TalkTalkCamChat has received a cease and desist letter from its most vocal critic, another social networking site, and they have decided to place the ChatBait Cam platform on hold indefinitely. Their reasoning was that ChatBait Cam is infringing on the rights of their competitors by being an “unauthorized imitation” of them. It’s not really clear from the letter or the blog post which law TalkTalkCamChat is violating.
What types of videos they want to upload to the website?
ChatterBait Cam was an innovative concept: to provide a social network website that is user-generated, allowing users to make videos that play automatically when visitors go to the website. The process is similar to the way that blogs work, except that chats are allowed. Bypassing the common “tab” paradigm, it was relatively easy to add video chat features, and the feature brought about lots of new users to the site. The goal was simple: to develop a platform that enabled users to create online videos for the purpose of public viewing.
During development, TalkTalkCamChat introduced several new features that were meant to make the website easier to use for the millions of people who already use video chat programs on the web: they provided a chat button that is accessible by clicking anywhere on the website; users can control who can send messages to the group via a member-only opt-in list; and users can specify what types of videos they want to upload to the website. All of these features were made available to those who signed up for the members’ area.
In the past few months, TalkTalkCamChat has grown so fast that the system cannot handle the number of users. According to the letter from TalkTalk, ChatBait Cam is in violation of a federal copyright statute that prevents the website owner from offering a service that is offered exclusively to the public for a fee (like the chat feature).
No immediate plans to eliminate the service
Now, the owners of ChatBait Cam have released a statement: the company will be exploring options for future development of ChatBait Cam but has no immediate plans to eliminate the service. The statement goes on to state that TalkTalkCamChat did not intend to prevent others from using the service, and that they hope the issues between them and ChatBait Cam can be resolved amicably.
So, now we have two platforms, ChatBait Cam and TalkTalkCamChat, in conflict. We will have to wait and see if either one is truly the end of the line for people who want to make videos on the internet, whether for personal or commercial reasons.
ChatBait Cam is not the only online video creation platform that is experiencing legal issues. Though ChatBait Cam may have helped its founders become better business people, it seems that they are not seeing the bigger picture. They are essentially relying on the internet’s speed to offer them exposure to the millions of people who use YouTube, the biggest and most popular video sharing website on the planet.
However, none of these platforms are going to replace YouTube. Users still need a site like YouTube to share their videos with other users. It is also possible that they will end up making more money from advertising on the sites they are able to monetize better than YouTube.
Potential to build its own community to the test
The makers of the two social media websites should also consider how well they are doing at building trust among users and introducing new features that will bring new revenue to them. YouTube is the most visited site on the internet. But, as for Facebook, it has only been out for three years.
For Facebook, this puts the potential to build its own community to the test. Currently, Facebook features a fairly limited interface with a big red “Like” button in the center of the home page.
Yet, that button can be pressed to access a variety of features that would be exciting for users of Facebook, but may be less interesting to YouTube users. Facebook also makes some decent money through advertising programs, and it is possible that there are other methods of monetizing its site that may appeal to users.
As for ChatBait Cam, the case may be a little different than those of ChatBait Cam and TalkTalkCamChat. Both platforms need to innovate in order to survive; ChatBait Cam may want to pull back and have a bit of fun; TalkTalkCamChat may want to offer something truly useful, something that allows users to use to build trust and a community.