Paltalk is sometimes referred to as Paltalk Scene. It's an online chat service that allows people to communicate with each other via instant messaging, voice chatting and video conferencing. Building upon the ashes of a failed program and making a few acquisitions, Paltalk has grown since its founding in the late 1990s to become one of the major voice and video chat websites on the Internet.
Paltalk was preceded by Firetalk, which was founded in 1997. As a voice and music chat program, Firetalk folded the following year because of inadequate funding. Jason Katz, who founded Paltalk in 1998, bought Firetalk's website address, firetalk.com; it now redirects to paltalk.com. Paltalk is owned by A.V.M. Software, Inc., which was established in the same year and is headquartered in Jericho, New York. In 2007, Katz announced in an interview with "CEO World Magazine" that Paltalk has 37 employees and four million active users.
The Paltalk downloadable software, or Paltalk Messenger, grants users access to thousands of video chat rooms and SuperIM, which permits free video calls with up to 10 people using applications such as AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. Users also get SuperIM URLs. These are free, customizable URLs based on users' Paltalk nicknames that enable other people to directly chat with them online.
Paltalk acquired HearMe in 2001. This web-based video conferencing program was mainly designed for small businesses, distance-learning educational institutions and corporations. Six years later, Paltalk relaunched it as a business-to-business program. HearMe offers unlimited video, audio and web conferencing; Paltalk offers a 14-day free trial to first-time users.
Current Status and System Requirements
At the time of publication, the latest version of Paltalk is v10.0. For Paltalk installation on a computer, it must have at least the Windows XP operating system, 1GB of RAM, 12MB of free data storage space and an Intel Pentium processor. In addition to the flagship product, Paltalk Messenger, which is exclusively for Microsoft Windows-based personal computers, Paltalk also offers the stripped-down Paltalk Express for Macintosh computers and Paltalk Mobile for the BlackBerry, iPhone and Android-based smartphones. Today, in the online chat service industry, Paltalk is perhaps only surpassed in popularity by Skype.