,
according to research firm comScore.
In addition to video chat, users can make voice calls and send
instant messages for free via WiFi or 3G and 4G cellular
Mr. Samit said the popularity of these features are what the app
so popular and a competitor to Facebook, which has made video and
phone communication through its platform a point of emphasis in
"Young people don't understand why you would make a voice call,"
ooVoo has been around since 2006 in various iterations, but Mr.
Samit, previously president of in-game ads company SocialVibe,
believes the free, ad-supported service will scale even faster on a
global basis with cheaper Android-based smartphones become