Rounds Social Video Chat App Goes Mobile, Recreates Hangout Feel With Shared YouTube Viewing, Photo Uploads

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Social video chat app Rounds has reason to be proud: the company has raised a total of $5 million in funding and now has more than six million users across the breadth of its platform, which includes Facebook, Chrome, and desktop. Today, however, the company is launching a brand new mobile app for the first time called Rounds Video Chat Hangout.

Along with facilitating a standard video chat, the Hangout app lets users who are already spending time together (in the real world) continue to interact on their phone.

In Rounds Video Chat Hangout, users can watch YouTube videos together, upload photos for shared viewing, and add video effects to the media they send to one another. Users can even draw or scribble over their friends’ video messages. And to get even more creative, the Rounds Hangout app lets the user choose the viewing mode during a video chat, with options like diagonal, horizontal, and vertical split screen, among others.

The idea is that we already ignore each other in favor of looking at our phones. If the app reflects the same environment as a real-world hangout (the joint YouTube viewing really sticks out in my mind here), then perhaps users will interact both in-person and on the phone as they spend time together.

The Shared Moments stream aggregates snapshots from friends’ and featured users’ live sessions, and it’s the first thing you see when opening the app. From there, users can share the photos, comment, like, or simply meet someone new to chat it up with.

The app is available now on iPhone and Android, with an optimized iPad version in the works for early 2013.

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