Apple, Google and Facebook may be the headline names among companies involved in a U.S. government surveillance program, but one firm — PalTalk — stands out precisely because it’s so obscure. Here’s a quick look at what PalTalk is, and why it may have piqued the interest of the U.S. government.
What is PalTalk? PalTalk is a voice, video and text chat service. Founded in 1998, PalTalk is actually older than Google or Facebook, and says it was the “first to combine voice and video into instant messaging.”
The company says that it has around 4 million users, and has had up to 70 million downloads to date. That’s not an insignificant number, but certainly not something on the scale of Facebook’s userbase of 1.1 billion.
Last year, the company gained some attention when it snapped up Wilson Kreigel, a Zynga executive who joined the mobile gaming firm through its OMGPOP acquisition. Kreigel is now PalTalk’s President and Chief Operating Officer.