Chris Kranky

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The biggest use case for WebRTC is all about nothing

Ready to hear about the largest WebRTC users? Get ready to be shocked. Because it's not Facebook or WeChat. It's a whole new category of entertainment and it's using WebRTC.

Chris KoehnckeChris Koehncke

A few weeks, I pondered (it’s what we do here in California) with a group to take an educated guess on what the Top 10 WebRTC applications are (measured in either minutes or DAU – daily active users)? Are you making your own mental list?

Telehealth? Financial Services consultation? Distance Learning/Education? Field services (remote eyes)? Is it audio or video? What about Facebook Messenger? WeChat, is certainly a big deal. However WeChat voice/video is only connecting 100 million voice calls per day on its own app. That sounds like a lot, but it’s only 8 phone calls per active user per month.

So what’s the top dog in WebRTC apps? The category winner is communitainment. It’s apps where kids of all ages are virtually hanging out, chatting, doing homework, being silly but always being social. And they’re talking about nothing. Nothing is endless, they’re video chatting on average for 2 hours a day (133 minutes)! In fact, flurry mobile reports 394% year over year growth of messaging & social usage on mobile.


housepartylogoAfter emerging from the ocean, we humans first started texting, then on to watching video snippets (YouTube), then to live one-way broadcast (more YouTube) and now to real-time interactive broadcast. WebRTC is a core component behind popular mobile apps like, Houseparty, Smackhigh, Monkey and the global usage is measured in billions of minutes per month.

Whether for 1-to-1 video chats or multiparty, if you want to do this real time on your mobile phone with < 300 msec delay WebRTC is the only real game in town.

But this new cool real-time technology isn’t just for the mobile youngster. The next billion dollar idea is serving the aging global population (I’m in the front car on this ride), the demographics are changing and WebRTC will be fundamental to helping this group.

Selfhelp Community Service just outside of New York City is a non-profit group promoting independent living through a wide range of community-based services to seniors and other vulnerable New Yorkers. Guess what? They’re a big user of WebRTC to help seniors enjoy a better quality of life.

Seniors, stuck at home, can’t travel, friends dying off, they need to make new friends, new social connections and they’re doing it with WebRTC technology. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Listen to this heartfelt user testimonial (in it’s entirety, don’t be skipping around, bring tissues) from a senior user, the next Facebook is right here. A billion dollar idea.


Disclaimer: I work for Tokbox. Many of the applications listed above use Tokbox as the underlying WebRTC cloud video service provider. Please consider all commercial and non-commercial WebRTC offerings for your own application. This blog represents my personal venture to promote the usage of WebRTC technology. Read my disclaimer for the other 999 things that I’m not responsible for.