Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Video Platforms, the Essential Storytelling Tool, Are Ever Evolving

Spreecast sent a notice to all of its users that it is closing its doors this month of July, and Blab's most avid users are leaving the platform. These are two interactive live-stream video platforms set up for talk TV. Both similar in that you could have four people on the broadcast in one screen. Both shareable through Facebook and Twitter before, during, and after from inside a broadcast. Both great at building interactive communities, where users meet up on other platforms to engage.

The fate of these and other platforms that have gone before them represent the one true thing about the Internet: everything is evolving and few things are a sure thing.

That said, the video platform is an essential storytelling tool and a must-have for the transmedia toolbox. A webcam is all that is required, whether it is an external or from a laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Point and shoot or get a bit more productive with annotations and creative editing. Make movie and book trailers, let your characters take the audience deep inside the story, interview people who work behind the scenes. Video is where it is at. People tend to be more inclined to consume a video over sifting through a website or reading a blog. No matter what your project or business is, chances are you can use video to your advantage.

The big enchilada and the queen of all queens is YouTube. While it is indelibly linked to Google Hangouts and Google+, there have been many changes that I'm still trying to figure out, but setting up a YouTube Live Stream event cuts out the middleman Google Hangouts on Air, even though they still connect with each other.

The best way to figure out a platform is to just do it. Play around with it and worst-case scenario you can always delete the video if you hate it that much.

Besides YouTube, there are several other platforms for video that can be used in lieu of, in conjunction, or mirrored.

No matter what platform you decide to try, download the MP4 of your content so you have a backup of it, just in case. I have downloaded some Periscope, Facebook Live, and Blab videos and posted them to YouTube. Personally, I now choose only to use video platforms that allow me to download and be able to keep my own content.

The following are some of the many choices for video platforms. They each have their own audience, so you can never assume a video can be one size fits all.

Maker TV requires a minimum monthly viewership before you can be accepted to the site, but once you are, there is an opportunity to grow your YouTube channel.

Vimeo is used by a lot of filmmakers and music artists. The platform only allows original material that you played a role in creating and hold the copyright to.

Facebook Live is a live streaming option from your Facebook page. In Canada, so far you can't use it from your personal page. There is an icon that shows up in the post options that allows you to post instant videos.

Dailymotion has a copyright filtering system that will flag anything you try to upload that isn't your own.

Vine videos are six-second shorts that can only be posted from a compatible mobile device.

Instagram videos can be a minute or less, and must also be posted from a compatible mobile device.

UStream is one of the first interactive live-streaming video platforms on the market and is still kicking.

Twitch is a popular live streaming platform for the gaming community.

Periscope is a live streaming mobile app owned by Twitter.

YouNow is a live streaming video chat platform that has a younger participating membership.

Now get filming and have fun!