Although TinyChat has been around for a couple of years now, it was only early this year that it got some boost by way of more funding from angel investors and even celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Puff Daddy and other. TechCrunch described how TinyChat is just getting started and it has a tremendous growth potential.
The web service is also getting some good publicity lately with users of the service growing steadily. And most recently, the TinyChat iPhone app and Android app were both made available.
For the uninitiated, TinyChat describes itself as a dead simple, free to use, video chat rooms that let you chat with your friends. Through the service, you can instantly create your own chat room where you can invite or let anyone to join in, or join chat rooms created by others as well.
How Does the TinyChat Web Interface Works?
The TinyChat web interface in itself is a hodgepodge of various chat rooms created by TinyChat members. To join in any of these chat rooms, you’ll need to sign up for an account. After successfully creating your account you can start navigating the site to find the chat rooms that you will want to join in.
The site gives you thumbnail images of users who are currently online in their own chat rooms and you can join any of them as quickly as clicking on their images.
You can also browse who’s online via Google Maps.
For a more guided navigation, you can browse through the different categories of chat rooms that were created by other TinyChat members. You can also see how many people are currently inside a particular chat room.
TinyChat FB iPhone App
Alongside the TinyChat web-based interface is an iPhone app (works with iPod Touch and iPad as well) which allows you to video chat with up to 12 Facebook friends from your iPhone.
After downloading the app and installing it on your phone, it will let you connect to the app with Facebook. Then the app will show a list of your friends. You can invite them to your own chat room by selecting a friend and the app can even send a link on Facebook with a message that says “I’m video chatting on my iPhone.”
Aside from letting you chat with up to 12 of your Facebook friends, the app also lets you browse for live chat rooms and join any of them at your will. From the app’s main screen, you’ll have five options located on the lower part of your screen. These options are – Rooms, Chat, Video, Users and Invite.
Rooms lets you browse live chat rooms; Chat brings you to a live chat room, Video brings you to a video chat room, Users displays a list of currently online TinyChat users, and Invite friends to your chat room by sending them an email link or SMS.
On the technical side, TinyChat FB iPhone app is a pretty stable app. Video quality is pretty decent although if you’re inside a video chat room with several users present, it will take some time before the app displays each of the user’s video feed. It will also depend on your Internet connection.
Some Caveats to Know When Using TinyChat
Since TinyChat FB iPhone app opens up an online ecosystem with members worldwide, be prepared to encounter some rude users as well as “indecent” behaviors. So be cautious when joining video chat rooms and joining message-based chat rooms.
Both the TinyChat web-based service and iPhone app offer a pretty cool of video chatting with several people who could be your Facebook friends. While Skype, Fring, and Tango allow offer the same service, what sets TinyChat apart is the fact that it allows you to video chat on the fly with up to 12 of your Facebook friends or even 12 strangers using TinyChat.
If you have a large group of people you want to video chat with, you might want to try the TinyChat web service or the iPhone app if you want to chat with your Facebook buddies.