Mobile video provider Qik hasn’t lost a step since being bought by Skype: Its user base has doubled to 10 million since the purchase was announced in January. The fast growth highlights the overall momentum in mobile video sharing and calling, which is fast becoming a mainstream pursuit, as people use their mobile-based video to communicate more and more.
The milestone comes as Qik introduces its premium mobile services on Android, bringing over a set of features that first appeared on the iPhone earlier this summer. With Qik Premium, which costs $4.99 a month, users will be able to get unlimited video storage, easy video management and sharing via a desktop application that syncs videos from a mobile device, as well as video mail. Android users will also get the ability to record and send HD and 3D video if their handsets support it.
Qik’s growth is being led by video chatting, which has tripled since the beginning of this year, and video recording, which has almost doubled in the same period. Bhaskar Roy, Qik co-founder and senior vice president of product development, said the company has grown in part by embracing all kinds of video communications, not just video conferencing. He said some people like to share recorded videos, while others like to stream to the web. Some like to video chat in real time while others are happy to send video mail.
“We don’t box people into how they use our product and I think that’s one of the key things to our success is this flexibility of how you want to share moments through video,” Roy said.
Roy said Qik remains independent from Skype due to Qik’s deep relationships with carriers and manufacturers. But he said over time, Qik will marry its products and technology together with Skype. By that time, Qik will also be part of Microsoft, which is in the process of buying Skype for $8.5 billion.
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