We've added a very simple chat box that you can use until the new site is launched.
You can now create your own chat rooms.
I think we've made the decision to bring back OohYa Chat.
I'm not sure how long it will be before it's ready to go live, I'm guessing at least a couple of months as we plan to completely rebuild the site from scratch.
I also plan to custom build out the chat platform from scratch as well which will give us much more flexibility and control over functionality, integration, security, and features and will be a one of a kind platform that nobody else uses.
A few things we have planned for this new build is:
1. Ability for users to create their own private and public rooms similar to the old Yahoo Chat "user rooms" from years ago.
2. Accessible from all platforms and devices so that someone on a computer, iphone/ipad, android device, and windows phone can all directly access chat as well as utilize the webcam features.
3. Increased security and spam prevention functions.
4. Better more comprehensive user controls to ignore/block other users in both chat and their profile permanently and the ability to only be visible to people you designate.
5. A modulated design not restrained to a flash based window, in fact flash will not be used at all in this new build. This means you'll be able to move the modules around anywhere on the screen including webcams and minimize/resize/expand each individual module. I plan to create functionality so you can save several different configurations so you can easily switch it with a quick push of a button.
6. A complete split between general and adult themed rooms with separate terms of service specifications.
The new build is ambitious but once launched it will be unlike anything else out there and should provide a much better user experience than any chat platform to date. The main factor behind the decision to revive OohYa is the fact that there is no real legitimate multi-room modern option out there for people that want a true online large-scale chat with true profile integration. We're still unsure how exactly we're going to generate the revenue needed to cover the costs, although we do have a few ideas we're exploring, but whatever revenue model we decide on the site will still be a free open site.
One thing this new platform will not have is room monitors as we have no desire to be chat room nazis, we intend to build the controls and functionality into the new platform so users can moderate themselves by specifying who can see them, and the ability to make people they don't want to see disappear. Users that create their own rooms will have the ability to moderate them fully themselves. With that said we intend to keep a close watch on room themes and illegal behavior and plan to build a custom dynamic automated filtering system which will alert us to inappropriate behavior when certain red flag events are triggered. This will help us tremendously on the administration side by not having to rely solely on user complaints.
Sometime in the next couple of months we will most likely be looking for a handful of alpha and beta testers to test out the new system to trouble shoot bugs and issues. If you want to be a beta tester comment on the OohYa Facebook Page and we'll let you know when we're ready to start testing.
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Yahoo Chat shut down their free chat rooms in December 2012.