Here Come the WebRTC WordPress Plugins

27/05/2014

If there’s no WordPress plugin for it, then it doesn’t exist.

When it comes to websites, WordPress is the leading framework. It runs this site and most of my other sites, and I am not alone in it: 22% of the websites today use WordPress.

Wordpress market share

Back to WebRTC. I was routed recently to a service whose WebRTC plugin was on WordPress. So I had to check by myself – who else is there already? Here’s what I could find in there.

Only 6.

That’s almost 0.02% of the plugins for WordPress.

And their download rate from WordPress? Abysmally low:

WebRTC WordPress plugins

Barc Chat

Developed by Barc. Enables embedding their chat room services to WordPress sites.

Swarmify

Swarmify is one of the peer assisted delivery vendors using the Data Channel. It adds their code to your WordPress site, making it augment CDNs by having viewers of the site assist each other in downloading the resources on your blog.

Bistri Video Conference

This one belongs to Bistri. One of the earliest players in WebRTC. It enables placing a button in a WordPress blog that once pressed, the viewer will be joining a video conference room.

Watcheezy Live chat plugin for WordPress

Haven’t heard of this vendor before searching for WebRTC plugins on WordPress (one more to my list).

Watcheezy is another click-to-call solution for websites. It enables text, voice and video calls initiated by website visitors to the site’s owners.

Teledini Engagement Tools

Teledini’s plugin. It is a click-to-call plugin that enables visitors of the website to text, voice call and video call the site’s owner.

appear.in WP

This one is similar to Bistri’s plugin. It enables configuring a private chat room and having site visitors join in.

Why is this important?

This should have been easy enough. Have a WordPress plugin for a WebRTC service. People will use it. Successful plugins are in the range of million downloads instead of a couple hundreds.

Something is wrong here, and it can be one of several things:

  1. There is no value in simple click-to-call plugins in WordPress
  2. There isn’t enough awareness to the need of WebRTC / real time communications for WordPress site owners
  3. WebRTC is useless

Someone needs to crack this one to get WebRTC going in generic websites.

Before you ask, I am not using any WordPress plugin on my website because I don’t need their functionality. My blog is about asynchronous communications – you can reach out to me through the contact page or just comment on posts. If you want to chat with me, you can use other social media options. I talk to people I meet through the blog using one of the many WebRTC options out there.

Responses

Tim Panton says:
May 27, 2014

> There is no value in simple click-to-call plugins in WordPress

Correct. How many pages have you read and thought “I must speak to the author _now_”? I guess once a week – out of the (say) 500 sites you visit a week – so that’s
less than .2%
Now ask yourself how many of those 52 occasions last year were you in a time zone
where it would be socially acceptable to call the page owner (considering their TZ)
– let’s say 1/3rd at most – so that’s 16 occasions last year when you might have used
a simple click to call.
Now, eliminate all the occasions where you already have the author’s contact details in skype/phone contact list – I guess half – these you’ll use the pre-existing contact
because it is easier, and they will know who you are too.

So I’m guessing there are a maximum of 8 occasions last year when you might plausibly have used a simple click-to-call on a wordpress site.

Hardly overwhelming.

Reply
    Tim Panton says:
    May 27, 2014

    Oh it is even smaller – I forgot only 25% of websites use wordpress – so 2 occasions last year.

    Reply
      Tsahi Levent-Levi says:
      May 27, 2014

      Not that easy.

      WebRTC is used for different site types and not only blogs. There are ecommerce and online communities built on top of WordPress. Such sites can make use of real time communications (click-2-call or otherwise).

      I think that the current set of plugins hasn’t found the right use case to become popular or important to a specific WordPress niche.

      Reply
    Philipp Hancke says:
    May 28, 2014

    > Now ask yourself how many of those 52 occasions last year were you in a time zone
    > where it would be socially acceptable to call the page owner (considering their TZ)

    Well, that kind of functionality only makes sense when used with presence (you might remember, this thing which everyone called the new dialtone).
    Only show the call button if the page owner has decided to appear online.

    Reply
Michael Graves says:
May 27, 2014

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed” – William Gibson

Think about WordPress, more specifically the profile of the community it serves. Its the less technical end of the web development pool. The community exists because the platform is flexible, extensible and most importantly…easy to use.

IMHO, WebRTC is not yet far enough along the technology adoption curve to have an impact on the WordPress community.

Take a breath. WebRTC within WordPress is coming. The very existence of these plug-ins foretells such a future.

Disclosure – like yourself, I am a WordPress user. I have over time gone from using WordPress.com to self-hosting, and in so doing achieved some familiarity with the app and the community.

