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Video Calling is Slowly Going Mainstream

Video calling is slowly moving from a science fiction fantasy that often caught consumers’ imagination but never quite caught on in the marketplace to a daily reality for a lot of Internet users. According to a new survey the VoIP company Rebtel commissioned from Harris Interactive, 14% of U.S. adults currently make video calls and 34% of them are willing to pay a fee for them. While quite a few users still feel video calling is just a gimmick, these new statistics show that there is clearly a lot of interest in this functionality as well.

With technologies like Skype and its built-in video calling feature, as well as Apple’s FaceTime and various other mobile video calling solutions, the market for video calling is clearly becoming mainstream as the tools for making these calls are now easily available. There was always some resistance to actually making these calls (being on video still makes a lot of people uneasy), but it seems like some of this resistance is now waning.

Would You Pay Extra for Video Calling?

About a third of those Internet users who are making video calls are also willing to pay for it. According to the Rebtel survey, the price for this feature can’t be too high, though. Most users aren’t willing to spend more than $10 per month for this, and 44% of those respondents who are willing to pay don’t want to pay more than $5. As Rebtel’s CEO Andreas Bernstrom notes, “this opens up a new, non-ad based revenue model for providers like Skype who are looking to monetize on their video services.”

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