Google announced that Fundo, its platform for YouTubers and other creators to host paid, ticketed virtual meet-and-greet events, will expand from a limited test into a complete product that anyone can use from today onwards. It will help the community to perform live and interactive face to face video calling.
Developed by Google’s Area 120 incubator division for experimental projects has now officially opened up Fundo to host paid, ticketed virtual experiences.
Fundo was launched as a platform for YouTubers and other creators in a limited beta last summer for several trusted testers.The service provides hosting features including video streaming, promotional tools, and payment-transaction processing. Creators in the US and Canada can use Fundo.
Fundo was originally meant as a virtual photo booth-style service. Fans could wait in a digital line, chat briefly with the celebrity or creator, and get photos with them, just like a real-life meet-and-greet.And while they wait, they can watch the interaction of other people and enjoy or cringe, depending on the type of fans joining an event. The service offers creators an easy method to run these kinds of events, complete with video streaming, payment processing, and hosting, in exchange for which Google takes some cut of the revenue.
General manager John Gregg said, “Fundohas been in beta for the past year with a few hundred trusted testers, who can set the price for access to online events and control how many people can attend.”
Gregg further added, “Google takes a 20 percent cut of revenue generated through Fundo. We think that represents the value Fundo provides with the end-to-end platform.”
The concept of offering an easy means for creators to provide paid, ticketed online events has become far more valuable, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced most of the work and events online. The company has seen events like workout classes, cooking tutorials, and workshops.
Gregg also said, “In 2020, a lot of things are online. We’re not exclusive for YouTube creators. We think it provides value to any kind of creator.There are lots of different ways it can be used.”
Fundo has been designed by Google for small scale events, allowing up to 30 people to be on camera at the same time for an interactive session. Gregg further said, “The core use cases are meet-and-greets, small workshops, and medium-size group experiences.”
Creators can host one-on-one chats with their fans, organize meet and greet events, and even start any paid workshop. During the chat sessions, fans have an option to pose with their favorite creator virtually for a photo booth experience, and all of the photos can later be downloaded as a photo strip or animation that can be shared with friends.
Users will also now be able to search for events on the Fundo website and purchase scheduled one-on-one meetings with creators.
Fundo Event hosts and their guests can access everything on the site using a special-purpose video-chat system. A feature that hearkens back to its meet-up origins is the built-in “photo booth” feature, in which each attendee gets a photo with a creator-customized frame.
Fundo’s emphasis on Monetizing Video Events is a powerful and promising feature for small businesses.