Paltalk

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Paltalk Messenger
Paltalklogo.png
Developer(s) AVM Software
Initial release June 1998
Stable release Version 11.0 Build 532 / August 10, 2013; 12 months ago (2013-08-10)
Operating system Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry
License Proprietary
Website http://www.paltalk.com/

Paltalk is a video group chat service that enables users to communicate via video, internet chat and voice.[1] It offers chat rooms and the ability for users to create their own public virtual chat room. Paltalk is available in three formats: Paltalk Messenger, the regular version most users use, Paltalk Mobile, (iPhone, Android) the phone version, and Paltalk Express which is a Flash version of the software targeted at non-Windows users. It is proprietary software. While basic services are free of charge and basic software is free to download, fee-based memberships and payable upgrades to more capable paid versions are offered by AVM Software, the creators of Paltalk.

Paltalk appears to be profitable and had 5.5 million unique users in 2013.[2]

Desktop (PC) Software[edit]

Paltalk's main application is "Paltalk Messenger" for PCs, but they also offer PaltalkExpress, a free web-based Adobe Flash and Java application which can be accessed via an Internet browser.[3]

It has also been featured as one of the most popular communication apps in the Google Chrome Web Store.[4] Paltalk Express delivers no PC-to-phone calls and no interoperability with IM services.

Paltalk has a widget called Paltalk Video Chat Widget that was released on May 12, 2009.[citation needed] It allows website visitors to view Paltalk rooms, both text and video. Users can now text-chat directly from the widget.

Paltalk Mobile and Tablet Apps[edit]

Paltalk has native apps available for multiple mobile platforms which allow users to publish webcam, audio chat, and text chat many-many or in private sessions.

Android:

  • Tablet app
  • Smartphone app

Apple (iOS)

  • iPad
  • iPhone

All of these apps are available from the relative app store Paltalk and on Paltalk's app webpage where Paltalk also state a kindle app is in the works.

Features[edit]

Paltalk allows users to create chat rooms where they can text, voice, and video chat. These chat rooms can host hundreds and in some cases many thousands of chatters in one conversion. Chat rooms can be accessed via downloadable PC software, A Flash version via their website, and their recently launched iOS, Android mobile, and tablet apps.

Paltalk users can also have private video chat sessions with up to 15 other users.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Paltalk has received many awards over the past decade:

Patent Protection[edit]

Paltalk filed a series of patent lawsuits in 2009 against video game developers claiming they were infringing U.S. patents 5,822,523 and 6,226,686 "Server-group messaging system for interactive applications". Paltalk first brought a case against Microsoft, claiming Halo and Xbox Live violated its patent rights, and later settled out of court, despite Microsoft lawyers contending that Paltalk bought the patent for under $200,000.[5]

Paltalk then moved on to Sony, Activision Blizzard, NCsoft, Jagex and Turbine, Inc., claiming that these companies are also violating Paltalk's patents whose damages range in the "tens of millions of dollars". This has sparked some controversy in the video gamer community as some of these companies are known for selling games for under USD $20, and Jagex provides a free version of RuneScape.[6][7][8] In late 2010, Jagex successfully defended against such a lawsuit.

In June 2013, it was revealed that Paltalk was targeted by the National Security Agency's PRISM surveillance program.[9][10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CNET". Paltalk. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  2. ^ "PalTalk: It Was "Flattering" To Be Included In The PRISM Slidedeck". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-08-06. "PalTalk, a profitable group video chat site that’s been around for more than a decade and has about 5.5 million monthly uniques [...]" 
  3. ^ "Try Paltalk Express - Access free chat rooms, IM and video chat". Paltalk. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Google Chrome Selects Paltalk Express For New Chrome Web Store" (Press release). MyPRGenie[unreliable source]. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft settles lawsuit over Xbox". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2009-03-12. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Michael (2009-09-17). "Multiple MMO developers/publishers named in patent suit". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  7. ^ Decker, Susan (2009-09-14). "Sony, Activision Blizzard Sued Over Online Games (Update1)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  8. ^ Bray, Hiawatha (2009-09-16). "Westwood-based video game maker named in patent infringement suit". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ Winter, Michael (6 June 2013). "Reports: NSA siphons data from 9 major Net firms". USA Today. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Lobosco, Kate (7 June 2013). "Google ... Facebook ... Paltalk?!". CNN Money. Retrieved 12 June 2013.