If Facebook and OpenTok were to have a love child…

….it might look a little like SUTalk, a new OpenTok app launched recently.

SUTalk basically lets you video chat with up to 20 of your Facebook friends directly on Facebook.  SUTalk is not the first mash-up of OpenTok and Facebook (we know about at least one other, Hoot.me), but its interesting because it is purely social.  As you can tell from the screenshot (of the TokBox team goofing around) you can just hang out with your friends and see what they’re up to.

We think there are lots of potential applications for OpenTok within Facebook – companies with a Facebook page could create an app to engage face-to-face with their fans, town-hall style, or one-to-one for customer support; social gaming developers could create a new generation of parlor games (face-to-face Scrabble, anyone?); the opportunities are endless and we are excited to see more Facebook apps like this over the coming months.

What do you think would be a cool mash-up of Facebook and OpenTok? Feel free to build it and submit it to our contest too.

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Week 2: Contest Winner – LiveLearn.tv

From what we can see, video chat and education seem to be a marriage made in heaven.  We’ve already highlighted several distance learning apps that have used OpenTok to power their video chat – Hoot.me, TutorTrove and Learningfy – and today we are announcing another, LiveLearn.tv, as the winner of the second week of our Developer contest.

Congratulations to Deverraux and team!

LiveLearn.tv allows students to connect with teachers in a wide range of educational fields, at all levels and even lets you collaborate with other students.   For teachers, they make it easy to scheduled classes and even receive payment for them.  Ultimately they have one goal, to make learning accessible.  We’re excited for OpenTok to be part of that.

There are two more weeks of the contest to go, so get building.  This week’s prize is a Boxee and the deadline is Monday 28th at 11:59pm. But, don’t forget there is an iPad on the line the week after and then the ultimate prize – promotion to 2million TokBox users.

Micky

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Our new buddy, eBuddy

It’s been a busy week at TokBox, with lots of new OpenTok apps launching.  The latest one to launch is web and mobile messaging aggregator eBuddy.

At its core, eBuddy lets you instant message with your friends irrespective of whether they are signed in to their GTalk, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, MSN or MySpace.  Now, with the addition of OpenTok, with one click you can take your chat from text to face-to-face.

eBuddy has launched this today to 5% of its users (so, sorry if you’re not one of the lucky ones) and will be rolling it out shortly to the rest of their user base.

More to come next week….

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Zipcast made zippy with OpenTok

Today, our friends at SlideShare announced the launch of Zipcast. Now any presentation on SlideShare can form the basis of a virtual, face-to-face meeting, in just one click. Powered, of course, by OpenTok.

So, how does it work?  Just go to the presentation you want to share (or upload one), click on the Zipcast button and start broadcasting yourself and your presentation to whomever you have chosen to invite.  Super simple and obviously only made possible by the fact that there is no download required to use OpenTok.

We think this integration of OpenTok is incredibly powerful for a number of reasons.

1. It truly takes the conversation to the content.  Now the presenter can share their point of view on the content, right there, next to the content itself.

2. It is the epitome of simplicity. No download, no minimal chrome, nothing to distract from the content and the presenter.

3. Finally, SlideShare has leveraged one of the key benefits of OpenTok – the fact that the developer, in this case SlideShare, can choose who is allowed to subscribe to the video stream.  With Zipcast, SlideShare has put that control directly in the hands of the presenter, giving them the choice of whether their broadcast is public or private.

Congratulations to the SlideShare team on their launch and we look forward to watching many fascinating broadcasts.

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Week 1: Contest Winner – Dibake.com

Everyone loves a healthy debate.  Recent topics of debate over the TokBox lunch table have been as varied as “Should Mubarak step down?”, “Were the Groupon Superbowl ads distasteful?” or “Android vs. iPhone”.  What’s clear is that everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to have their say.  So, when we saw Dibake.com as entry in to our Developer Contest, we were intrigued.

Dibake.com, invites you to participate in topical debates, live, face-to-face.  Simply go to Dibake.com, select the topic you’re interested in, read the arguments (or bakes) that have already been made and initiate your own, live video debate right there on the page. If you’re too shy to participate, you can also just watch the debate unfold.

We love the idea of video chat centered around topics and that’s why Dibake.com is this week’s contest winner, winning an Android Tablet and increasing their chances of winning the grand prize – an audience with 2million users.  Congratulations to the Dibake.com team!

Next week’s prize: a Microsoft Kinect – so get submitting your apps to devcontest@tokbox.com

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Press release: OpenTok Gains Momentum

TokBox’s OpenTok Gains Momentum as Leading Group Video Chat Platform

PokerView, eBuddy and LiveGo among 30 New Partners Using the OpenTok Video Chat Platform to Boost Customer Acquisition and Engagement

SAN FRANCISCO February 11, 2011 —TokBox, a leading Web video communications provider today announced 28 new partners who are now using its recently launched live group video communications platform, OpenTok. Capitalizing on its lead in the group video chat space, TokBox has attracted companies from a diverse range of industries including web and mobile messaging aggregator, eBuddy; social platform and IM service LiveGO and gaming site, PokerView. OpenTok is quickly proving that its unique video chat platform is the answer for a range of businesses looking to bring rich, human interaction to their online experience.

