Tumblr Launches Live-streaming To Capture Bigger Share Of Creator Market

Tumblr Launches Livestreaming To Capture Bigger Share Of Creator Market

Tumblr is betting on live-streaming with The Meet Group, entering a crowded field of social media competitors, including Amazon’s Twitch — the category leader — Google’s YouTube and ByteDance’s TikTok.

Regarding the types of live streams, the platform is excited about video game sessions, book club discussions and Dungeons & Dragons games that received callouts.

The Meet Group is the video unit of ParshipMeet Group, which owns dating websites like eHarmony. Livebox, the solution Tumblr is leveraging to integrate live-streaming, was launched in 2019 under the former name of vPaaS and is today billed as one of ParshipMeet Group’s fastest-growing businesses.

The idea behind the partnership is to let creators and brands quickly start live broadcasts and monetize their work. Livebox allows users to give virtual gifts through “tipping,” a common tactic for helping live-streaming creators earn a living. Livebox is also promising moderation safeguards and talent support to recruit and retain a stable base of creators.

The news shows that Tumblr wants to recapture a larger share of online engagement and become a bigger name in the advertising game, where it’s previously seen little success. However, the strategy arrives as Twitter, another microblogging service, sees brands jump ship due to issues with new owner Elon Musk and his volatile leadership style.

Tumblr has had a bumpy history of its own, being bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, quickly written down, and then eventually sold off to Verizon as part of the telecom’s takeover of the technology firm years later. The site was then acquired for a “nominal amount” — reportedly less than $3 million — by Automattic, best known for operating rival WordPress, in 2019.

Tumblr, in its heyday, was a magnet for fan groups and enthusiasts who used the microblogging format to carp about their pop culture interests. But the focus on free-form discussion and content sharing often rubbed up against business goals. Under Verizon’s ownership, the platform banned pornography, resulting in a user exodus.

Automattic could encounter similar troubles in the video arena, as user-generated live-streaming is notoriously difficult to moderate. Tumblr is introducing certain features to combat toxicity, such as the ability for creators to make their most trusted viewers “bouncers” who keep streams in check.