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Tango founder

GLOBAL – We’re not the only people looking forward to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900. 

The people behind video voice call app Tango are positively over the moon about it.

Co-founder and CTO 33-year-old Eric Setton, told Nokia Conversations:  “We’re really rooting for the Nokia Lumia 900 to be a big success.

“One of the things that impresses me is the way we can work with Nokia.

“We are next door to each other in California. The fact that we could visit each other to fine tune the product was great.

“Nokia even made a small change to the hardware just to make sure that we could bed down on the Lumia and we are very grateful that they could do that.”

Stanford PhD graduate Eric is another partner to notice the increase of Nokia’s internal clock speed.

“Nokia managed to turn on a dime. I think it’s phenomenal when you reach that size of company and manage to work that fast,” he said.

Growing everywhere

Tango has been around for two and a half years and currently employs 85 people in Palo Alto, California.

They launched the first cross-platform WiFi and 3G mobile video calling service one and a half years ago.

Tango got instant traction, with a million users in just 10 days. Now after 18 months they have 42 million users across 212 countries.

“We are pretty much everywhere, growing like weeds,” said Eric.

“There’s no username, no login, which makes it incredibly easy to use.

“People use Tango to stay closer to their loved ones and are more connected to people they care about, because video call is much more intimate than voice calls.

“Over 40 percent of our 42 million users have been active in the last month.”

Eric is confident that Tango has more to offer than rival services because of the work that has gone into the back end.

“We are the best service in terms of quality, and I know how important that is for a company like Nokia,” he said.

“Our agility puts us right at the front. We put out a new product every two weeks. We’ve made a commitment to cover virtually every phone. When Windows 7.5 came out, Tango was out straight away.

Tango in action

 A video call incoming

“We are still the only VOIP service on Windows Phone.

“And we’ve been working hand in hand with Nokia since November to make sure that the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 will have Tango straight out of the box and it will be the best video calling service on any Windows Phone.

“We’re the third most downloaded app after Facebook and Twitter on Windows Phone.

“We don’t have a legacy of desktop product and that enables us to make a much simpler product for mobiles.  And it’s based on your address book, so it’s incredibly easy to use, like your phone.

“The set of features also really set us apart. We’ve released a video messaging feature, when people don’t pick up, our users are able to leave a video message. And this is something people really like.

Use it on the Lumia 800, too

Eric told me that you can make video calls using the back-facing camera with Tango. So I loaded the app from the Marketplace on my Nokia Lumia 800 to try it out in the office.

Sure enough, I was able to call across platforms to Android and iPhones. And my colleagues were able to see me on their screen. All you need is a mirror to enjoy the full video calling 

Eric pointed out that Nokia pioneered video calling over 3G and produced one of the first phones with a  front-facing camera.

“A lot of our users seem very happy using the service with a back-facing camera,” said Eric. “There’s also a vanilla free voice call feature.”

He claims that Tango has a very light presence in phone networks and doesn’t run in the background if you aren’t making a call.

“There’s no unnecessary chit-chat on the network. We’re the only application like that. We found a way to access the network without the constant need to keep sending out a signal. “

He claims Tango can cost up to 90 per cent less in data charges than other services because there is no constant need for the program to keep getting in touch with the network saying, “Hi I’m here”.

“It is really network friendly,” added Eric. He clearly can’t wait to see how Tango fares on the Nokia Lumia 900 via the 4G (aka. LTE) network with AT&T.

“For us there’s so much excitement to see one phone that can really move the needle in the US for Windows Phone. If there’s one phone that can do it, it’s the Lumia 900 and we really want to see that happen.”