Tumblr, the Yahoo-owned blogging platform, said Tuesday it was launching live video to help compete against similar offerings from Facebook and Twitter. The new feature, unlike Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope, won’t have its own underlying technology platform but will allow users to post from YouTube and other video services. “By the end of today, you’ll be able to broadcast yourself directly into your followers’ dashboards,” said a Tumblr statement.
“And they’ll be able to broadcast themselves directly into yours. We trust you all to be beautiful, weird, compelling, and just generally Tumblr about this whole thing.” Yahoo acquired Tumblr in May 2013 for $1.1 billion as part of an effort to better connect with younger online users. Tumblr estimates it has some 300 million blog accounts but its growth has lagged behind that of many rival social networks. According to the research firm eMarketer, Tumblr is used by around 8.7 percent of US Internet users, far below the 69.9 percent who use social networks in general.
Live video streaming has become a popular tool on social media in recent months with the launch of Periscope last year and Facebook Live, which opened to all users of the leading social network earlier this year. Tumblr users will be able to upload from Google-owned YouTube as well as other applications such as YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose.