The rise of streaming social media continues to produce surprising results. We have Meerkat and Periscope putting powerful, real time streaming capabilities into our hands at the touch of a button, we have Facebook Live Video in selected release – and now, one of my new favourites, Blab.im offering a virtual, live streaming app for panel and group discussions.

But if you have tuned into a Meerkat or Periscope stream, you’re likely to find them largely one dimensional. To host and hold a stream of people, you really do need to have a level of comfort in front of the camera. Add to this the difficulty with storage and replay, then the utility value of the stream can be quite minimal.

The group format of Blab, however, has a number of benefits over the single live stream offered by Meerkat and Periscope:

  • The panel format means that the performance pressure is shared by three other participants
  • Real time discussion can take place directly rather than via text/messaging
  • Discussions can be opened out through the platform, via Twitter or messaging.

But the best thing to do is to watch a Blab in action. Here, MediaScope’s Denise Shrivell does a wrap-up of the Australian Ad and Media Industry with Jules Lund, Charlotte Valente and Seb Rennie – along with contributions from others. Usually this kind of production would take coordination, equipment, scheduling and so on – but with Blab, participants beamed in (and out) without leaving their offices. It’s fantastic to see where this may go.

Watch live conversations about topics that matter most to you