Privately-owned Voxswap, a person-to-person language learning site, launches today. The site features internal email, chat and forums to get people speaking to one another and allows users to personalise their profiles with video, pictures, tags and further information about themselves.
Voxswap is hoping its extra linguistic-friendly features, such as a virtual keyboard which supports multiple languages and characters, auto-links to Google Translator and news feeds in multiple languages, will set it apart from the other sites in this sector such as the larger and older FriendsAbroad. VoxSwap has been co-founded by freelance journalist Sean Hargrave and his wife Nicole.
FriendsAbroad meanwhile has launched a Skype integration and now has over half a million users. Most though are still free users – a small proportion are paying the sub of €15 a year. At the start of the year it also launched sister site Doyouspeak, an online English language school using Skype for voice conferencing and teaching up to 4 students at once in an ‘online classroom’ system. The site is initially being marketed in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. FriendsAbroad is backed by, among others, Simon Murdoch serial UK entrepreneur and the original head of Amazon UK.