Tinychat Gets A New Look, Adds Facebook Connect, Sees Early Traction

Tinychat, which started out as a simple IRC-style chatroom app to complement the quick-and-dirty conversations on platforms like Twitter, has been steadily building a solid browser-based communication platform that rivals some of the tools built by large corporations or venture-backed startups out there.

After adding essential features like video chat and screensharing options to the application back in May, Tinychat has recently leveraged P2P technology to enhance the service (see p2p.tinychat.com) and added embed capabilities that basically enable anyone with a website to integrate a robust, 100% peer-to-peer enabled video chat system by simply embedding some code and fiddling with some of the variables. (Skype, you listening?)

Tinychat has just been given a new lick of paint, with new controls and a slicker design that’s much more inviting. Also, you can now enter chatrooms and start conversations with multiple people – whether using text, video, audio or a combination thereof – by connecting to your Facebook or Twitter account, eliminating the need to register.

I think this service is awesome, and I consider it to be closest to being the “Skype for the web” (which someday, Skype will introduce, let there be no doubt) than anything else I’ve tried in the past. You go to the Tinychat website, pick a name for your conversation room at hand and bang, you get an instantly shareable, dedicated web-based chat location where you can initiate video or audio chats with decent quality, share your desktop view with others and soon also a way to exchange files from computer to computer.

I’m seemingly not the only one who digs it either. Here’s a quick and dirty comparison based on Compete traffic estimates for TokBox, which developed a similar application with $14 million in VC funding behind them, and Tinychat.com. Alexa shows even more growth for the bootstrapped initiative.