|Type of business||Private|
Type of site
|Social network service, microblogging|
|Registration||Required (to post, follow or be followed)|
Tout was an online social networking service and microblogging service that enabled its users to send and view 15-second videos, known as "touts." The service's core technology was created at SRI International by Michael Downing based on two patents owned by that company.
In April 2010, Tout spun off as its own company with SRI taking an equity stake. Tout gained popularity in June 2011 when basketball player Shaquille O'Neal used the service to announce his retirement. By early 2012, Tout had received over 12 million visitors and 75 million Touts had been shared by users of the service.
On July 11, 2012, WWE invested $5,000,000 in Tout Industries, Inc.'s ("Tout") Series B Preferred Stock and in July 2012, WWE entered into a two-year strategic partnership in Tout. WWE will be eligible to receive up 11,250 shares of Tout common stock per quarter for the life of the two-year agreement that is if certain performance metrics are met during the two years of the agreement.
During WWE CEO Vince McMahon's quarterly conference call with investors held on the morning of August 2, WWE CFO George Barrios disclosed the amount of that investment to have been $5 million but would not disclose what percentage of the company that sum represents. Stephanie McMahon, CBO of WWE, would appear on the Board of Directors for Tout. Starting with the 1000th episode of its weekly flagship television program Raw on July 23, WWE began airing Touts of both fans and wrestlers at certain points during episodes of the show. Brock Lesnar used the service to announce his kayfabe retirement in August 2012. The WWE's partnership with the company expired in 2014 and they stopped using it afterwards.
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