mailVU: An Easy Way to Send Private Video Messages

According to a 2010 Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project survey, in the U.S., almost 20 percent of Americans use some form of video chat.

For all that chatting however, there is no easy way for businesses to send private video messages that play on any computing device. Alan Fitzpatrick and Addy Kapur came up with an idea designed to change that. In early 2010, the two founded A2Stream Inc., the Charlotte, N.C.-based development company behind the easy-to-use mailVU video email service. mailVU made its official debut in 2010 and has had more than 60,000 unique visitors from 176 countries.

“mailVU makes it easy for businesses to send private video messages to clients and prospects, educators to send and receive videos from students, and employers to receive private videos from job seekers,” said Fitzpatrick, the company’s CEO. “You don’t have to worry about video formats or file size as mailVU will automatically stream the video in a format suitable to the viewing device. We keep private video messages private and don’t allow access to search engines. There are many times where you simply don’t want your video on a public site or social network.”

Following those privacy safeguards, users may delete or retract their video messages at any time. The number of views and the number of days before the video becomes unavailable can also be set.

Though video messaging through email isn’t a new technology, none of mailVU’s leading competitors offer free, 10-minute video recording, self-destruct or retraction features. These features are combined with the service’s ability to play on all devices, including smartphones and tablets. Additionally, mailVU does not require creation of an account or software download.

“mailVU offers a frictionless interface to use the service,” Fitzpatrick said. “You simply click, record, and send 10 minute videos right from the Home page. We will also customize our application for use by businesses and educational institutions and websites. Combining our website widget with the API will allow any business the ability to easily integrate it with their site or their service.”

That customization can include adding the company or school’s branding and colors, along with modifying the feature attributes and providing upload/download functionality. While mailVU’s basic version is free for anyone to use, there is a charge for businesses that want customized branding and additional features.

Fitzpatrick explained that mailVU may be used across all strata of business, academic, and charitable organizations for everything from implementing a new type of marketing strategy, to helping students perform better, to making a genuine personal appeal to raise money.

“mailVU is a great way to market your business to clients and prospects – it provides a more personal approach than text emails,” he said. “Videos get clicked three to five times more frequently than text links and they are more memorable.”

For businesses, video email can be used to create newsletters to keep clients up to date on products, services, regulations, and laws; the service can also be used to showcase products to anyone, anywhere in the world. mailVU gives employers a distinctive way to welcome new employees or provide brief training videos.

mailVU also provides an opportunity for educators to better reach their students.

“Teachers can use mailVU for student assignments, particularly for language classes, oral exams, and sign language,” Fitzpatrick said. “College admission offices can use mailVU for new student orientation, and placement offices can use it to help students in their job searches.”

After college those students can use mailVU to create video introductions, resumes and thank you messages to send after interviews.

Lastly, mailVU offers a zero-cost option for non-profit organizations to get out personal messages to their donors: “Charities can use mailVU for fund-raising activities, providing a more personal appeal,” Fitzpatrick said.

Building mailVU’s brand has been well worth the 17-hour days its founders live with. In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations of the site, part of Fitzpatrick and Kapur’s duties include keeping watch over all aspects of customer outreach through various social media, including the service’s blog which has more than 4,000 subscribers and gets several hundred hits each day.

A2Stream’s overarching mission is to become the industry leader in easy-to-use, worldwide video messaging applications. In the next few years, Fitzpatrick envisions offering more services, in more languages on more devices – an iPhone app is already in development and will be available in early 2011.

“The days do not seem long when you love what you do, and getting such positive reaction from mailVU users is very encouraging and uplifting,” Fitzpatrick said. “We love what we do and hope that it shows in the service and support we provide.”

http://mailvu.com

Follow mailVU on Twitter (http://twitter.com/mailvu)
Like mailVU on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/mailVU/119931561362889)
Check out mailVU’s Blog (http://mailvu.com/blog)

A Short Bio of mailVU:

A2Stream is the developer of mailVU.com, a private video messaging service. mailVU videos can be set to self-destruct and can be retracted by the user anytime. Videos are streamed from mailVU servers and multi-platform support ensures videos play on any computer, most new smartphones and tablets. mailVU has been successfully integrated by those in sales and marketing, education, recruitment, hearing-impaired associations, religious and charity organizations, and by a variety of businesses and individuals. mailVU has a Freemium end-user pricing model, along with corporate and white label account plans. An API is available for integration with other services. The company was founded in 2010 in Charlotte, N.C. http://mailVU.com

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