Online Video Messaging Chat

Video messaging chat adds another layer to online communication. Unlike using a text-based chat or messaging service, users can see who the other person or people they are communicating with over the web. This allows users to see expressions, such as reactions and emotions that are not easily communicated by text alone.

History of Video Messaging

Video messaging chat allows people to communicate in real time with audio and visual signals, regardless of where they are located. It can be used for person-to-person communication as well as groups. Video messaging is also known as videotelephony, videophone calls, videocalls, video chat, or by a number of names that refer to specific applications such as Skyping for Skype users. Video messaging chat requires a camera-enabled mobile device such as a mobile phone and tablet or a personal computer with a built-in or add-on webcam.

This method of communication traces its roots back to videoconferencing systems developed in the 1980s and 1990s, when specific equipment and software was developed to communicate over networks. However, the concept of video messaging goes back even further to the development of videophones by AT&T in 1927 and Videoconferencing with AT&T's Picturephone service in the 1970s. In the late 1990s, the development of video codec as well as high-speed internet broadband and ISDN services made video chat practical for everyday use. These improvements made video messaging increasingly widespread into the 2000s. This was especially true with the development of video-enabled mobile phones and computer webcams that became increasingly accessible and affordable to the mass market.

Video Messaging Services

There are several software-based clients that provide video messaging chat services. One of the most popular is Skype, which allows users to send instant messages as well as make video calls to individuals and groups. First released in 2003, the service had an estimated 300 million active users worldwide in November 2015 according to Statista's ranking of leading social networks. BlackBerry's BBM Meetings also allows for video messaging. Other software-based services include WebEx from Cisco, Adobe Connect, Polycom's RealPresence, and many others.

FaceTime is Apple's video messaging service, which is available for iPhone and iPad users. It can also be used on Macintosh computers with a FaceTime Camera. The product uses voice over IP (VoIP), allowing users to communicate using an internet connection such as Wi-Fi. Unlike software-based services where users can download software onto almost any device, FaceTime requires users to communicate with other FaceTime-enabled devices. Users can communicate using telephone numbers or email addresses. Other emerging applications include

Many instant messaging services feature video chat capabilities. WeChat, a Chinese service released in 2011, is one of the largest messaging apps with an estimated 650 million active users according to Statista. Along with text and voice messaging, it launched a video conferencing service in 2013. In addition to messaging and calling, Pinger is another app that allows users to send video GIFs. Glide allows users to record a selfie-video that is then shared with friends. After being broadcast, these messages can then be answered by other users in a similar way to using a walkie-talkie. Other video messaging chat services include historical heavyweights in text-based messaging such as AOL Instant Messanger (AOL), iChat, Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Video Messages from Microsoft and Yahoo! Messenger, as well as relative newcomers Google Hangouts, SnappyCam, imo and Camfrog. Google Hangouts also offers a browser-based video messaging chat service without the need for installing software. Specialty services have also been developed, such as Mirial Softphone for deaf and hard-of-hearing users and CloudVisit Psychiatry for telemedicine services.