AVChat IM is a hosted IM application for your website that can power site wide communications between your website members.
Our main objectives with it were:
- To shorten the communication process between members
- Make it easier to chat and meet somebody
- Reduce migration from website to desktop IM's
It's also reliable, has tons of features, fast, constantly maintained and easy to install.
We went through a few variations of the IM window since we've started. The one we've reached at now is the best one we could come up with so far. Clear information placed properly, no empty space, a small send button for those new to computers and maximized text chat area.
Here's what you will find in the IM window:
- Rich text chat
- Profile information
- Location information
- Emote icons
- File sharing
- YouTube clips previews
- Image previews
When you become a member of an online community (dating or social network website) you have no friends and no favorites. As you start sending messages to users and develop conversations, these discussions will show up in the Conversations tab from where you can easily access the conversations or the profiles of those users.
The Reply Rate is a measure of how much a member responds to incoming messages. The RR acts in two ways:
- It gives members an approximate indication of how probable a reply from that person is.
- More social members who want to always meet new people will make an effort it keeping their RR high.
As a webmaster you can show the reply rate of a certain user anywhere on the website, preferably under his profile picture or near the Send Message button.
The quick message feature allows members to quickly send other members a message directly from the profile page, without opening an IM window.
By making it easy to send messages this feature encourages new connections and new discussions.
As a webmaster you can show the quick message area anywhere preferably on profile pages or search results.
High quality, low latency, P2P video chat
AVChat IM allows 2 members having a chat to start their webcams and see/hear each other. This can be useful in a number of ways:
- People can have a quick video chat session before meeting for the 1st time
- People who have met in the past can prefer to just open the video chat and leave it open in the background to chat
- It stops migration to Skype or MSN
We're using peer to peer connections for very low latency transmission and the h.264 video codec for the best quality per bandwidth ratio.
AVChat IM will show up in the language of the member which means if a Spanish guy talks to a person from UK, he will get the Spanish UI while the other person will get the English UI.
This is a great feature for those websites out there with a more international flavor.
It detects the member's language preferences in the browser and delivers the IM in the correct one. At this moment we support: English, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Romanian, Russian and French.
The probability that 2 persons that like each other will be online at the same time is hugely small. AVChat IM allows you to send messages to people who are not online; this will make it possible to connect with many more people than just those online.
This also means it can totally replace your existing messaging system with a unique one.
Modular for better implementations
The way AVChat IM is built allows you to place the IM elements wherever the webmasters needs them on his website. A typical implementation would look like this:
- Send Message button in profile pages and in search results.
- The reply rate under the Send Message button wherever it is shown.
- The quick message area on the users profile page.
- The status (online, offline, idle) information in search results and on the profile page.
AVChat IM comes with an advanced management area that allows you to:
- control what AVChat IM features are activated for each web site
- have quick access to IM news
- add the IM to new websites
- review IM usage on your website
You will find more screenshots of the management area in the blog post about it.
With the above set of features behind us we can look to the future and how we can innovate in the IM space, here are a few directions we will be looking at:
- mobile versions, when your members will access your website from a mobile device they should somehow be able to use the device to send IM's
- powerful APIs that will allow your website to communicate better with the IM platform and be notified by the IM platform when certain events happen (IM was sent or Report user was clicked)
- better location services, we will look into how we can use a members location in better ways
- better video chat will full screen video and better quality, connectivity and controls