Live video chat service TokBox tonight launched a developer platform called OpenTok. Based on a simple Javascript API, the company says OpenTok allows developers to place live video chat windows on a web page as easily as other page elements are placed and customized today.

The free product supports up to "several thousand" simultaneous viewers of a video stream and up to twenty video streams displayed on a single page. The company hopes its service will be used in industries as wide-ranging as recruiting, eduction, healthcare, commerce and dating. It also announced $12 million in new funding to support that expansion.

"There are an enormous number of activities where face to face interaction adds a lot to the experience."
Video recording will not be included at launch, but TokBox CEO Ian Small says it is one of the most-requested features and will be available in the future.

Do people want to engage in live video chat around the Web? "Live chat is something that should be done everywhere and be in the moment," Small says. "There are an enormous number of activities where face to face interaction adds a lot to the experience."

Developers may be particularly interested in the use-case at Assembla, a service provider for distributed software development teams. TokBox highlighted Assembla's integration of the OpenTok API in a post on the TokBox developer blog.

Below: TokBox CEO Ian Small discusses the company's press release live from inside a video chat player embedded in the release itself.