As recently as seven short years ago, building video applications on the web was a massive pain. Remember the days of using Flash and proprietary codecs (which often required licensing)? Yuck. In the last few years, video chat technology has dramatically improved and Flash is no longer required.
Today, the video chat landscape is much simpler thanks to WebRTC: an open source project built and maintained by Google, Mozilla, Opera, and others. WebRTC allows you to easily build real-time communication software in your browser and is being standardized at the W3C and IETF levels. Using WebRTC, you can build real-time video chat applications in the browser that actually work well! It’s pretty amazing.