OpenTok: A Glorious Mission

Today, with the launch of OpenTok, we are setting out on a glorious mission:  to bring rich, face-to-face human interaction to every corner of the web.

As Internet users, we all spend an enormous amount of time online.  We do online all the things we used to do in the real world:  shopping, dating, watching movies, and more.  In the real world, these activities are predominantly social – but in the online world, they are often carried out solo, and we are all poorer for these hours we now spend alone.

OpenTok lets websites and developers turn solitary pursuits into group activities.  It elevates social interaction from today’s IM and text-based constraints to the richness and engagement of face-to-face communication.  And it lets anyone – from the smallest one-man garage shop to the largest IT shop on the planet – do it quickly, easily, and yes, it lets them do it for free.

With OpenTok, we set out to make multi-party video chat as native to the web as text and images are today.  Powered by the cloud services that we’ve been building over the last two years, OpenTok lets websites and developers weave video chat directly into web content and web applications.  And it lets them do that in the way that makes most sense for their content, for their application, and – of course – for their users.  No matter what the application, no matter what the vertical.

That means putting a live stream next to a player’s cards, it means being face-to-face with a date and their personality profile; it means wrapping a video that friends are watching together with each of their faces, and changing that static avatar beside a blog comment into live video.  OpenTok is all about bringing the conversation to the content, wherever it is.  The conversation is no longer locked in a box.  And it’s certainly not locked on a website.

The magic ingredient that’s going to make this all possible is imagination.  With OpenTok, we are giving websites and developers the keys to building this new world.  But the developer community – from that tiny garage to that huge IT shop – is what’s going to make it happen.  Whether it’s making an existing application better – or inventing a completely new online experience from scratch – we think that an OpenTok-equipped world is richer, more engaging, more human and more social.  And we’re excited to find out where a world of web developers will run with that vision.

Today is just the start.  We think it’s the start of something big.  And we’re here to help as we move forward together on this remarkable journey.  So let us know what we can do to make OpenTok better – so that together, we can bring rich, face-to-face human interaction to every corner of the web.

I’m looking forward to it,

Ian