A new company by the name of SocialEyes will look to enter the video chat market, taking on favorites such as Skype and Apple's FaceTime.
SocialEyes' video service, currently available in beta, uses Facebook Connect as its engine and connects users with people that have similar interests based on their Facebook profile. It also allows users to talk with more than one person at a time, chat via instant message and share information and links with multiple friends simultaneously. Users will be able to record messages, whether the receiving person is online or not. Skype and FaceTime, by contrast, are more akin to traditional phone service.
The new venture is the brainchild of Rob Glaser, the founder of RealNetworks and Rob Williams, founder and chief tech officer at Avogadro, an Internet service provider. Both of them worked at Microsoft in the mid 1990s.
SocialEyes is a category-defining product, Glaser said in a statement. It brings together four powerful elements for the first time -- the Facebook Social Graph, no-download Flash Video, a group system that lets people easily connect with other people in meaningful ways, and a twitter-like feed -- to create a brand new kind of social video experience.
The free beta is available at www.socialeyes.com or apps.facebook.com/socialeyes. There is no download or setup required, the company says, and no additional software.
SocialEyes takes the social networking experience to the next level by enabling people to connect with their networks and meet interesting people who share common interests through face-to-face communication or via video messages, Williams said in a statement. We feel that this product will strengthen the social connections between people and their interaction with their networks.
Already the company has raised $5.1 million. Of that, $600,000 came from an angel round of investment and a Series A round of $4.5 million that was led by Ignition Partners and included participation by Maynard Webb.
The company is now presenting the service at the DEMO Spring conference in Palm Desert, Calif.
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