Tout is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables 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. As of early 2012, Tout has had over 12 million visitors since its launch, and 75 million Touts have been created and shared by users of the service.
On July 11, 2012, WWE announced an "investment in and strategic partnership with Tout Industries, Inc. that will leverage WWE’s vast array of assets, including television, live events, digital, print and more than 100 million social media followers to expand Tout’s platform for real-time video status updates, creating a new dynamic social experience for WWE fans." 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 Executive Vice President of Creative in 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.
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- ^ http://corporate.wwe.com/company/bios/s_mcmahon_levesque.jsp
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