What We Can Learn From the Failure of Blab - Social Media Explorer
What We Can Learn From the Failure of Blab
What We Can Learn From the Failure of Blab
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The social media community is reeling and in an uproar from the sudden closure of Blab. There’s considerable shock that the platform would be shut down within its die-hard community. My Facebook newsfeed has been full of the outrage. Yet take a step outside of our little world and it’s easy to see why Blab failed. Only the niche tech publications felt it worth covering.

This is a REALLY IMPORTANT LESSON!

As I’ve said many times, it’s essential to keep the audience of a platform in mind before putting together a social strategy around it. Blab ended up being an echo-chamber for the same faces (only 10% of people who signed up returned according to the founder) and as such was unable to monetize. This is the same issue with many live-streaming options because many people simply don’t have the time during the workday to stop and tune-in.

Screenshot 2016-08-16 11.14.07
The news was pretty quiet for such a big takedown

Moreover, as Blab also noted, most live streaming content just isn’t that interesting to draw people in. This absolutely makes sense if you think about how people tend to consume live-media. It’s no surprise that the main success stories for live stream revolve around sports and entertainment events. It’s important to understand that these are not indicative of the success of live streaming but rather of the specific times when live streaming is a viable social strategy.

In addition to content, another issue with platforms like Blab is that they require an additional step in one’s routine. You can’t stumble upon a Blab on a platform that you’re used to accessing. You had to establish a different account and use a different app. There has to be a massively high incentive to do this for the average consumer which once again is why the content has to be very compelling. This is why out of all of the live streaming options I’m betting on FacebookLive as the breakout option.

Image via Tom Fishburne, founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne
Image via Tom Fishburne, founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne

As social strategists, it is essential to think about the way in which our target audience consumes content. As I’ve written elsewhere, experimentation is great but it’s not a social strategy and live streaming is a great example. Where it succeeds is where there’s a diehard base eager to consume real-time additional content. But just because it works there doesn’t mean it will automatically translate to other areas.

Of course, this is true for all platforms and why some have succeeded while others have failed. The saga of Blab is a great learning experience for the social media marketing world. Let’s make sure to take it to heart.

About the Author

Suzie McCarthy
Suzie McCarthy is a Social Strategy Consultant and Adjunct Instructor at NYU where she currently teaches Social Media and the Brand in the School of Professional Studies. Her social strategy work is informed by her extensive training as a social scientist in both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Suzie is passionate about bringing together disparate individuals together in online communities and empowering them to accomplish great things together.
  • Blab was pretty cool – It reminded me of CuSeeMe back in the days of grayscale webcams and dial-up modems when multi-party conferencing first became available to the average mortal!

    I pray that somebody else acquires Blab’s technology/code portfolio and resurrects it. It’s integration with Twitter profiles was brilliant – and made it very worthwhile to see and be seen there.

    Ultimately – I think it boiled down to a FAILURE OF MARKET-ING, not the Market-PLACE. Did Blab ever send me a Welcome message? A ‘Getting Started’ email? Or other notifications of weekly Blabs coming up or new Blab channels gaining popularity? No. No. And No. Retention is half the battle for any web-based SaaS app – and they blew it.

  • I’ve never actually used Blab, it existed only on my periphery and I never heard anything compelling enough to make we want to try it out. Still, it’s fair to say that anything that requires an extra conscious action is always going to have a hard time gaining critical mass unless there is some extremely compelling content to draw the average consumer and not just early adopters.

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