RealNetwork founder adds videoconferencing to Facebook

Posted by Kate Taylor

California start-up SocialEyes has will today demonstrate a new two-way group video chat service on Facebook.

Using Facebook Connect, it allows users to engage in multiple video conversations, chat via instant message and share information and links with up to nine friends simultaneously.

Users can also record, send or receive video messages when their friends are offline, and there's a feed to help keep track. Users can create and join groups of different friends, which can be public or private.

"SocialEyes is a category-defining product," said Rob Glaser, co-founder and chairman of SocialEyes.

"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."

Facebook doesn't have a videconferencing facility of its own, and while other third party apps such as Rounds or On Conference offer Facebook videoconferencing or videochat, they're remained comparatively niche.

SocialEyes is available immediately in beta at www.socialeyes.com or apps.facebook.com/socialeyes. It needs no download or setup, simply the standard Facebook login.

SocialEyes was founded by Rob Williams and Rob Glaser, both ex-Microsoft; Glaser is currently chairman of RealNetworks, which he also founded. The company's raised $5.1 million in capital, mostly from venture-capital firm Ignition Partners.