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.

  • Signing up to TokBox – We have re-organized our product line up so that you can make a straightforward choice about which product is right for your group video-conferencing needs, either Video Chat, Video Meeting or Video Conference.  All of these products are available via an affordable, monthly subscription with additional upgrades available such as increased audience size or dial-in functionality. See more on our Features & Pricing page.
  • Adding contacts to your TokBox account – There are 3 ways to add people to your account – connect to an existing IM or Facebook account, find people you know on TokBox, or invite people you know to join TokBox.  Our new contact list aims to make this quicker and easier. Find out more.
  • Inviting people to a TokBox call – There are also multiple ways to invite people to join a TokBox call – invite someone from your contact list, send out an email, share the call URL or even promote the call via Facebook or Twitter. See more.
  • Scheduling calls in advance – This functionality is now only available or even visible if you are a subscriber to either our Video Meeting or Video Conference product. For more information on subscriptions and pricing click here. (Currently you will need to sign up for a new account (using a new email address) to upgrade to Video Meeting or Video Conference, but we should have that fixed in the next couple of weeks so you can simply upgrade your existing account).
  • Organizing a call with an audience (formerly known as Broadcast Video Chat) – Earlier this year, we launched the ability to “add an audience” of up to 200 people to your video call.  We called it Broadcast Video Chat.  We have now called this product Video Conference. Same functionality, different name and more cost effective price. Find out more.
  • In-call features – The one change here is that the ability to share SlideShare presentations and collaborate on documents is now a premium feature, available with subscription to our Video Meeting product.  Sharing YouTube videos or Picasa/Flickr albums remains free with our Video Chat product.
  • Sending video messages – Video messaging functionality is now the TokBox equivalent of leaving a voice mail.  If you call someone and they do not respond, leave a quick video message.  You won’t be able to send stand-alone video messages anymore. See more.
  • Managing your TokBox account – All of the controls for managing your account have been grouped, under the rather obviously named “Account” in the top right hand corner of the page.  Here you can updated your profile, manage your subscriptions, change your camera, mic and privacy settings and even log out of TokBox.

Some of you may have experienced some of these improvements already as we have been testing them with select groups of users over the past few weeks to try and work out what was and wasn’t working.  If you have, we hope you enjoyed them and if you haven’t yet, we hope you do.

Obviously, I hope that you think that all the changes are improvements, but I can’t promise that we got it all right first time.  So, please send us your thoughts to feedback@tokbox.com or join me and the TokBox team in a TokBox call on Monday July 26th at 6pm PST to tell us directly what we still need to work on. Click here to join.

Micky and the TokBox Team

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44 thoughts on “The changing face of TokBox

  1. all my contacts are gone, and i can no longer use my camera or microphone…. any ideas why this is and how i fix it?

      • I cannot use my webcam or audio as of 8/12. Whats the deal??? I can skype audio and video but I want my tokbox.

  2. Now that Apple has designed the new iPhone 4 with Facetime video calling, have you considered creating an app to use Tokbox with the iPhone? I would love it if you did.

    • Monkey

      We’re sorry you’re not a fan of the improvements. Is there something in particular that you don’t like? We’d love to get your thoughts either here or via email (feedback@tokbox.com)

      Micky

  3. Rach

    I am sorry you don’t like it. We did research with lots of users before we launched it and made lots of improvements based on their feedback.

    Is there something in particular that is confusing you? You can always send an email to help@tokbox.com if you need some pointers.

    Micky

  4. I use Tokbox embedded in my website and it’s a wonderful service! The only feature I would love to see, is some way for the guests that join the chat session to easily set a quick nick name or chat name. I know you can set the persons chat name yourself by hovering over the video, but it would be an easier more convenient way to identify chatters and video feeds.

    Thanks again for the great service.

  5. I am disappointed, too. I used the video message to make short messages for my online students and then embedded them on a web page. I supposed the storage of all those videos did get to be a bit much.

    I did find a good (maybe better) replacement. If you have a youtube account, go to http://www.youtube.com/my_webcam.

