The market for video-chat apps may already be pretty saturated, with Google, Microsoft, Apple, and a number of other companies offering ways for people to connect with friends, but Finnish startup LiveRing has nonetheless jumped in with their own take on the format.
The concept behind LiveRing is to allow people to “share moments” with their contacts by snapping a photo and then tagging others in it (phone numbers only, at the moment, but they say that they are working to enable usernames). Tagging a particular friend (and users can add as many as they like) then invites them into a group. It is not a typical video-chat service, however, as the platform cuts calls off after 1 minute. The company says that they do not record the videos, but do create GIFs for users who were unable to join the chat session. LiveRing only launched at the end of October, so the startup has yet to monetize the service. CEO Daniel Holmstrom tells me that they are ultimately planning to do so through video ads, but only after they have begun to scale up.
Of course, while it has become easy for just about anyone to release an app, it will not matter much if the public does not find it useful. Livering has picked up about 1,000 users since it launched, but more encouraging for them is that their service has been warmly received (on Android, at least), as their app currently holds a rating of 4.4 stars (out of 5) from 155 reviewers in the Google Play store. There have not been enough ratings for the iOS version to get an idea of how well users are taking to it.
Holmstrom has also revealed that the co-founders are funding the project themselves, but, as they have been entrepreneurs for 10 years, they have been able to invest 350K Euro.