Boothchat.com, procrastination reinvented

I’m at Kafenai now (again) and blogging (again). After some casual tweeting and a Foursquare login, I checked Boothchat to see what’s going on now. It’s so addictive that in fact I’ve logged in in Boothchat and snapped a quick photo. The chat caption read, among others, “It needs an iOS app, now” (and a tweet, too). But what in SFValley is BoothChat?

In order to understand BoothChat, we need to go back a bit in time. To be precise, we need to go back right when Thanasis Polychronakis from Athens, Greece took the brave decision to leave Greece and head to mighty San Francisco’s Silicon Valley to pursue his (then) startup, geoWarp. But one night, in SF’s StartupWeekend, Thanasis had the idea of BoothChat and immediately started working on it. The idea was is, in fact, very simple. You write something, BoothChat snaps you a photo via your computer’s web camera (USB or built-in, doesn’t matter) and the photo gets published in a room.

To learn more about Thanasis story on migration (and how-to’s), working in the Valley and many more interesting things, read his blog 20minus.

Anyway, you must have thought by now “Oh, another Chatroulette…”. BoothChat though, has some significant differences.

  • Firstly, it isn’t Chatroulette
  • Secondly, it is about pictures & chat, not about video
  • Thirdly, it is much more fun
  • Fourthly, there are no weirdos (and probably, won’t be any—more on that in a little)

So, how exactly does Boothchat work?

You sign in with your Twitter or Facebook profile(*) and you are dropped automatically in a system-made chatroom (you can identify them of their /booth_10540 URLs). There, you start typing your chat message and you’re asked to give permission to BoothChat to take over your webcam and by the time you hit “Enter”, to take you a picture. It is really fun.

You can create your own rooms (key feature for ultimate fun) just by entering whatever you want after boothchat.com/ and chat and play with your friends there. All rooms are public though—the user created ones are accessible only if you know the full URL. There are also boothpics perma-links and cool viewing features. And of course, you can share with Facebook and Twitter your photos.

(*) note: that’s the reason there won’t be any weirdos, or at least there will be few of them.

BoothChat hasn’t yet received any kind of funding, but I think after they ship some cool new core features (can’t reveal, sorry!) it will be the next logical step.

Back in the first paragraph (second time-travel in this post) I wrote that BoothChat needs an iOS app. Hell yeah it needs one. Imagine the fun and the possibilities. iPad 2 comes already with Apple’s Photo Booth. My guess is that after shipping the new features, BoothChat needs to start developing the iOS app and seek for funding. Times are exciting.

What are you waiting? Join the fun!

Disclosure: Thanasis is a good friend of mine. This post was not “pushed” by him. It is just another post of a web-service/app/startup review here in apas.gr.

posted: June 29, 2011
under: Micro-blogging, Reviews, Start-Up's, Web

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