The Over-the-Top (OTT) messaging and calling space is crowded. Facebook, Google and Apple have all entered the market, as have many others, including names like Tango, which was one of the first to the video calling over 3G space and has grown to just short of 100 million users in just over 2 years.
Tango today launched a new version of its app that includes some interesting new content aimed at helping users express their romantic sentiments over Valentine’s Days, as well new social features and improved communications tweaks. The company is hoping that in-session animations and games, photo sharing and other differentiators will help the company’s service stay relevant as competition heats up.
Eric Setton, founder and chief technology officer for Tango, says that Tango’s unique in-session games have been well received by the company’s users.
“We’re looking to replicate the family moments when everybody’s around the table and playing board games together,” Setton said during an interview with Wireless Week. “It’s something that’s performing beyond our expectations.”
With this release, the company is also highlighting content, and the partnerships it has formed with various players. For instance, the Valentine’s Day animations Tango is offering include familiar characters such as Pink Panther. But a focus on content doesn’t stop there. Tango has also rolled out a gallery feature, where users can peruse all of the private photos and images they’ve shared with other users.
“It’s the equivalent of the leather-bound album that sits in the living room,” Setton said of the new gallery feature.
Setton admits that even with these differentiators, larger players like Facebook are catching up with Tango in feature set. Still, he thinks Tango offers a different kind of experience, envisioning the service in very much the way Path seems to think of itself within the social networking arena—as a more intimate alternative to the bigger players.
“What’s important for Tango is for our users to interact with the people that are closest to you in a meaningful way. It’s that set of people that sets us apart from what happens in the realm of Facebook or Twitter,” Setton said. “As long as we’re true to that…I think that we don’t have much to worry about.”
But even those “boutique” services need to generate more users, and Tango is gearing up to commemorate its 100 millionth registrant. Setton says the company has something “very unique” in store for that milestone, so stay tuned.