Tumblr launches live video tools with a little help from other apps

Not one to feel left out, Tumblr is also now offering live streaming capabilities.

How live video appears in the dashboard.
How live video appears in the dashboard.

The Yahoo-owned blogging platform announced today it’s joining the crowded party of platforms giving its users live video tools, kicking off with an all day event spotlighting different broadcasts, like inflating a “very big thing in a very small room,” to generate buzz.

Unlike Twitter or Facebook, which either built native tools in-house (Facebook Live) or acquired another app (Periscope), Tumblr is going the economical route by outsourcing the technical capabilities to third-party, live streaming apps, including YouNow, AOL’s Kanvas, YouTube and Upclose.

Users of those platforms can now share and reblog live videos to their Tumblr Dashboard exposing those videos to another set of followers.

“This group is made up of leaders in the live video sphere with strong communities, presenting compelling opportunities to bring more content and audiences to Tumblr,” Tumblr said in a statement and the company said it’s not paying those apps.

Tumblr is teaming with publishers, including Mashable, MTV and Refinery29, to live stream content exclusively to the platform. The company is also exploring ways to monetize live video with brands and using it as an ad offering.

With live streaming being the tool du jour for platform’s growing video ambitions, eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson told Digiday she’s not surprised that Tumblr wants a piece of the pie, especially since growth is stagnating at the once-hot company.

“Tumblr will have to work hard to gain a user base for this feature,” she said. “For now, the options for advertisers are limited; companies can experiment with distributing live video feeds of their own, but there isn’t much paid advertising.”


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