Woot Hoot(.me)!

Yesterday was a pretty big day for the latest member of the OpenTok family, Hoot.me.  Not only did they launch their service but they were also voted winners at StartupCamp Comms, an event where start ups make their pitch in front of VCs.

In the words of CEO and Founder Michael Koetting, Hoot.me, “puts Facebook in to study mode”, with a little help from OpenTok.  Here’s how it works.  If you’re a student, stuck with an assignment or homework problem, you can share your question with your Facebook friends.  If someone can help, they respond and you start video-chatting with them there and then, right in Facebook.  What’s even more interesting is that if one of your friends can’t help you then you can search for a tutor to help you.

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Everyone deserves a nice place to go crazy

Our first reaction when we saw the Pretty Padded Room website, was “wow, this really IS a nice place to go crazy!” (You’ll see what I mean when you take a look).

Pretty Padded Room is a beautifully designed site that offers virtual therapy 24/7 from a team of trained female therapists.  What’s cool is that the private online sessions take place face-to-face with a therapist via private video chat powered, as you might have guessed, by OpenTok.

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Pitch your business idea to investors and influencers

I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity that is coming up for start-ups, developers and budding entrepreneurs to get their very own 5 minutes of fame.

Startup Camp Comms is an event that gives five lucky people the chance to pitch their idea, application or company to an audience of  investors and influencers.  Not only will those people present on the night, but they will also be included in press coverage before and after the event and given booth space at the IT Expo that will take place at the same time in Miami, attracting a crowd of over 5,000 people.

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Help us get a Crunchie!

As you know, we have been busy over the last few months working on OpenTok, which was launched November 15th and we’re pretty excited about the possibilities.  A handful of developers and Partners have already launched their applications and shown the flexibility the OpenTok API gives – creating a wide range of applications from a dating site (WinkVid), to video conferencing within a collaboration space (Assembla) and of course, our holiday favorite, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.

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Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

We’re really getting in to the holiday spirit over at TokBox and today it kicked in to high-gear as our friends over at McKinney launched their holiday campaign with a fun application, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe”.

“Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” lets you invite friends to come and kiss you live under the mistletoe, then capture the moment via virtual photo booth.  You can share the photos on Facebook and Twitter or download them as a holiday memento.

“Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” is built using OpenTok and shows how developers have complete control over the user experience  –  controlling size and layout of the video streams.  If you’re interested in finding out more about how McKinney built the app, either head over to our Developers blog to find out more or, if you’re in the San Francisco area, come join us at our holiday mixer on December 16th at our office.  (Check EventBrite for details)

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Vote “Assembla” in the Mashable Awards

As you may have heard, the 4th Annual Mashable Awards will be announced on January 6, 2011.  We have nominated our friends at Assembla in the “Best Use of an API” category.

They used the OpenTok APIs to create their “Real Time Room Package”.  The Real Time Room functionality allows developers to share messages, files and track project activity all while having face-to-face conversations with their team to discuss tasks and deadlines.

If you, like us, think this is a great product and a great use of OpenTok, you can nominate by clicking on the logo below.  The product with the most nominations wins (and we’d like to win!).

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Press Release: TokBox Unveils OpenTok

TOKBOX UNVEILS OPENTOK, A NEW PLATFORM FOR INTEGRATING GROUP VIDEO CHAT INTO WEB SITES, BRINGING RICH, HUMAN INTERACTION ONLINE

Customizable, scalable platform weaves live, group video chat into the fabric of the Web, deepening customer engagement and boosting customer acquisition

 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA Web 2.0 SummitNovember 15, 2010 —TokBox (www.tokbox.com), a leading Web video communications provider, today launched OpenTok, a game-changing platform that weaves live, group video communication into the fabric of the Web. For the first time, businesses, entrepreneurs and developers can seamlessly integrate scalable, customizable multi-way video chat into their Web sites, bringing rich, human interaction to the experience and therefore deepening user engagement. The applications for the OpenTok platform are nearly infinite, spanning from social to commercial – all made more engaging via face-to-face communication. The launch of OpenTok today accompanies TokBox’s announcement that it has secured $12 million in Series C funding from DAG Ventures, Bain Capital Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

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Press Release: TokBox Lands $12Million Series C Funding

TOKBOX LANDS $12 MILLION SERIES C, BRINGING

TOTAL FUNDING TO $26.4 MILLION

Latest Investment to Support Strategic New Web Video Communications Platform Growth

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Web 2.0 Summit – November 15, 2010 TokBox, a leading Web video communications provider, today announced it has raised $12 million in its third round of venture capital funding, led by DAG Ventures. Current investors Bain Capital and Sequoia Capital also participated in this round, which is earmarked to fund strategic growth as the company unveils OpenTok, a game-changing new platform announced today that weaves live, group video communication into the fabric of the Web.

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The changing face of TokBox

Today is a big day for TokBox.  We released a new version of TokBox that is the culmination of several months of hard work by our product and engineering teams.  This updated version of TokBox comes in response to all the feedback we’ve received over the last 3 or 4 months, about how we could improve things and truly become the simplest group video conferencing service on the web.

I wanted to take the time to explain not just what we’ve changed, but also why we did it and to invite your feedback.

The changes we made fall in to a few key categories.

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New ways to invite people to join a call

Our quest at TokBox is to be the simplest group video conferencing service on the web. So, over the course of the last few weeks we have been spent a lot of time talking to TokBox users, both new and old, to find out what we could do to make things simpler.  We have already launched some of the things that they suggested and over the course of the next month or so we will be rolling out more.

Today we launched one of the first major changes, which we hope will make it easier to invite people to your call, particularly a group of people. Now, when you start a call by clicking on the “Start a video chat” button, you will see one of two invite screens.

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