Imagine Twitter, Google Hangouts, YouTube, webinars, and reality talk television all rolled into one and you have a notion of social media’s newest platform, Blab. Blab launched in beta about three months ago and already geeks, nerds, social media specialists and technophiles have flocked to Blab and are blabbing about –well, everything.
Blab is a live streaming video platform that allows up to four people on screen to video chat, publicly. The screen is split into four, and new people can be brought in as others rotate out. A lively text chat stream accompanies the video chat making it really engaging. It can get slightly chaotic, but it may also be the right social tool for you and your business.
You might immediately think Blab is similar to Google hangouts or Skype Group calls, but its power is its simplicity. Even in beta, Blab is slicker and more seamless than either of the other two.
To join Blab all you need is a Twitter account. If you don’t have one, go to http://twitter.com and find the sign up box, or go directly to https://twitter.com/signup. Enter your name, phone number, and a password.
Click ‘Sign up for Twitter’. Done.
This integration with Twitter is a powerful feature. While on the platform, you can simply click ‘tell a little bird’ and Blab automatically live tweets for you. A nifty little ninja tip, is that if you ‘tell a little bird’ while a high profile ‘guest’ is onscreen, Blab will post to their feed as well, promoting your conversation to an even wider audience.
Once you’re all signed up for Twitter, go to Blab.im and follow the directions to sign up. You can cruise through the listing of Blabs currently ‘On Air’, scour the replays for topics you love or simply set up and host your own Blab.
To follow a Blab, you click a subscribe button. This gives you entry to the Blab chat room and the stream. You are notified when the Blab goes live, and you receive a replay of the Blab in your email. So? What is it that makes Blab a potential business tool?
Far more interactive than Periscope or Meerkat (two recently released live streaming apps), Blab facilitates candid conversation between real people happening in real time.
The potential for businesses, organizations, and brands is off the hook. Imagine real-time live chat with customer service reps, or how-to discussions for product launches. What about interviews with thought leaders in your field or local or neighbourhood online town hall meetings?
From my perspective, Blab is better than reality TV, and potentially highly addictive.
On the cautionary side, keep in mind is the dictionary definition of blab. As a verb it means to reveal secrets by indiscreet talk. Be careful out there.
Note: Blab is not Safari friendly – use another browser, Chrome or Firefox are fine. Also, you’ll want a mic. The one on your earbuds will work, and you’ll want those, too.
Vicki McLeod is a founder of the Social Chicks, offering social media tips and training. She is the host of Everyday Happiness: The Pajama Podcasts and hosts a weekly Business Blab called TGIF. She is a business and personal coach and consultant. Find her at www.mainstreetcommunications.ca
This article was originally published in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows TIMES newspaper, where Vicki writes a monthly social media column.