We knew it was coming, but now it’s official. Blab has been declared dead by the developers. Discover why they made this decision, and what to do about your Blab replays, plus what’s in store for the future of video marketing in the post-Blab wake.
Why They Killed Blab
Apparently, taking “a hackathon project that was built in 3 weeks, and growing it from 0 users to 3.9 million users in less than 1 year” was not good enough to meet the goals of the investors, according to a statement from lead Blab developer, Shaan Puri.
They were not impressed with the “average daily user spending 65 minutes a day on Blab.”
They claimed most live streams are not interesting enough to warrant more than 10% of their users dropping in on a daily basis.
Really? Like every single show on any TV channel is crammed full of interesting shows 24/7. Yeah, right.
They also claim that only 10% of watch time were on replays and cited this as the reason:
“Because the off-the-cuff, unpredictable nature of livestreams make for terrible replays. The better the live stream was, the worse the replay will be.”
What they didn’t account for was that many broadcasters repurposed Blabs on YouTube and embedded those videos on their sites. Those views didn’t count because folks weren’t viewing from Blab.
That practice was great for broadcasters, but bad for Blab watch time stats.
The Great Divide
According to their data, Team Blab said that users fell into two groups:
- Those who broadcast shows and their viewers
- Those who hung out and made friends
What they failed to realize was that many broadcasters also just hung out.
I met so many new folks, and strengthened relationships with those I already had met via social media, but had never spoken live with.
Even when I jumped on randomly with no notice, it was not unusual for 30-50 folks to engage with the broadcast, many of whom were new to me, and many who jumped on air with me.
That was the awesome power of Blab.
But their interpretation of the stats didn’t tell them that.
The Insane Disconnect
From the very beginning, Blab wanted to create a platform for folks to just hang out casually online together.
They didn’t tell us that.
Like every social media platform, the users determine the culture.
Blab was special. Blab was addictive. Blab helped us connect.
The devs seemed to have missed that message completely.
And that, more than anything, was the beginning of the end of Blab.
Show Hosts Killed Blab
It all came to a head when major podcast and Google Hangouts on Air show hosts brought their existing audiences to Blab. To the tune of tens of thousands of viewers.
Hosting such sizable audiences live was never what Blab was intended to do.
On top of that, several of those show hosts pushed their weight around and began demanding Blab do this feature, or that service, with a sense of entitlement that comes from the same ego that had made them a success in the first place.
It got out of hand. In fact, one of those hosts became offensive in his grilling of one Blab team member by demanding that he know the inside scoop and should be allowed to have some say in the future of Blab.
All this, over a free service that never came out of Beta.
The intent of the Blab devs, and the journey actual users took it on, never meshed.
So, instead of changing goals and riding the horse where it wants to go, Team Blab took a stand and publicly stated that the platform was never intended to host major shows.
Well, that pissed off all the folks who were responsible for helping grow the audience to 3.9 million users in less than a year.
And they left.
And they took their audiences with them.
Which is exactly what Blab wanted.
Birth of the Bebo App
In the midst of all this, Team Blab began creating what they were really after all along.
Bebo is the parent company of Blab.
The new Bebo App is made for college age students to just hang out with their friends.
And it has monetization opportunities built into the core. Those include ads and ways to make direct purchases.
All I can say about it is good luck trying to achieve 3.9 million users in less than a year. With so much similar competition already on the market, and more (read TONS more) coming from China very soon, I’d be surprised if the app even survives a year.
I was on it once and I’ve never been back. But then, I’m not a college age student either.
Blab Changed Everything
The fact remains that Blab was unique in the video marketing landscape.
First, it was super duper easy to use.
It was also intimate.
I often witnessed guests on Blab feeling so comfortable that they began sharing private details of their lives, completely forgetting that they were on camera in a public venue and/or being recorded.
Good show hosts easily built loyal tribes of subscribers and viewers.
Blab instantly set itself apart and above one-to-many video broadcast platforms like Periscope.
It was where folks gathered to hang out and be entertained and informed.
But that wasn’t good enough for the investors.
And now it’s over.
Breaking Up Badly
In a private group I also read one veteran broadcaster reply with regard to the Blab devs:
“I remember seeing Shaan’s resume and being struck by the cavalier way he posted that he had run three failing businesses. That might be cute when you’re a kid … But anyway, now he can add one more to his collection.”
(Quote used with permission)
I’ve also heard many successful show hosts say they will never engage with the Bebo company again because their trust was broken.
That’s not a good note to end a trial run on.
Giving Thanks in All Things
I’m grateful to Blab.
I was very excited when Hangouts on Air debuted, but I simply could not keep pace with the changes every time I signed on. And then it just became too hard to use. Not to mention that it was just, well, stuffy.
Blab began simple and stayed simple.
It brought me home, where I’m most comfortable engaging with folks, which is in person.
I became a Blabaddict.
And my business grew by leaps and bounds.
Blab quickly became my #1 new lead generator and my #1 loyal tribe creator.
I loved Blab!!!!
And now I’m hooked on video marketing because of it.
All the show hosts I met on Blab have scattered to the wind with various other platforms including Huzza, Crowdcast, and FireTalk.
Some, like me, poured research and resources into broadcasting on Facebook Live, either directly or via simulcasting from other platforms.
And now that FireTalk has listened to its former Blab show hosts and made some much needed improvements, I’ll be moving my weekly show there while continuing to do my BlogAid Today and promo videos on Facebook Live.
So, now I have a hybrid way to let folks know where I’ll be live online.
Blab Replays and Embeds
For all of you who embedded Blabs on your site, I sure hope you made a habit of downloading them, because there may be no way to retrieve or stream replays now.
Immediately after the Blab announcement, Hani Mourra, the dev behind the Simple LivePress plugin, gave those in the plugin’s private Facebook group a tip for saving all of your imported videos down to your computer.
And he gave me permission to create a tutorial on it and share that with all of my peeps in the private Facebook group for my Video Marketing courses.
Hani has also checked with Blab to see if there is a way for everyone to retrieve their Blabs. But, we’re not holding our breath while waiting on Team Blab to reply.
Their social media streams and email inboxes are probably too full of folks screaming about the lack of notification with the shut down. I can’t imagine why. The writing has been on the wall for the death of Blab for some time now.
Get Ready for the Video Revolution
Video marketing will live on. And I expect we’ll start treating those platforms much as we do all other social media platforms and hop around to what’s hot and what has audience.
If you’re not in on this revolution yet, you’re already behind the times.
My Video Marketing courses will take you step by step in getting started.
And that’s the point.
Doesn’t matter where.
Just get on this train any way you can and watch your business grow.