Tumblr launches support for live video -- from other platforms

The social media site will let users share video streams from YouTube and other competing destinations

As live video continues its rise on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter’s Periscope app, Tumblr wants in on the action. But instead of opting for its own video player, the social media platform wants to be the ultimate destination for live videos.

Starting Tuesday night, the social-blogging platform will let users post live videos from YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose. Tumblr said it is actively exploring ways to bring this feature to brand partners as an ad offering.

Tumblr said it will work with media partners and organizations like Mashable, Refinery29, MTV, Time Out and The Huffington Post to live-stream events and content.

"We want Tumblr to serve as the best publishing and discovery platform for the content — no matter where it’s created," Tumblr said  in a statement.

When a user goes live or reblogs a live video, followers will get push notifications that can take them to the live video. The live videos will be pinned to the top of followers’ dashboards online and on mobile, along with the usual photos, videos and GIFs. A user can then save their live videos to their Tumblr once the live session ends.

It could be a smart move for the platform, considering its recent embarrassing evaluation by parent company Yahoo.

In February, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company was writing down Tumblr’s value by 23% from its $1 billion purchase price in 2013, even though it claimed to reach 600 million monthly active users, twice the audience it had when Yahoo bought Tumblr. At the time, Campaign asked industry experts whether Tumblr had staying power. Some cast it aside, saying that it could never become as popular as Instagram and Facebook. Others said it was still a great platform to attract a youthful audience since it’s unlikely to become penetrated by parents.

According to Tumblr, teens and Millennials account for more than 50% of its audience, 80% of users access the platform on mobile, and the number of monthly users on mobile has grown by 35% year over year. Aside from these numbers, perhaps the support for live videos will boost the platform’s reputation among advertisers.

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