Tuesday 18 August 2015

Social Video using webRTC and what's Google got to do with it?

read this slide then read it again .. thank you
Gossip Myth Science Engineering - I wonder how long I can get through this post without sending people to uncontrollable sleep?

So I joined blab.im eleven days ago and there were two types of people in there - those jumping happy periscopers who were broadcasting alone and have now found face to face video friends and the noisy bunch of google hangout bashers.

16 Nov 2015 edit to include the line from webRTC, Brevity is the soul of wit: apprtc.appspot.com is now reachable at https://appr.tc (g+ post).

It got me all thinking and how people care little about the back end tech that makes all this happen.

Hey, no real secret, I test stuff for google occasionally and work across a few teams - part of that is
listening to user feedback, distilling my own thoughts and sending in something to google that's worth the time to type it (anyone can do this on any google service, just find the feedback button, honestly the team do read it).

I made a slide and the rest of this post is about how Blab.im, Appear.in, firefox hello and yes google hangouts all use webRTC as the tool to connect people in realtime video and audio calls - webRTC is Open Source, a little like other popular services like Chromium and Android.

To wake you up - take a look at some other this cool example on what webRTC can do, it's called TouchPad (click mouse, drag about about listen to the beats). This is just one example of what webRTC can do (full list to play with).

What I would suggest, before you join a video call, do a test at: https://test.webrtc.org .. just hit start and see if you get a few green ticks - for the purest video call for free visit: https://apprtc.appspot.com .. this is simple effective and what all other social video experiences could be built on (and wait pro coders - I am just laying down the bare bones here, something that anyone can follow). For advanced tweaking see: https://apprtc.appspot.com/params.html and have a play around.

Social Video - I would say 98% of the people care little about the back end of this stuff, why should they? Mobiles are in the pockets of billions of people, but the social element can be a blessing or a nasty curse.

For example, how google opened up Google+ on 28 June 2011 and here we are over four years moaning about Hangouts - but hey people be very careful with that word as it could mean text chat, SMS mobile messages, images or emoji in chat, voice calls and of course video calls (in private) or broadcast On Air Live to YouTube.

Only yesterday, +Jordanna Chord  from the hangouts team posted a new way to use hangouts as: hangouts.google.com - adding to gmail hangouts, g+ hangouts, hangouts app desktop & mobile, and the chrome extension ..

Looking back at the timeline slide, see how google are behind and responsible for opening up webRTC in May 2011 while giving away for free the tools that Blab.im (public video), Appear.in (private video) and tons of others use to make something useful and unique.

All I ask here, take a few mins to track back what we see happening, how we feel about it and what
we wish to see happen next.

One recent example is the post and thoughts by +Bradley Horowitz from the SPS team (Social Photos Sharing).

Slide on the right shoes how One Google is working from over 100 services to supply 8 services just on that one slide.

A lot of what I've learned, what google are doing and what Bradley hints at is all about real life, shared interests, topics, and a user's identity all under one google login.

Taking that idea forward is why I'm so excited about what blab.im are doing - and why it took Blab (or anyone else) so long to do it?

And why I've the slide above with the words, blab have allowed us to do something we could not do before.

Breaking this down and ending this post - think about simple one click Talk Radio with chat -- get the content right and you have a worldwide audience all living inside an app or web browser, recordable and forever.

And by one click I mean a series of clicks that require little or no thought. You try going Live at Youtube with an encoder and you are there thinking quite a bit

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