Instead of wasting time and money on its own live-streaming technology, Tumblr is simply integrating existing live video solutions. To start, the platform is launching support via YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose.
It’s the smartest thing Tumblr could have done. Frankly, there are already too many streaming platforms to keep track of.
While big players like Facebook, Periscope, and Twitch are obviously missing, Tumblr’s current set of partners gives users plenty of options to choose from, and strikes smart balance between ubiquity (YouTube) and niche features (everything else). It also makes Tumblr pretty much the only major social network you can go to find livestreams from a variety of apps, instead of just on Facebook or Twitter.
Multi-platform support could also help Tumblr score more marketing deals with brands. Tumblr says its working with “a host of committed media partners and organizations” including Mashable, Refinery29, MTV, The Huffington Post, etc., to stream events live.
Combine with the fact that it has the chance to add more streaming app partners in the future – just imagine if it did get Facebook, Periscope, and Twitch on board – and you can see why Tumblr chose to go the multi-platform route.
As for how to actually use it, you can post video on iOS or Android by opening any of the four supported apps and simply sharing your stream to Tumblr (you might need to connect your Tumblr account first though). Tumblr support is rolling out to all the apps today, but you’ll have to wait “a few days” before you can stream from YouTube on iOS.
Your followers will receive a notification when you go live, and your video will snapped on top of their Dashboard feeds. Each video then has a little badge indicating what platform is being used to stream, and finished broadcasts will remain as video posts on your Tumblr blog.
Live video integration is rolling out today for users globally, and Tumblr is kicking things off with a set of seven live streams starting at 4PM EST, which you can check out here.