fblive periscope

What Facebook Live and Periscope need is a waiting room

Livestreams start boring because broadcasters don’t want to begin the real action until more people have tuned in. That can take a few minutes, even with streams being rapidly distributed via push notifications, tweets and the News Feed.

But by that time, the initial audience may have bounced, and the recorded replay won’t entice viewers later. Facebook Live videos auto-play their first seconds in the News Feed, but no one wants to watch creators twiddle their thumbs saying “Hey, we’re just waiting for more people to join the broadcast.”

That’s why Facebook and Twitter should take cues from other forms of mass media and build a way to stoke interest and assemble viewers before a livestream starts.

Movies begin marketing many months or even years in advance. The promotional blitzes climax in the weeks before the film is even released. They want a big pop on opening day that convinces others it’s a zeitgeist moment. Even movie showings themselves start with previews of trailers when the film is scheduled to start. The studios want everyone ready in their seats, rapt with anticipation.

Concerts have openers. Sports matches have pre-game shows. And in tech, the big launch events from Apple and Google post their streams well before the CEO takes the stage.

Mobile livestreaming apps need a waiting room.

Imagine an alternative to immediately starting your Facebook Live or Periscope broadcast. You’d get a link that you could freely distribute, when typically it’s awkward or impossible to post your stream to other social networks when you’re on camera already. You could potentially set an estimated start time, or wait to begin the broadcast whenever you’re ready. There could even be an option to schedule a stream further in advance, though the platforms and people lining up to watch might worry the broadcaster would flake out.

People who click the link before the stream starts would be dropped into a waiting room. There they’d see a countdown to the estimated start time or a message telling them to hang tight. They could opt to receive a notification when the stream actually begins so they can do something else until then. They’d have the ability to share the stream elsewhere to help it go viral.

To keep people entertained while they wait, Facebook or Periscope could show previous videos or posts from the creator, or other content they think would be relevant. The viewers could also be allowed to chat with each other, or add comments and questions ahead of time so broadcasters have feedback or queries waiting for them when they start the stream. This is similar to how Reddit Ask Me Anything viewers can write their questions before the AMA starts.

When the stream begins, broadcasters will be able to immediately jump into the subject matter because they’d already have an audience. That will make the first few seconds seem more dynamic when people stumble across the livestream or replay in their feeds.

Facebook is already trying to tackle the issue of long livestream replays seeming boring by showing an engagement graph timeline so viewers can skip to the most popular parts of the video.

But by letting creators assemble their fans or friends ahead of time, the video themselves will rev up faster and receive more real-time feedback that makes them feel urgent and lively. The waiting room could convince celebrities that streaming is worth their time, and make amateurs more confident that someone actually wants to see what they transmit. To maximize the potential of the unpredictable mobile livestreaming format, Facebook and Twitter might need to let broadcasters plan a little.

Source: Tech Crunch. Article by Josh Constine (http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/29/livengers-assemble/)

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Snapchat Stories Is A Valuable One-to-one Communication Tool

Snapchat has been getting a lot of attention as of late, especially now the company is valued at US$18bn. But are people overlooking the company’s most valuable advantage? Snapchat Stories is a feature very few people seem to be talking about, yet some people feel it is the platform’s biggest asset.

What Is The Big Deal With Snapchat Stories?

People who have never used the Snapchat platform are probably not even aware of their Stories feature, albeit it is quite enjoyable to use. Not everybody’s life is spread out all over social media and sharing platforms, but for content creators and industry experts, Snapchat Stories is well worth exploring.

Reaching one’s followers through photos and videos in an intimate matter is the primary purpose of Snapchat Stories. Rather than platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, where content often gets lost in the sea of other information people share with the rest of the world, Snapchat Stories creates a direct link between the content creator and their follower.

But there is more to Snapchat Stories than just that, as the platform also knits everything shared in the past 24 hours together into one cohesive story. Such a valuable feature should not be overlooked by any means, yet not everyone seems to be aware of this addition. Granted, not everyone will find it very useful, but it opens up exciting opportunities.

