Real-time communication platform HipChat is facilitating more than just text-based messaging with its most recent feature addition – it now supports one-to-one video chat, audio calls and screensharing across its apps for paid users. The move follows a beta test of these features, but now the feature is live for anyone, and HipChat founder Pete Curley believes this is a key step in helping make the platform a one-stop solution for all kinds of enterprise team communication.
“A lot of people have Skype installed, Hangouts, like six other things and all that garbage,” Curley explained. “If we can really fix that for people so have to use one thing for all of their work-related stuff, that’s our main goal.”
One-to-one video was the top ask from users of HipChat’s platform prior to this launch, Curley says, and so far beta test users have been responding very positively to its inclusion. The roll-out across platforms was made easier because of considerable expansion of the HipChat team, which has grown a lot in the past year. The company has also altered its branding to make HipChat harder to confuse with Apple and its iMessage icon, and to reflect its new mission of unifying communications across a range of media.
For now, HipChat’s video feature is just for use between two parties, but Curley does admit that group chat is on the roadmap. The issue here, he says, is that others like Hangouts have really nailed this experience, which means that offering up something competitive will mean really focusing on building a strong product with a terrific integrated user experience.