It’s the fastest growing area of social media by more than a country mile. For those unfamiliar with such colloquialisms, a country mile is longer than a normal mile. Put simply then, it’s difficult to keep up with all the social media video options offering live streaming functionality to users, such is the pace of development at the moment.
Facebook Live, Periscope and Twitch have been shouting the loudest, and so far have proven far more successful than the ill-fated Meerkat, which bowed out after a brief spell in the limelight earlier this year. To hear our thoughts on what happened there, and why the rodent-themed app didn’t survive, click here: Meerkat, social media overpopulation and burst bubbles.
Distractions over and done with, for now at least, news hit this week that Tumblr, one of the most popular microblogging platforms in the world, was to join the legions of firms providing a platform for real time broadcasters. At first this was really the rumour mill kicking into overdrive, but as if to prove the old adage- there’s no smoke without fire- yesterday the pudding’s proof was revealed to the public, direct from the proverbial horse’s mouth.
It might seem like a brave move- going into battle against Mark Zuckerberg’s seemingly bottomless pockets, and that other, albeit financially weaker goliath, Twitter. Whilst Yahoo deemed Tumblr to be worth the $1.1billion it paid in 2013, and there are well over 500million active blogs on the system, this peters into insignificance against Facebook’s stats, and on the whole the Tumblr community is a lot less visible to those who don’t subscribe to hosted blogs, or use the platform themselves.
This is where the clever bit comes in, though. Rather than attempting to launch a brand new live streaming platform- a move that would cost millions, and come with significant risk, not to mention practicality issues and marketing hassle- Tumblr has decided that collaboration is the future of online broadcasting. We can all breathe a sigh of relief, then, as this basically means you won’t need to come up with a brand new profile or even a password, providing you already have a Tumblr account, and access to YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas or Upclose.
The four are already amongst the most prominent online video platforms, and can now be integrated within a Tumblr blog. Or, to put that another way, you will use those third party websites to create and service the stream, which can then be linked back to your Tumblr blog and hosted there. It’s a genius move that should avoid unnecessary complications, whilst also potentially encouraging the billions that use YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose to investigate exactly what Tumblr can do, if they haven’t already.
Potentially this could be a highly shrewd and effective move. Whether it’s enough to ensure this idea floats, rather than sinks to the briny depths of Davy Jones’ Social Media Video Locker is another question altogether. As is the standard here at Smoking Gun PR, we’ll be experimenting, exploring and keeping a very close eye on developments. In short, watch this space if you want your digital superiority to survive, because we’ve got your back.