The Video Chat Revolution Begins
from Rabbit on Vimeo

Back in the old days of social TV, one didn’t have to worry about looking presentable to interact online with friends about shows. But if the new video-chat software Rabbit takes off, the pressure may be on to look as good as the actors you’re watching on screen.

Rabbit merges multi-person video chat with the ability to share the programming for watching in real-time together with friends from the comfort of their own webcam-equipped homes. So instead of, say, tweeting along to “South Park” with fellow fans with your hair dangerously uncombed, you and said fans can actually be looking at each other while watching. Music and other kinds of content can also be shared, and there’s a nifty integration with Facebook to connect with friends.

One caveat: The content that can be integrated into Rabbit can only be from free ad-supported video sources like YouTube or Hulu. Video from transactional platforms, be it subscription VOD like Netflix or a la carte platforms like iTunes, don’t grant rights that allow for public viewing.

Rabbit launched Thursday in a closed beta (visit www.rabb.it to request an invite) for Macs only so far. But join up if you want to get an early sense of how social TV is likely to evolve.