While many of the comparisons made of Mobli to Instagram and other photo sharing applications may have been justified, they aren’t anymore. The Israeli company added live video streaming to the app yesterday making it considerably different and unique in its own way. While Skype and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s FaceTime have made video conversations a norm, Mobli has stepped that up by allowing users to share what the lens of their smartphones are seeing with the world.
Plenty of room for Mobli with live video streaming
“There’s Coca-Cola and there’s Pepsi ; there’s WhatsApp and there’s WeChat,” CEO and founder of Mobli Moshe Hogeg said in response to Instagram comparisons. “And we think the world is big enough to have a few companies in the same industry.”
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Photos sharing apps are great but they are limited to capturing a second in time. Imagine an app that could have broadcast live video from the Arab Spring or protests in Iran. There is of course an inherent irony in the fact that an Israeli start-up could be used to provide live video of Arab governments cracking down on its citizens.
Presently, in order to watch a live broadcast you must first download the Mobli app for Android or iOS. That, however, is set to change in the coming weeks as the company has announced its plans to launch a website that would let others view your video with or without the application.
“The main reason I think live streaming will work is that for the first time the infrastructure allows you to do broadcasting in a way that it never allowed you before: the speed of the Internet connection and the quality of the devices we have in the market,” Hogeg says.
Don’t expect to find many videos from Saharan Africa, Myanmar or large amounts of the earth as the service is only as good as a users Internet connection.
How to monetize it?
How Mobli plans to monetize the app is still a work in progress but know that Carlos Slim will expect to see something back for the tens of millions he’s invested in the company. Mobli plans to launch a pay-per-view portion of the app where, for instance, celebrities and entertainers would charge viewers to watch the broadcast with Mobli retaining some of this money.
“If an artist wants to do a private show around the world to sing — not to 50,000 people, but to a million people and do a show like this — our technology will allow him to do it,” said Hogeg.