AOL offers video chat with no log-in, download

May 13, 2011 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

In a move to become more competitive in the fast-growing field of video chat, the team behind AOL Inc.'s AIM instant messenger rolled out the first version of a free video chat service on Thursday that doesn't require users to log in or download any software.

Called AV, the service was created as a way to have quick, easy video chats, Jason Shellen, a leader of the AIM team, said. Though there are plenty of other voice and video chat offerings available for computers and smartphones, AV is unlike many with its decision to eschew both logins and software downloads.

In order to start a chat, a user gets a unique link from AV and sends it to friends. Once a friend with a webcam clicks on the link, a chat window will pop up on the screen and show live video of the user who started the chat session and any other participants. Up to four people can be involved in a chat at once, Shellen said.

The service has several features, such as the ability to type messages to individual users while video chatting - to send a link to a webpage, for example. The originator of the chat session also has the ability to remove others from that chat. Other features will arrive in the next few weeks, Shellen said, including one called "Group Shot" that allows you to take a photo of everyone participating in the chat at once.

AV, which is located at http://www.aim.com/av , uses Inc.'s . This means it will not work on an or , but it will work on a PC and may work on some Flash-running smartphones. Shellen said his team is starting to explore making it available for other platforms and as a mobile app.

Initially, there is no plan for AOL make money from AV, Shellen said.

AV's release comes two days after Corp. said it would pay $8.5 billion for popular Skype, which allows people to make free and cheap voice and video calls.

Explore further: Google offers peek into Bhutan with Street View launch

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AOL integrates Facebook chat with AIM

Feb 10, 2010

(AP) -- As part of an ongoing effort to improve its user experience, Internet company AOL Inc. is letting users of its AIM instant-messaging service chat with friends on Facebook.

Skype to unveil group video chat function

May 05, 2010

(AP) -- Internet calling service Skype plans a public "beta" test of a group video chat function that lets up to five people participate in a video call simultaneously.

Interoperability overdue for instant messaging

Oct 15, 2009

You would think it was crazy if your cell phone could call only people with phones on the same network. But we put up with that absurd situation when it comes to instant messaging -- and have for years. Worse, there's little ...

Recommended for you

Google offers peek into Bhutan with Street View launch

1 hour ago

Google provided a sneak peek into Bhutan Thursday by unveiling a Street View project for the remote Himalayan kingdom, featuring panoramic views of its majestic mountains, monasteries and crystal-clear rivers.

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

14 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

16 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

21 hours ago

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

User comments : 0