When Will WebRTC Take Off?

February 4, 2013

It already had.

I’ve been asked a similar question by a colleague of mine the other day: Is WebRTC real? Isn’t it just a fad?

WebRTC launchAnd you must admit – it is easy to fall for these notions, after all, WebRTC is relatively new, it has real issues in its codec selection, and it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table: it is just the same old set of protocols we’ve used in SIP and H.323.

But then you go check out the facts in front of us, and you see that the real question isn’t if WebRTC will succeed; it is when.

And my simple answer to that?

It already did.

Here’s the proof to that:

Over 70 Companies Using WebRTC

Yap. It was 50 a few weeks ago, and now my list of companies that are using WebRTC has over 70.

It is becoming rather hard to keep track of them all, but it goes to show that WebRTC has major investments in it already.

3 Acquisitions that are WebRTC Related

There were already 3 acquisitions related to WebRTC. All of them different and all of them interesting:

2 Carriers Offering WebRTC Services

There are 2 carriers today that already offer WebRTC services:

  • Telefonica, through the acquisition of TokBox
  • AT&T, through their work with Ericsson and Voxeo

Services Running With WebRTC

There are services today that already use WebRTC: these are real businesses, even if small ones that are using WebRTC.

Through my interviews, I am refraining from interviewing upcoming WebRTC vendors, and trying to focus on those that already have something out the door – and there are a lot of those already.

These vendors rely on WebRTC happening. They live the daily changes of the specification and browser implementations. And they are doing it to carve a place for themselves in this brave new world.

API Platforms Have Customers That Use It

When I worked at RADVISION we had this saying that we see the market a few years ahead of time: we sold protocol stacks, so when developers bought them, you knew that in 1-2 years, there will be new products on the market. Not scientific, but it shows a trend.

When you have companies developing API platforms, the best way to measure their success is by their customers. And the WebRTC API platforms already have customers who launched their services. You can read interviews with two of them here: Wello and Vacasa Rentals.

The next time you feel like contemplating the possible success of WebRTC, just skip it and go think of what you can use WebRTC for. Others are doing it already.

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