Earlier today, news broke that Tumblr's upcoming live video offering was in the preparatory phases and almost ready to serve out to users. In typical bizarre and strangely beautiful Tumblr fashion, some live entertainment was also announced, involving organizing objects, inflating large objects in small rooms and a Harlem Globetrotter giving a basketball tutorial. What hadn't been announced until now was that Tumblr will be running their live video a bit differently from most services that have been hopping on the bandwagon lately. Specifically, none of this is going to run on Tumblr's own infrastructure; rather than creating a whole new platform for live videos, Tumblr plans only to serve as a hosting and sharing ground, letting users go through other channels to create and stream their live broadcasts. Naturally, despite this announcement, the Yahoo-owned social network geared toward the weird, lovely and weirdly lovely will still host its planned live entertainment, decidedly in the weirdly lovely category, at the feature's launch, starting at 4 o' clock sharp, Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
Users can use YouNow, Kanvas, UpClose and YouTube, though the latter will only have Android support when the feature launches later today; iOS users will be supported in a few days. When the live video services for Tumblr officially launches, users will be able to use any of those apps like they normally would for live streaming, but will have the option to broadcast that live stream to Tumblr, where their followers will see it at the very top of their feed as it happens. Videos will stick around after the initial broadcast and sit on your page in chronological order just like any other post. Followers can even reblog a live stream that's in-progress, allowing their followers to jump on board.
Tumblr's approach may seem like a cop-out to some, who could say, and arguably be somewhat right, that Tumblr doesn't want to put in the money and time to stick its neck out in a market getting more crowded by the day while its parent company is essentially being sold off wholesale, but it may actually be a very smart move. Rather than locking users to a single platform, Tumblr's multiplatform approach, should updates and more services keep coming, could turn it into a one-stop-shop for users' live video needs. This would, of course, all depend on their ability to drum up support from other services, which may prove difficult with bigger names like Twitch and Facebook, though having YouTube supported on launch is a substantial feather in Tumblr's cap. The whole thing kicks off at 4 PM EST on the Staff Tumblr page.