Tumblr has now officially entered the live video streaming space, alongside fellow social networks Facebook and Twitter, which have Live and Periscope respectively. The launch comes the same day Twitter announced it was expanding its video length from 30 seconds to 140 seconds.
Unlike Twitter and Facebook which use their own video platforms, Tumblr is partnering with third-party providers to bring video tools to its users. Using iOS and Android, users can use YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose to post live videos on Tumblr. YouTube is also ready for Android, and should be ready for iOS users in a few days.
By using different services rather than launching a video creation tool in-house, Tumblr, which had 555 million monthly users as of April 2016, believes it can offer its users a wider range of options than tools like Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope. Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly users, and Twitter 310 million.
"This group [of video providers] is made up of leaders in the live video sphere with strong communities, presenting compelling opportunities to bring more content and audiences to Tumblr," a Tumblr spokesperson said in an email. "The unique features across the different services also provide cool new creative tools for Tumblr users."
Live videos act like any other Tumblr post, in that they can be reshared to your own Tumblr page. Tumblr users will receive a push notification if anyone they are following posts a live video, or reblogs a live video, and live videos will be pinned to the top of follower dashboards while it's live.
After the livestream has ended, the user can then choose to save it on their Tumblr page, where it can be watched like any other video. More information is available on the official support post.
Update, 10:45 a.m. AEST: Included more details on Tumblr's live video platform.