Sharing the same content on any other social platform will force people to scroll through everything one has shared for that day. Very few people will bother to do so, as it can be a very tedious experience, to say the least. Snapchat Stories seems to make it a lot easier to do so, and many users have taken a liking to the concept.

Although this platform is not the best place to share links to written stories, there is a lot of value to be found in Snapchat Stories. Moreover, it is rather difficult to build a following on Snapchat compared to other social networks these days. But it can be well worth exploring for people who want to connect with their friends and followers.

Source: The Merkle. Article by JP Buntix (http://themerkle.com/snapchat-stories-is-a-valuable-one-to-one-communication-tool/)

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PayPal is shutting down its Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Amazon apps

PayPal is thinning the number of mobile operating systems supported by the company’s flagship app down to just two: Android and iOS. The PayPal mobile apps for Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Amazon’s Fire OS will be discontinued as of June 30th.

It’s fairly common to see these decisions for Windows Phone and BlackBerry, but a little less regular to see a company of PayPal’s stature just up and abandon Amazon’s fork of Android, which runs on Kindle Fire tablets and the failed Fire Phone. PayPal doesn’t offer much of an explanation for the decision, but claims it’ll lead to better apps for the remaining platforms. “It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms,” said Joanna Lambert, PayPal’s VP of consumer product, in an announcement on the company’s blog. “But we believe it’s the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers.”

PayPal is quick to point out that despite being left without a native app, affected users will still have full access to PayPal’s mobile website for account management and money transactions. There are other options, too; BlackBerry users can still send peer-to-peer payments with PayPal through BBM. And on the Windows side, Outlook.com users can enable the PayPal add-in to send payments right from the email app.

“We remain committed to partnering with mobile device providers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers,” Lambert said. PayPal claims that putting a sharper focus on just the two apps will allow the company to “innovate and make enhancements to PayPal’s mobile experiences to give our customers the best possible ways to manage and move their money.”

Source: The Verge, Article by Chris Welch (http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/25/11777422/paypal-killing-windows-phone-blackberry-fire-os-apps)

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Everlane Actually Wants You to Snapchat Your Job Application

In what might be the most millennial move yet, online retail company Everlane is now accepting job applications submitted via Snapchat.

The company wrote on Lever that making a Snapchat story might be the “best way to get hired in 2016.” The post encourages interested applicants to make Snapchat stories to show why they would be perfect for any open positions with the company.

The process is as simple as updating a Snap — simply make a 60-90 second “story” on your Snapchat account detailing why you would be a good fit for the role, tweet the company with your Snapcode once it’s live, and save the story before it reaches the 24-hour expiration date so you can email it to the company.

This isn’t the first time the company has turned to the ephemeral social media platform as a way to engage with its audience; they not only post their own Snap stories offering an inside look at Everlane, but they also answer questions in Snaps sent to them by customers. According to Tech Insider, Everlane has an average of 5,000 views per snap — but expect the following to grow in 2016.

Source: Time, Article by Cady Lang (http://time.com/4346877/snapchat-job-application-everlane/)

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YouTube Adds Event Pages to YouTube Gaming

YouTube announced the launch of event pages in YouTube Gaming, which will serve as content hubs for major gaming and eSports events. Specifically, event pages will allow users to watch live streams and on-demand videos related to specific events in a single place. The first event page will feature coverage of the Electronic Entertainment Expo this June.

YouTube Gaming was launched last year, and it allows users to browse videos and live-streams related to thousands of video games.

For E3, users will be able to browse videos and live streams from the event, as well as chat with other gamers, vote for their favorite video game trailers in a Trailer Battle and more.

YouTube’s E3 coverage will begin Sunday, June 12, with press conferences from Electronic Arts and Bethesda, followed by post-conference streams hosted by Rooster Teeth.

In addition, on Monday, June 13, users will be able to watch YouTube Live at E3, an exclusive 12-hour live stream hosted by Geoff Keighley. This stream will feature coverage of E3’s press conferences, as well as developer interviews, live let’s plays of new games and more.

Overall, YouTube said it has dozens of live streams scheduled for the week of E3.

The YouTube Gaming app is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Source: Social Times, Article by Brandy Shaul (http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/youtube-adds-event-pages-to-youtube-gaming/639962)

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