What's driving the adoption of WebRTC services today?

WebRTC adoption is influenced by the ecosystem around the technology, including browser support and commercial products. Emerging technologies could also affect future deployments.

Social networks and free video services drive WebRTC adoption today. Some of the largest WebRTC services are free to use, such as Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts. Most services employ asymmetric business models, where communications is the experience rendered, but the paid service lies elsewhere. For example, Facebook's service is ad-based, and Google's service is bundled as part of G Suite.

The adoption of WebRTC services depends on the size of the ecosystem built around the technology. The WebRTC ecosystem includes all the major browser vendors, open source projects and frameworks, commercial offerings, and consulting and outsourcing vendors.

The majority of enterprises and developers only have WebRTC as an option for real-time communications because of the open source nature of WebRTC and the declining support for Flash. While startups and nimbler market players have adopted WebRTC wholeheartedly, more established vendors will more fully adopt it over the next two years. The more established vendors have used WebRTC as a sideshow to their main products, but will renew their focus and architecture around WebRTC services.

From a technical point of view, companies will evaluate how WebRTC fits with other technologies, such as AI, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, and internet of things. The majority of the effort to find how WebRTC fits with new technologies will come from field services, surveillance and entertainment markets.

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