Rounds, the social video chat app for Facebook and the web, backed by $5.5 million in funding from Verizon Investments, Rhodium, DFJ’s Tim Draper and other angels, is now expanding to the desktop. This week, the company will debut its Windows and Mac applications which will allow users to send and receive video chat calls to and from their friends without using their web browser or visiting Facebook.
The app, for those unfamiliar, allows users to not only video chat, but also watch YouTube videos together, play interactive games, draw on whiteboards, browse the web together, send virtual gifts to each other and more. In total, there are over 30 different games and activities available to choose from from the application created by a dozen developer partners. The company also recently added a “Friends of Friends” feature which lets its users connect with their friends’ friends to video chat.
Plans to expand the service cross-platform were announced back in November 2011, when the company raised its $3 million round from the above-mentioned investors. At the time, Rounds was seeing 3+ million users from around the world, and over 650,000 daily Rounds sessions. Today, the company says it has over 5 million registered users, 1 million monthly actives and around 100,000 daily actives.
On its website, Rounds claims over 980,000 monthly actives (the ~1M noted above, apparently), but AppData reports 790,000. However, the service is also available as a web app for Chrome, both as an extension and Chrome application which accounts for the difference, the company says.
Users spend over 40 minutes on average on the app, but only 100,000 of its 1 million daily sessions are between friends or “friends of friends.” The other 900,000 are from the platform’s “Meet New People” feature which connects users based on their interests and social graph.
The desktop app is not out now yet, so we can’t give it a review now, but we’re told it will become available in a couple of days from the website here.
As the web’s first social “hangout network,” Rounds combines online entertainment with video communication to bring friends and like-minded people closer together for a fun, live experience across social networks, operating systems and devices. Bridging the offline and online worlds, Rounds uses shared activities, games and video to give friends the feeling of hanging out in real life. An interactive stream of friends’ and featured users’ “captured moments” from live sessions gives hangouts an afterlife, creating a new social...