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Calling all Student Geeks

Are you passionate about technology? Do you enjoy playing or working with leading-edge technologies and APIs? Do you like telling your friends about the latest and greatest sites on the web? Do you like to explain how things work? Are you looking for a way to do all of this, get paid for it and maybe even get school credit?

TokBox is launching our first ever On-Campus Developer Evangelist Program.  We will be selecting up to 10 undergraduate students (in their first, second or third year of study) to work with us, part-time for the rest of this semester, promoting our OpenTok API.  In return, we will pay you $300/week.

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Official Rules for TokBox On-Campus Program

As a condition of participating in the TokBox: On-Campus Evangelist Program (the “Program”), You (“You” or “Applicant”) agree to be fully and unconditionally bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of TokBox Inc (“TokBox”), whose decisions shall be final and binding in all respects, and waive any right to claim ambiguity in the these Official Rules.

Eligibility Requirements

1. You must be 18 years of age or over as at 1st January 2011

2. You must be a student in good standing enrolled in a 4-year college or university program, currently in your first, second or third year of study

3. Only legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia eligible to enter the Program

4. Directors, officers, employees, contractors, agents or representatives of TokBox, and/or its affiliate companies, and their suppliers, as well as the immediate family of the employees (including spouse, and parents, children and siblings, and their respective spouses regardless of where they live) and individuals living in the same households as the employees, whether related or not, are ineligible to participate in the program

5. The Program is subject to all applicable federal, state, provincial, and local laws and regulations and is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Win an audience with 2million users

We’ve already seen some great applications built using OpenTok and now we’re opening up our first developer contest to see what other great ideas you have.

The GRAND PRIZE?  We will promote the winning application to our 2 MILLION TOKBOX VIDEO CHAT users when we close down our service, giving you a chance to build a business overnight.

The winning application, judged by the TokBox Team, will take a unique and innovative approach to the video chat market, leveraging the OpenTok API but potentially mashing it up with other APIs out there.  Anything from Twitter and Facebook to Twilio and more.   Below you’ll find some more examples to get your creative juices flowing.

So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur who wants the chance to build a business overnight, get playing with OpenTok and see what you can create.

Here’s how it works.

Over the next four weeks we will hold a series of mini-contests, each one with a prize (details below).  You can enter as many times as you want in any week and you can even enter every week if you want.  At the end of four weeks those winners will be judged along side the “best of the rest” to select the winner of the grand prize.

The first deadline is Monday February 14th and our team and community will be on hand via our Google Group to help you out and we can’t wait to hear what you come up with.

More details of the competition are below.

Competition dates

The competition will run over a total of 6 weeks.

There will be a winner each week and they, along with the “best of the rest” will become our finalists. Each of the finalists will then have time to work more on their app before they submit the final version of their app on Monday March 21st

Week 1

  • · Deadline 11.59pm Monday February 14th
  • · Prize: Android Tablet

Week 2

  • Deadline 11.59pm  Monday February 21st
  • Prize: Microsoft Kinect

Week 3

  • Deadline: 11.59pm  Monday February 28th
  • Prize: Boxee Box

Week 4

  • Deadline: 11.59pm  Monday March 7th
  • Prize: Apple iPad

Deadline for all finalists to submit final versions of their apps 11.59pm  Monday March 21st

The final winner will be notified Wednesday March 23rd and will work with TokBox to optimize their application before we promote it to our user base on April 5th

The beady-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the winners of the earlier weeks will have more time to tweak their app so that’s an incentive to get building sooner rather than later!

Criteria for winning application

We will be judging all applications according to the following criteria:

  • Most differentiated approach to the video chat/video conferencing market
  • Innovative use of the OpenTok API
  • Innovative user experience and feature set

You are free to take advantage of any other APIs or technologies that are available to you.  Some of the ones that we think it would be cool to see are Twilio, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Some seeds of inspiration

Check out some of the apps that have already been built using OpenTok:

SUTalk: Video Chat with your Facebook friends – OpenTok meets Facebook

TrendTok: Video chat around topics trending on Twitter – a mash-up of the OpenTok API and Twitter API

YapMap: See the location of the friends you are video chatting with – a mash-up of the OpenTok API and GoogleMaps API

SurfaceBreaker:  Ask your new friends some questions via IM before jumping in to a video chat

Submitting your application

Just send an email to devcontest@tokbox.com with your name, email address, a 200 word description of your application and a link (URL) to your application.

Other details

  • Finalists and winners will be decided by the TokBox Management Team
  • The final winner will be notified by email by 12midnight Wednesday March 23rd.
  • The winning application will be wholly owned, hosted and operated by the winner
  • The winning application will be promoted to TokBox registered users by TokBox in good faith, but traffic will not be redirected
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Breaking up is hard to do

When given a choice of having the good news or bad news first, I always opt for the bad news.  So here goes, as of April 5th, 2011 the TokBox video chat and video conferencing service that you know and love will no longer be available.  We promise it’s not you it’s us.

That’s where the good news comes in.  From now on the TokBox team will be focusing 110% of our energy on our new API, OpenTok, working with our growing number of partners (28 and counting!) OpenTok will bring group video conversations to sites & applications you’re already using.  Video chat while you’re IM’ing your friends on eBuddy, while speed-dating on WinkVid, or playing poker on Pokerview.

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