  6. Hey Tokbox is not working for my Google Chrome browser. It’s made me have to download a seperate browser just for Tokbox. Is there anything that’ll fix it?

      • I was able to do a video chat from Chrome 5 beta on Windows 7 today, and it worked great. Both people on the chat were using Chrome, in fact.

        Great job on Tokbox, by the way … it is definitely the simplest and most intuitive group video chat service I’ve found. Most try to add too many features, but you just nailed the core experience, and did a great job! Thanks!

  7. Theres so much wrong with this updated version of tokbox I only use this to send video messages to someone but now its become complicated and here are some reasons why we should bring back the old layout or have the option of the old layout or new layout like on some social networking sites anyways I will list the reasons why I am seriously considering ending my membership and going back to the social networking sites to send the messages
    1.) You no long can easily send a video message I had to click call friend than wait a few seconds til it said send a video message.
    2.) You can no longer send a video message and personal written message at the same time.
    3.) The old design layout was easier, self explanatory and just better functions in general.

  8. Hi
    Scratching my head to date as no one can understand my deliemma. My uncle and myself bought the same model/make laptops and we found out how it is to use it as multi video chat compared to others that don’t offer this function. My question to Tokbox is when we video chat the picture quality is great but the sound quality is weak or I barely hear him as there is a delay or the sound is soft, no echo. Is there a fix? Do want to mention that he uses a aircard 3G and I use a broadband hooked to a router that delivers up to 16mb my cable company offers. Any suggestions.

    Thanks

    • Craig

      Sorry you are having trouble with audio. Make sure that everyone is wearing headphones for the best audio quality with no echo and then you should make sure that everyone’s microphone sensitivity is at least mid-level to make sure their voice is being picked up. Then you can also try your speaker volume, both via your computer and also by looking at the volume on each individual’s video window on TokBox.

      If this still does not help, please send us an email to help@tokbox.com and we will do our best to try and fix it.

      Micky

    • I suspect that your Uncle’s 3G is not fast enough for both video and voice using TokBox. I found the same problem when a friend only had a DSL connection. The solution was for him to just stop the video and then we could talk just fine.

  9. Hi, Just a TINY suggestion that is EASY to implement and would make a HUGE improvement in the usability of tokbox: HAVE A MUTE-ALL BUTTON!!!

    When in a video conference, we might have to take a quick break, or do some other activity on the computer that requires sound. It would be nice for users to control the sounds comming from the tokbox application itself without muting the speakers altogether.

    I ❤ tokbox either way! keep up the great work!

  10. This new site is so confusing, it was lots more better when I jonied it last year or more, now it is a whole mass. These calls I did why there have to be 10 20 on the left side? even I can`t delete them, it is only one person I alway talk with and now I have to see it so many on the site, this is no good. Also it takes too much cpu and bandwith the site freezes from time to time, video chat gets slow and freezes, this all was not happen in the begiinnign befor the changes. Honestly, skype is lots more easier.I don`t like it anymore tokbox in this situation, also my friend don`t likes it anymore. in this situation it is unusable.

  11. I love the new changes!!! They make tokbox.com so much easier to understand. I was also thinking about an ipone/ipod touch that would be great!! Thanks alot, Makenzyrose! 😛

  12. everything’s fine except not being able to send video messages. i liked making videos and being able to send them to as many as my friends at the same time w/o having to individually call them and send them each a video..

  13. So, it’s the bait and switch game turned on it’s side? You test with our trials without paying us for our knowledge and advice, but now you want to charge us for bandwidth privileges.

    I think your tokbox is cool, but I cannot pay for extra bandwidth. I think you should make some more bandwidth and not charge us anything. How do I help you build more bandwidth? Make more bandwidth so that me and all my friends and all their friends can use this wonderful service, that I can find many competitors to who will not charge for added bandwidth. Or since they are competitors, they will have done the same as you, intent on charge. Intent of electronic payment.

    Where is the real value behind these electronic debits?

    We will bill bandwidth.
    or
    We will build bandwidth.

    ????

  14. sending and receiving video message was my main reason for joining tokbox. Is there any chance tokbox will bring back the sending and receiving video messages again?

