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Vtalkie, an app billed as the world’s first cross-platform video-messaging app, reached #1 in the ‘Social Network’ category and #3 overall in the Russian AppStore over this past weekend, CEO of Runfaces Anton Melnyk tells us. According to Melnyk, the service has taken off in recent months, averaging 60,000 users per month in the first 3 months after launch and actually hitting 30,000 in one day this past weekend.
The startup is in the process of arranging a promotional activity which will involve broadcasting a video and text chat on one of the largest building in Kiev. They are also in talks to create official accounts for sports stars and stars of Russian show business.
Vtalkie is billed as the world’s first platform for sharing video messages (of course, Whatsapp has that, text and group messaging and a huge installed base of 300 million monthly users to compete against).
Available for iOS (the most downloaded version), Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and the web, Vtalkie allows users to send push-to-talk video or text messages to their friends. According to Melnyk, the advantage of this service is that it allows users to easily create short video messages (or text, if that’s what they prefer) and send them to friends. The service is free, but users can purchase add-ons, such as emotional ‘stickers’, to include in their messages. To offer an idea of what sort of money can be made through these in-app purchases, Melnyk tells me that competitor LINE generates $3,75 million (2,84 million Euro) per month in sticker sales in Asia. Other competitors in this market include Glide.me and Unda.me, but Melnyk believes that his service has an advantage in offering the ‘stickers’ and a look-around function. The aforementioned apps have hundreds of thousands of users (hundreds of millions in the case of LINE), but Vtalkie certainly has achieved a nice amount of growth recently.
Runfaces, the development company which created the service, has previously raised $150,000 (114,000 Euro) from Ukrainian Eastlabs in July 2012 and $300,000 (227,000 Euro) from undisclosed Russian angel investors and from the co-founders themselves in October 2012. The company was established in 2011 by Melnyk and co-founder and current COO Alexander Krizhevich.
In addition to Vtalkie, the company has developed Addme.ee, a service for promoting your social media profiles, and Runfaces, billed as a video-sharing platform for musicians. Natasha previously wrote about Runfaces last April – when it was launched as a video-only social networking. Since then their competitor Airtime founded by Sean Parker was launched and crashed for the lack of the user interest, and Runfaces had to refocus on a niche market.
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