Many people consider video calling to be more of a novelty rather than an actual feature on smartphones. While video chatting is perceived to be a novelty, NDP predicts that video calling will grow from 63 million in 2010 to more than 380 million by 2015. In this post, I’ve laid out 5 different reasons video chat is growing so rapidly.
1) Growing Wireless networks
People are using their phones to browse the internet more than ever now. Online mobile web traffic has grown 230% over the past year, and has been doubling for the past 4 years. In turn, your phone provider wants to make sure it can support the amount of new people using their mobile internet so they are investing heavily in new and more robust networks.
Faster mobile speeds will allow for more intense internet activities such as mobile video calling. Video now accounts for more than 50% of mobile online traffic, which includes making video calls.
In short, faster mobile internet will allow for high quality video calling to be a standard feature on all smartphones.
2) Socially engaged users
Instagram was recently purchased for $1 Billion, it’s no surprise to see that many people and businesses are seeking ways to engage with people on a personal level. Instagram provides people with constant content about their friends in real time. It’s clear to see that the next level of personalized sharing will be focused around video.
People are using social media to communicate with their friends and family. Many of these apps create disconnect between users as they don’t provide a human level of engagement. Video chat is appealing to people as they can see how the person on the other end reacts and feels. George integrates both social media and video chatting into the application. Even though social media is very popular, people are still looking to engage on a one to one level.
3) Bigger screens
When the iPhones original 3.5” screen came out, it was considered to be one of the biggest screens on a phone and it was one of the first phones to have the screen completely take over the keyboard. Now many phones have grown into the 4.3 inch area, becoming more like small tablets rather than just a phone with a big screen. A great example of this would be the Samsung Galaxy Note with a 5.3” display making it a small tablet phone, some people call them “phablets”.
Bigger screens mean that there is more room for a better quality video chat. With a traditional “feature phone” (small screen and keyboard) the details in the image are so blurry that it’s hard to see who you are talking with. Larger screens can allow users to communicate in more detail and actually create more interaction possibilities. For example, you could show your friend the view from a certain location and they would be able to actually see the detail in the picture.
4) Better Cameras
About 5 years ago, the standard camera on a phone was less than 1 megapixel, providing poor quality and detail. Camera phones were almost a novelty at the time, allowing people to share low quality images with one another through MMS. Now it’s become almost standard to include an 8 MP camera as well as a lower quality front facing camera for video calling purposes. Both of these cameras are significantly better than what has been traditionally offered on phones. Phones on cameras are now used to share moments with friends through social media and now more than ever, video calling.
5) More Apps
Finally, the increase of new smartphones has helped the growth of Apps on phones. There are many different app stores depending on which smartphone you may have. Phone applications generally attempt to increase the functionality of the phone or entertain the user.
The success of an app is dependent on a variety of factors, which usually revolves around how well it uses the phone to accomplish a task. As mentioned before, Instagram is successful as it allows for people to share pictures they took on their phone instantly. Using two simple phone features (internet and camera) it turns your phone into a personal photo album with all of your friends on it.
Video chat aims to do much the same as Instagram. By using your camera and the internet, you can now connect to your friends instantly. George Mobile allows for friends to engage in Video Chats for free, as long as they both have the George App. Video chat will become more frequently used as the technology has finally caught up, enabling us to communicate on a very human level.