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Video chat site tightens requirements

Feb. 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Video chat site Rounds says it's retiring its "Meet New People" feature out of a commitment to the safety and privacy of its users, mostly teens and tweens.

Rounds will now require a pre-existing Facebook friendship between users to begin video chatting, the company said Wednesday in a release from its Tel Aviv, Israel, headquarters.

"The phenomenon of random video chatting a different stranger every five seconds is over," Rounds co-founder Dany Fishel said.

Rounds said its Facebook app, which formerly used a social matching algorithm allowing users to meet like-minded new people, would now require pre-existing Facebook friendship for users to interact.

Seventy percent of Rounds users are less than 25 years old, a significant factor in the decision to put new requirements in place, the company said.

"Our users' privacy and safety is our first and foremost priority; it's a subject on which we will not compromise," Fishel said. "Although random chatting with a different stranger every five seconds may still appeal to certain crowds, we decided to retire this feature and leave our competitors to cater to them."

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