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Users can invite people to join their video chats via email, instant messaging and social media sites. They can share media and collaborate on documents together within the video chat, and send video messages by email.
TokBox was founded by entrepreneurs Serge Faguet and Ron Hose and is financed by Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital and Youniversity Ventures. As of 2010, TokBox has received $14 million in series A and B funding and is headquartered in the South of Market district in San Francisco, CA.
Multi-party video chat
TokBox allows users to start a multi-party video chat with up to 20 people. The platform does not require download for use and it is set up to allow the creator of the video chat to invite non-tokbox users into the call via email, instant messaging or by publishing the URL on their Twitter/ Facebook / MySpace accounts. TokBox allows users to share YouTube videos within the video chat. Users can resize the YouTube video to appear larger and therefore the main focus of the video chat or can minimize the video. SlideShare, Flickr, Picasa and TokBox Video Mails can also be shared within the video call.
TokBox allows its users to send video messages. Video messages can be up to 10 minutes long and can be sent to another TokBox user or anyone with an email address. Users cannot currently download video messages.
TokBox also has its own IM client and users can import their Yahoo Messanger, MSN Messanger, AOL AIM and GChat accounts. From TokBox users can then invite their imported buddies to video chats without their buddies needing to sign up for TokBox.
TokBox Platform & Partnerships
TokBox makes available a series of API for developers. The APIs allow other websites to embed the majority of TokBox features and functionalities (such as multi-party video chat, IM and Video Mail) in to their website.
TokBox lists Meebo, eBuddy, Digsby, InnovaHire, Radius IM and DabbleBoard as featured partners who use the API.
Recent News: On August 2009, TokBox added document collaboration tool powered by EtherPad, which was acquired by Google late last year to stay competitive. It seems, the application space is heating up, with TinyChat (which offers all of TokBox’s paid features for free) and others gaining popularity.
On January 2009, TokBox has announced that they will charge users $9.99 per month extra for moderation chat functionality. For example, the paid features will allow the user to choose who can join the call, remove people from the call, mute the audio of participants, control who shares media on the chat, and distribute moderator controls to other members of a chat. It also appears that the startup will charge users if they want to add more than 20 people to an individual chat.
Additionally, they are offering 30 day free trial to the new service.
Tokbox does not allow the users to *save* the video emails and video conferences for reusability.
August – Series A funding from Sequoia Capital
October – Launched www.tokbox.com
November – Launched multi-party chat and partnership with Meebo
April – TokBox Version 2 launched
July – Series B Funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Sequoia Capital
September – Launched the TokBox platform/ API
Added document collaboration tool--Etherpad (now owned by Google)
January rolled out its first set of paid features--$9.99 per month
TokBox was the subject of controversy when 50% of their engineering staff was fired in July of 2009. This happened around the time TokBox changed CEOs. The VP of Marketing is stated as saying the firings were part of the CEOs new restructuring plan. None of the original founders are currently with TokBox.
Around 2007, one of the users had privacy issues--his friend was able to connect to his account--allowing his friend to view and hear him talk to himself. However, Tokbox seems to have addressed this issue now.
- Tokbox home page
- Tokbox blog
- PC Magazine article "Tokbox AIR"
- Tokbox receives financing
- Cnet article
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