Reply
Jerome Calvo says:
May 27, 2014

WebRTC is still an emerging technology and as such the word is not out yet oustide of our limited circle of WebRTC enthusiasts. Even HTML5 specialists think that WebRTC is not ready for prime time, because they didn’t get the word…
Having a WordPress plugin is one thing, having the WordPress community to know about it is another.
The good news is that the technology is now good enough with support on various web and mobile platforms, and WordPress developers are a prime target for easy to use and easy to implement plugins such as the ones proposed by Bistri, which by the way comes in two flavors: a click2call button for and Click2Conference button connected to Bistri Conference APIs

Jerome Calvo
V.P. Business Development Americas
BISTRI

Reply
Doug Pelton says:
June 1, 2014

Priologic did an early WordPress plugin for Tawk.com but we decided not to release broadly and instead to do something more generic.

1) We found out that many people had WordPress sites that didn’t support plugins.

2) We also thought WordPress plugins were a fairly low volume low price product while we’re waiting for ubiquitous WebRTC across all browsers.

If WebRTC is in the chasm or early adopters phase we need low volume high price sales to sustain. Not WordPress plugins for now… Maybe next year.

Reply
    Tsahi Levent-Levi says:
    June 1, 2014

    Doug,

    That;s where we think differently. WebRTC has a very vibrant ecosystem. Companies like WPEngine can raise 15M USD for their hosted service. Others such as Yoast can garner millions of plugin downloads and usage and then build a premium plugins as well as consultancy services around it.

    If WebRTC is intended for the web, then WordPress is part of where it *should* be.

    Reply
Watcheezy says:
June 10, 2014

Thanks for the mention. You’re right when you said that there are only a few webrtc plugin on WordPress. To answer your inquires, here are a few things to remember: .

* “There is no value in simple click-to-call plugins in WordPress”. This is partially false. Click to call plugins are usefull for e-commerce owners or any company who want to win their customers’ trust and loyalty. Thanks to the WebRTC technology, customers can instantly start a conversation with an agent, and agents can be proactive and engage a conversation with their visitors. No plugin to install or download to make. It’s pretty important considering that customers look for an instant, personalized, free customer support.

*”There isn’t enough awareness to the need of WebRTC / real time communications for WordPress site owners”. I agree with you. WebRTC technology is a NEW cutting edge technology. Webrtc Technology is compatible with some browsers (like Opera, Firefox and Chrome), and it takes some time to expand its use to all browsers. But I really think we will arrive to this point sooner or later !

*”WebRTC is useless” : I will made the same answer here : Thanks to webRTC, people can easily establish a contact with a company. Some situations require face to face calls. Imagine in the medical field for example. Doctors and patients could save valuable time by discussing in face to face (but from their home/office). Of course it depends of the injuries and the cases, but I think there is quite a potential here.

Discover Watcheezy here: http://www.watcheezy.com

Reply
    Tsahi Levent-Levi says:
    June 10, 2014

    All is good and well, and I agree with you.

    The only problem is that the end result at the moment isn’t satisfying in any way. And the reason for that needs to be found to remedy the situation.

    Reply
      Watcheezy says:
      June 10, 2014

      Tsahi Levent-Levi thanks for the reply. Why do you say it’s not satisfying? Have you ever try a webRTC solution on your website?

      I think that a webRTC solution is useful if companies make a proper use of the module and combine it with a behavioral targeting tool. To start a discussion with your customers at the right time is essential … Too early and your client will try to escape from you… Too late and he already left your site.

      How do you feel about this?

      Reply
        Tsahi Levent-Levi says:
        June 10, 2014

        While I do make use of WebRTC for my daily work, I don’t really have any use for it in my blog – there, my interactions are asynchronous in nature.

        People who want and need to find me and communicate with me have multiple ways of doing so – I am not an e-commerce outlet.

        It isn’t that WebRTC isn’t satisfying but rather that its WordPress plugin adoption isn’t – and that’s the problem that needs fixing.

        Reply
          Watcheezy says:
          June 10, 2014

          Do you mean you couldn’t manage to install it on your website or that considering your use of the product it’s not adapted for your website?

          Reply
          Tsahi Levent-Levi says:
          June 10, 2014

          Have no real need for it on my website.

          Reply
Hans says:
October 20, 2016

Just look at the WeSeeDo – WordPress plugin that brings you easily real-time video on your website/shop. WeSeeDo is fully integrated within your website/shop. Even full screen video is possible! WeSeeDo makes digital communication personally. WeSeeDo creates new online business opportunities and will increase your sales!

The plugin is available here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/weseedo/.

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