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Rounds Is Leaving The Facebook Nest

Facebook video app Rounds has grown to 3 million users since it launched in 2010. Armed with its Facebook following, it’s planning to take on new turf.

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This was the summer of social video. Google launched Google+ Hangouts, and Facebook and Skype teamed up to allow video chatting on Facebook, allowing scores and scores of people to connect with each other through their social network of choice.

Rounds, which launched in 2010, had been offering a video service in app form all along, and it took advantage of the hullabaloo to produce an infographic where it showed itself off as the best provider of social video. Rounds players could use the platform to talk, text, play games, and watch YouTube together while on Facebook, which sets it apart among similar video chat services like TinyChat or Chatroulette. For safety, it only allowed Facebook users with more than 100 friends to use the service. Also, unlike Facebook’s built-in Skype-powered video feature which only let friends chat with friends, Rounds connects strangers who happened to be playing the same game on Facebook.

Even so, now, Rounds seems to be looking beyond Facebook, to the mobile world.

“The mobile industry is one of the next frontiers for the Rounds platform, and having Verizon as our strategic investor will aid us in our efforts as we move forward,” Rounds CEO and cofounder Dany Fishel said in a press release.

The company has raised $3 million in an investment led by Verizon Investments, and wants to use the cash to reach into the mobile space. It’s gathered 3 million followers on Facebook, and the company is looking to deftly leverage its Facebook popularity as it moves into a different space where it has possibly more independence. Essentially, it’s used Facebook as an incubator to grow and nurture its user base until it’s ready to tough it out in the real world.

[Image: Flickr user Valerie Everett]

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Nidhi Subbaraman writes about technology and life. Follow on Twitter, Google+.