Yesterday, Tumblr announced support for live video on its service, confirming that such a move was in the works. The feature will allow Tumblr users to live stream video directly to their followers’ Dashboards, and will also send out push notifications when users go live or reblog a live stream.
Along with the announcement comes further clarification on how the feature will work. Instead of being a direct copy of something like Facebook Live, Tumblr is integrating with existing services – including YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose – and then using Tumblr as the publishing and discovery platform for those streams.
For Tumblr users, support for live video is being introduced through the partnered apps themselves – you’ll enable Tumblr sharing in a new setting that publishes live streams to Tumblr’s native video player. If you have more than one Tumblr blog, you’ll be able to specify which to post to. From then on, when you go live on that service, the stream is automatically published to Tumblr.
The company also says that it’s working with a number of media partners who will be live streaming live content and events to Tumblr’s service, such as Mashable, Refinery29, MTV, The Huffington Post and others. In total, 15 partners have committed to publishing live videos on Tumblr, and more are being added.
Support for live video on Tumblr is part of a larger strategy for its service, which has been struggling to meet its revenue expectations following the Yahoo acquisition. Now it’s clear that Tumblr isn’t trying to directly compete with the likes of Facebook Live or Periscope, but has instead chosen to tie into competing services as a means of joining the live streaming market without having to build its own dedicated tools for hosting live video itself.
Though Tumblr is not the live video host, it will behave a lot like its social network competitors when it comes to getting these live broadcasts in front of its users. Sharing a live video to Tumblr will send out a push notification to your Tumblr followers. Followers will be alerted also if you republish a live video. And if they click the notification, they’ll be taken to the live video directly on Tumblr.
Your live video will be pinned in the first position at the top of your followers’ Dashboards on Tumblr on both web and mobile when you’re live, too. The post itself will be badged to indicate which service you’re using as the live video host. If you click through on that badge, it will open up the app or take you to the App Store to install it.
In addition, if you choose to save the replay of the live video on the provider’s service, that live video will continue to live on Tumblr as a regular video post, the company says. It can then be replayed at any time after the live broadcast concludes.