As the online technology has been developing in high speed, online video chat platform, which is one of the most useful functions of IT tools, has been used in many different ways. The distance between becomes shorter and shorter, which increases the speed of globalization. From E-mail texts to Internet phone, that owns to the development of wide band. Most video chat apps and websites, are free, people can easily use them now, based on which plenty of company have become well known by Internet users. For most people, they cannot image the life without online video chat. In this report, I will focus on one of the video chat platform- YY Chat, which is one of the most popular online video chat website. The report will analyze the development of YY chat in China and the comparison of different online chat platforms.
What is YY Chat?
YY Chat began in 2005 creating Duowan.com, a gaming portal for gamers in China. Duowan company launched YY in 2008, a voice-based gaming communications service, which enabled gamers to voice chat over the Internet and text chat in real-time while slaying monsters or coordinating gaming missions.
In the beginning, YY was just common audio-chat software for the famous online game World of Warcraft (WoW), which is one of the most classic games made by Blizzar Entertainment. The players in a same team could easily create a channel, in which they can communicate well by their voice without typing texts on the screen.
However, YY has since grown beyond gaming into a much larger social communication platform, added video streaming, and grown to 310 million registered users and 60 million monthly active users.
On YY.com, users could play different games, talk to their friends, get educated or broadcast a video show program, or use virtual coins for social deals à la Groupon. Slutsky (2012) analyzes that what really makes YY standout is the fact that it has a built in system that enables site users to earn real profit.
As a website which originates from game function software, YY.com still treat the game broadcast as its most important part. When there are some top game competitions, YY’s live broadcast will attract a lot of game players to watch and join in the discussion. WangYi website (2013) shows that the 2013 WCG competition attracted 2 million users to watch live broadcast in 3 days, and on the top time, there were 400 thousands users watching the game at the same time, which had made a new record.
How can YY develop so fast?
Firstly, China has arround 520 million net users in 2012, which includes almost 5 million World of Warcraft game players. These players play an important part in YY users. Because YY Chat has stable and high quality of its online chat function. Even the game company develop its own software UC chat, most game players still prefer to using YY, which they are familiar with, to have group playing.
YY Chat is much easier to use than other chat software like QQ that when the players want to speak to others, they just need to press “F2” button on keyboard. Moreover, when the players create rooms in YY, others can easily join in without send any request. The most important reason YY has amount of users, as Bake website states is because that, YY has set its rules and operated strictly, which is forbidding any advertisement, solving any broadcast issues in 1 minute and avoiding any sexual, violent or selling contents. These rules help YY keeping most of its users.
As the technology is developing, Duowan game company, which YY belongs to, has gradually strengthened and consummated its function. By YY service, singers, teachers, or other people can earn money on its via virtual goods. Slutsky (2012) shows that the top performers on YY.com can earn more than $20,o00 monthly–a remarkable figure. Audience members buy and give virtual roses to performers they like and the performers cash them in for real money. Thus the singers have an incentive to deliver high quality performances. As li says, YY could help “rejuvenate a lot of industries. As many know it’s very difficult to make real money on the music business because of rampant piracy. But if you’re a talented singer or performer, and you have YY, a webcam and an Internet connection, then you can perform (and make money).”
How further can YY develop?
For Chinese video chat platform YY, now meet some problems. On one hand, the Chinese government has published some laws to control what can be broadcast on website and what cannot. They are very strict with the texts, pictures and videos, which will be put onto website. They create a system, which is called Great Wall to limit a lot of foreign websites and monitor everything from Chinese websites. These solutions limit the development of YY. On the other hand, when YY Chat is going to develop western users, it is also blocked. Echo who is senior analyst with the Maxim Group says, “If YY tried to expand into the US market, it would be unlikely to succeed. While it would be difficult for anyone to scale this business model, Western start-ups would have a better chance.” As some other video chat platforms enlarge their users, YY Chat has to consider the issue about replacement by others.
Other sides of online video chats
Firstly, online video chat platform serve people a more convenient way of life. However, some people use this platform in an unhealthy way that they broadcast sex video and strippers dancing in front of the camera. Such kinds of videos can be easily found that they attract young generations who cannot control themselves well, which probably lead to an unexpected terrible way of life in the future.
Secondly, because of the convenience of online video, some people can easily get information from others. They might cheat other’s money as their friends. WangYI website reported that due to 2012, the Internet fraud had reached a number of more than 30 billion RMB in China. Furthermore, some single girls’ safety is threatened because of their “nice” net friends.
Now, there are thousands of online video chat platforms. When some big companies attract more and more users, the small companies will disappear some day. However, there are still a lot of chance will be left for these small video chat companies.
In the future, live video chat may become the most popular way to communicate with people in distance.
Dan Ye, 2013, “YY借力WCG布局赛事直播” from网易website
Forbes. June, 2012.”YY.com: China’s Unique Real-Time Voice And Video Service With A Virtual Goods Twist“. Retrieved November 21, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/06/11/yy-com-chinas-unique-real-time-voice-and-video-service-with-a-virtual-goods-twist/
Ross Slutsky , 2012, “The Largest Social Network You’ve Never Heard Of”,
published in Washington DC