AOL AV Is Free Video Chat From AIM Team | Flash-Based, No Sign-In, Download Required

1 min read

AOL AV LogoThere are multiple options for people looking to video chat online these days, from MSN Messenger to Chatroulette and everything in between the two. But AOL AV others something few others do: simplicity.


Those of you out there who want to expose yourselves on the Internet for others to see, intimately or otherwise, now have another option for doing so. AOL AV is a free video chat service which requires no sign-in or username, and no software download. It does, however, require Flash.

Leaked last week by some naughty bloggers, AOL AV has now launched in beta. And very impressive it is too. AOL AV allows four people to chat (video, audio, and text) together at one time without hoops needing to be jumped through.

All you need to do is visit the AOL AV site, click ‘Start a Video Chat’, click ‘Allow’, and there you are. To bring other people into the chatroom you just share the shortened URL with anyone you want to, be they friend or stranger.

Flash & Revenue Options

The one thing AOL AV requires is Adobe Flash (10.3). This is fine for people with a PC running a recent version of one of the major browsers, but not for users of Apple products such as iPad and iPhone, or some other smartphones.

Jason Shellen of Thing Labs said, “We’re using Flash much like YouTube used Flash. We’re already investigating other video technologies.” Which would imply it won’t be too long before there are other options for users of these devices.

The other quandary is how AOL are going to make this pay, which they invariably will do. Launching as free means I can only assume it will stay that way forever. And to charge would surely require sign-ins or downloads, completely removing the point of the service in its entirety. So, advertising it is. Which is fine by me.


I’ve tested AOL AV a few times and it’s worked brilliantly. Which, seeing as this is still just a beta version, is pretty amazing. A few more features, some unobtrusive advertising, and an alternative to Flash should mean this is a winner.

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