Social Top 5: Livestreaming Services

 In Blog, Community, Community Building, Online Communities, Social Media, Technology, Tips, Trends, Topical

Whether you’re out with friends, playing a game, or running a workshop, livestreaming has become part and parcel of the social experience. We’ve tracked down the top 5 best services for helping you reach an audience, live.

Periscope

Periscope

Twitter’s bid for a native streaming service, it had early competition from Meerkat for market share before emerging with a clear home field advantage once Twitter closed its streaming API. Users can send love to streamers using the “Hearts” feature and leave comments during the broadcast that show up as an overlay. Fully integrated with Twitter, it’s push-to-stream servicing at its best.

What We Love:

+ Sending Hearts on streams you love
+ Great Twitter integration
+ Strong visual commenting system

 

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts

Initially conceived as a conference calling service similar to Skype or Facetime, Hangouts has gained traction recently as a viable means of hosting live podcasts and interviews while being distributed via Google Plus and YouTube. While not the only means of streaming to YouTube, it’s becoming a preferred option and comes complete with built-in overlays and hilarious special effects.

What We Love:

+ Automatic YouTube integration
+ Free, multi-person videoconferencing
+ Custom overlays and effects

Twitch

Twitch

The go-to service for game-based streaming, Twitch has an enormous community of avid players, streaming everything from classic SNES and Genesis games, through to the latest PC and PlayStation 4 titles. The interface is a bit spare, but incredibly reliable. Users can search for streams by the title of the game they want to watch and follow broadcasters they enjoy. Twitch has also recently launched a new channel for artists and other creatives to stream their process.

What We Love:

+ Search by game being played
+ Excellent mobile app
+ Great broadcaster tools

YouTube Live

YouTube Live

Integrated with the aforementioned Hangouts, YouTube Live is specifically pointed at streaming live events, chats, and more. It works via a user’s channel which will archive the livestream for visitors to access at a later date should they wish to rewatch. It even has a gaming offshoot at YouTube Gaming which uses similar controls but for a specific audience.

What We Love:

+ Integrated with Google Hangouts
+ Great integrated chat feature
+ Automatic archiving of streams

Restream

Restream

Restream allows users to reach out through multiple services at the same time. It’s generally positioned at gamers, but can be made to use just about any service out there. Best of all, it’s free. It automatically integrates with Twitch and YouTube, offering a central location to monitor chats and streams, but can be used with just about any service via their streaming keys, from UStream to Hitbox.

What We Love:

+ Automatic integration with top-tier services
+ Able to monitor chats from central location
+ Low resource footprint

That’s our top 5 for livestreaming services and tools. What are your favourites? Did we miss something that’s a must-have? Let us know in the comments.

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