    • Lisa

      We have no plans to bring them back right now, but remember that if you call someone via TokBox and they don’t answer you can still send them a video message.

      Micky

  15. I have not yet tried the new tokbox, however this is a GREAT service to me. Thank-you for this.ALL the way from WIsconsin,Wausau WIsconsin.Michelle

  16. Should you decide to return to the video email service please let me know. I do not have need for your other services which I find redundant. Your unique offering was the video emails that allowed me to enhance my classroom teaching.

    Thank you. It was a great service while it lasted!

    Pettis

  17. When will I receive a proper response about the previous issues I had stated and also do you expect to make video messaging easier and for them not to expire alot of the messages have alot of meaning to me

    • Corey

      Apologies – I believed that your questions had been answered through all the other comments/responses on the blog.

      As stated in the blog, we no longer provide stand alone video messaging, it only operates like an answer machine would on someone’s phone. Hence the design.

      Messages sent before 7/22 will not be expired. Those you received after 7/22 will be kept for 60 days with the option for you to keep on extending the 60 day period.

      I hope this helps
      Micky

      • There seems to be a consensus about the issues of the site so why can there not be an option like other social networking websites where you can choose the old design layout vs the new layout on preference and capabilities as well as style and appearance. Also are you working on these “ISSUES” coming to a conclusion and a possible resolution and seeing hey these are the concerns what do we do or are they being tossed aside on the drawing board sort of speak aka “putting it on the back burner” . I hope to see a response in a somewhat timely manner and hope that these issues questions and concerns may be stated or valued

      • Corey

        Thanks for your comments. There may be consensus here in the comments on this blog, but video messaging was used by less than 1% of our users and these comments come from an even smaller percentage of our users.

        As they say “you cannot keep everyone happy all the time”, but we are trying to do the right thing for the vast majority of our users by improving the video conferencing functionality of our site. This majority has welcomed the improvements we have made.

        I hope you can understand the basis of this decision.

        Micky

      • Ok thats of the percentage of users who have the courage to the comment or make statements towards the changes if were talking numbers than how many users are there, how many actually use the services, are there accounts which are not used anymore since the start ,are there consistant the users that haven’t commented yet how can you use there feedback postitively i do alot of statistics and the majority of general users won’t comment or move to a difference service while leaving there account open but inactively using it micky you seem to have alot of knowledge and very compentent but its the simplest thing ever which i do website design, add a button with when highlighting name go to profile , than start video chat, than send im ,SEND VIDEO MESSAGE as well extend the time span to when a message is automatically deleted to user selected deletion this are TINY fixes that you and your team seem to make into a big supposed changes when there so minor and easy to add on too the site. I understand you make money off the conferencing and what my work used it but since the change my work has disliked your service they said they prefered the old layout and you can say were less than 1% of users but there important too. Tell me exactly no beating around the bush no were too lie why you cannot simply add a send video messaging button with the others and extend the video expiration date to never or user deletion.

  18. Too many websites asked me to do a survey. When I saw Tokbox asking me to do a survey in past, I ignore it just like many other websites. I didnt realize Tokbox was working on making any changes LITERALLY… I cant help that we the deaf are the small percentage of the whole population.. We are always a minority. If we are a majority of many categories, surely we could help with the percentage.

  19. How do you think you are upgrading by down grading your service? This is the first time I’ve been back since you removed video messaging from Tokbox. I see I am not the only one disappointed.
    I sure hope you guys take heed of the feedback. As one may speak for hundreds of other disappointed users. I’m heading back to the service I’ve since replaced you with. I’ll be respectful and not mention their name here but anyone interested in an alternative to Tokbox video messaging service send me an email: lovestonejoe@gmail.com.

    Joe

  20. And yet again the statement i had made is being unanswered is this to complicated of a question because i asked my friend a web designer he said he would be more than glad to add those buttons to the site to make the experience better

    • Corey

      I believe that this conversation has run its course. There are many reasons (not just interface design) behind this decision and I have explained them at length.

      Micky

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