Tumblr Launches Live Video Streaming

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Tumblr, the microblogging site has just launched live video, but rather than building their own service, they have used other sites to power the facility.

Watch and share live videos

As of Tuesday, you will be able to watch and stream live videos through Tumblr. The site began rolling out the new feature in the morning and everyone is expected to have the capability by the end of the day.

Why build your own when you can use others?

Unlike Facebook, which chose to build its own live video service, Tumblr has decided to go a different route. Tumblr will power its video tool through other sites, which are; YouTube, Unclose, Kanvas and YouNow.

It appears that it has chosen YouTube to capture the mass market, nearly everyone will have the YouTube app, whereas the other sites are a little more niche in the features they provide, therefore offering greater variety.

Facebook, Periscope and Twitch are the obvious sites that are missing, and there has been no word if, or when, these may be integrated into the service.

Streams can be posted from any of the sites on Android or iOS (except for YouTube which is Android only ‘for a few days” before the iOS capabilities are available).

If someone you follow goes live, a push notification sent by Tumblr to your phone will alert you and the video will be pinned to the top of your dashboard.

For those videos you miss, not to worry, posts will be archived so you can watch them back at your own convenience.

Live videos can be reblogged like a normal post. If you share a video while it is being broadcast, then followers will also be notified about the stream.

How to use the new tool

Obviously you will need one of the supported video services (as mentioned above, YouTube, Unclose, Kanvas or YouNow) but I am assuming you already have YouTube.

Within the app, add Tumblr as one of you sharing options. How and where this is done varies from app to app, but it will need to be done beforehand to allow the service.

If you have more than one blog on the site, you will be able to select which one you want the video to be associated with.

There will be a badge on the video showing which external site the video came from, (which is clickable to allow someone else to download that app and start broadcasting themselves).

There are pretty much no extra restrictions regarding videos, they can be as long or short as you like, the only thing to be aware of is making sure that they don’t contravene the Tumblr community guidelines.

Tumblr plans to work with a few external partners, including MTV and Refinery29 to broadcast live events.

On Tuesday, to celebrate the new functionality, there will also be some ‘live entertainment’ on its staff Tumblr, including some basketball tips from a Harlem Globetrotter and apparently there will be a live broadcast from Mars, showing video of the surface of the red planet.


Tumblr, based out of New York, was started in 2007 by David Karp, and has been owned by Yahoo! since 2013 when it completed the acquisition for a reported $1.1 billion. It is a micro blogging social media site, allowing people to create their own blogs and follow other people’s.

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