There’s a new social media platform in town folks!
Is that a collective * groan * I hear? Fair enough too. Seems like every day there’s some new social network springing up, attracting some hype before virtually disappearing into the ether. Hello, Ello?
But this one – I think – is different.
It’s called Blab. I’ve been watching it for a few days now, lurking … seeing it in action and how people interact with the platform. I like what I see!
Blab is a live video streaming social chat platform; it’s been described as a cross between Google Hangouts and Periscope. Not a bad description. I’ve done a few Hangouts, some public and recorded, but mostly private. Conceptually, Hangouts work – but the platform is still on the clunky side with a number of moving parts.
Periscope is live video streaming smartphone app. The key advantage of Periscope is that you can beam video from wherever you are, in real time, to the world. Powerful stuff!
Periscope works well to take people behind the scenes of events, or conduct solo riffs straight to camera. But it has its limitations. For instance, you have to record off your smartphone or tablet device. Plus the videos you record have a limited shelf-life. For example, if you record a Periscope video and tweet it, people can only access the stream for a 24-hour period before it expires.
Put simply, Blab allows up to four people to hold a conversation via live streaming video – a conversation people from all over the world can participate in: They can watch – chat (via the chat capability) – as well as tweet the event. Even if there are only two of you in the conversation, there are still two spare ‘seats at the Blab table’ you can make available to the audience if you like (the host though needs to ‘accept’ participants).
Sooo … it was time to run my own Blab. Now, what to speak about?
I organised a time with Sarah – all good! – but unfortunately I had microphone issues and people could see me clearly (a bonus!) but couldn’t hear me (not so good!). So Nic Hayes – Sarah’s co-host on the Brand Newsroom Podcast – was co-opted from the virtual audience and flung into the host’s seat. Thanks Nic! I was later able to enter the conversation by logging on to Blab via mobile.
Here is the result! (Did I say you can record the conversation and download the video and/or audio later – how cool is that?).
A couple other comments re Blab:
You can schedule a Blab conversation – this allows you to promote via social media so you have an audience ready and waiting to listen and/or get involved. This is pretty cool! – SEE BELOW.
And as I mentioned above, you can record the conversation (and then upload to YouTube, and then embed on your own blog or website, as I have done above). This too is a positive from a content marketing perspective as it means you get some residual value from the time invested – let’s face it, not everyone will be able to make the live stream but they still might be interested in the convo.
Blab is still in beta at the moment, but there’s a distinctive buzz about it.
The Blab we held with Sarah and Nic had an unexpected participant – Hernan Manuel – who joined the conversation while driving home … in Miami. Love it!
All well and good, I hear you say, but how can brands use it from a PR perspective? Well, if building authority is important – if having your internal experts out and about, commentating on trends and major news of the day is relevant to your marketing goals, then Blab serves a good purpose. For example:
- The stockmarket has just tanked: You’re an investment fund – get your analysts around the virtual table to discuss the aftermath (what happens next?).
- You run a high-profile sports club, you’ve just appointed a new coach: Get ’em on to discuss their plans for the future directly with the fans!
- A research report has just come out that affects your industry: Get a virtual roundtable happening to discuss the major points of the report!
- You’re an author who has just released a new book: Start a Blab to chat about the book, and invite fans to join in the conversation!
Once you think about it, the applications are plentiful! And even if you don’t get a huge audience in real-time, you can always embed the resultant video on your website so it can be watched in perpetuity.
My advice? Check out Blab – get involved!
Here’s a good Blab tutorial. Take my word for it though, mic problems notwithstanding, this is one platform that’s easy and effective to use.
TOP IMAGE ---> BLAB IN ACTION: Hat-tip @adeldmeyer, @KeithKeller, @BrandIdeas