Chats are fun; video and audio chats, in particular, can help pass time and bond with your loved ones. All major chat platforms have built-in support for audio and video but most of them don’t support viewing and chatting with multiple people at the same time. Control over the crowd helps keep the conversation civil in a multi-person chatroom.
Tinychat provides browser based video chat rooms where you can broadcast from your camera and microphone to anyone who joins your chat room. Ready to find out how to create your own chatroom?
Tinychat provides dead simple, free to use, video chat rooms that just work! Enjoy chatting with your friends or making new ones, just create a chat room or join an existing one to connect with people. You don’t have to create an account with Tinychat to create chatrooms but for the purpose of this article we’ll be checking out how the app works after signing up.
Tinychat is a free service and is easy to sign up. There’s an option to sign up directly with your existing Facebook account, however, signing up with Facebook isn’t a one click process. Since you’re allotted an exclusive sub-domain, you’ll have to submit a few pieces of information before using the app.
Facebook login happens via Facebook Connect and hence no need to submit your login credentials to Tinychat.
After a snappy sign up and login, without requiring email activation, Tinychat suggests a list of people to follow. When services suggest users to follow, it would be great if they explained how they arrived at the list. Since I haven’t specified my likes and dislikes while signing up, I can’t imagine the list to be extremely useful. If you feel the same way, skip this page just like I did.
Time to submit your personal information and complete your public profile. I am not really a fan of providing personal information in any app, but given the fact Tinychat is a service that connects people for an audio and visual conversation, a complete profile helps in performing due diligence before connecting.
It would make the service better for you and other members. The details required aren’t much; a few words about you, an image, gender and location will do. It would have saved me time and hassle if Tinychat pulled the same from my Facebook profile.
Creating a Chatroom
I have to say, creating a chatroom is a breeze when you’re not signed in. Yes, its true! After filling in the profile information, I wasn’t redirected to a page that lets me create one. So I decided to get back o the homepage which had the link to create a chatroom.
After signing in, I could only see the Live Directory. The Live Directory shows, as expected, chatrooms that are live right at the moment. So I changed my mind to let you guys know how to join and interact with others in a live channel.
Joining a Live Chatroom
Each live chatroom listed has a list of total broadcasts so far and the number of users in the room right now. As soon as you join a room, an overlay to invite friends from Facebook pops up. Even if you fail to invite your friends in this page, you can always do it later.
You can watch all users with video in a picture in picture view and can hear all of them when you join the channel. Options to selectively mute or engage with users is available on their respective cam views. Options to hide a cam, make it fullscreen and increase or decrease the volume are available as well.
Tinychat has decent set of sharing options ala. a video conferencing service. Should you choose to use, you have access to a whiteboard to engage in brainstorming sessions. There are options to share your desktop for a demo or share a document as well.
If you are multitasking and want to keep an eye on the chat stream, enable sounds and notifications. Whenever someone posts a response, you will be alerted with a bubble bursting sound. Also, if you are annoyed by the constant flow of messages letting you know of people joining or leaving the room, turn off notifications and they will be gone.
Creating a Chatroom (For real!)
Apparently, the chatroom is available at the URL created earlier and no need for you to create one per se. After a while, I found the controls for chatroom (not labeled that way though) on “My Profile” page. As we’ve seen earlier, an overlay for inviting friends will be the first step in kickstarting a chat.
When you are ready to open your com for everyone to see, select Start Broadcasting. Tinychat will then search for and identify your camera. Tinychat displays a warning that inappropriate broadcasts will be banned from the service. If you plan on inviting people by email, use the URL address you’ve been assigned while signing up and people can join your chat when it’s in progress.
Tinychat doesn’t require you to be on their website to host the chatroom, you can use their embed code to engage visitors on your own website. You can make use of the various color codes available to choose the right one that blends with the color scheme of your website.
Tinychat makes it simple for anyone to create a private or public chatroom with both audio and video. It would’ve been fantastic if they had made it easy to create a chatroom while signed in. It looks like the chatroom is live via the URL assigned to you all the time but still figuring that out takes a while. Another matter of concern is the lewdness in chatrooms. While Tinychat is not as crass as Chatroulette, during the course of this review I came across quiet a few flashers.
One teen chatroom I entered was like an unscripted version of the movie American Pie. Hence, be vigilant while hosting a public chatroom and keep kids at a safe distance. Tinychat is a fantastic service with great intentions and it’s up to us to make the most of it.
Share Your Thoughts!
Like what Tinychat has to offer? Is there another service you use to chat with others?