With too many companies to list battling it out for users in the live mobile video broadcasting space, spreading the word is key. Most people just don’t realize such a thing is possible; outside of geekier circles, the entire concept is still fairly new. Stream a live video from your handset and send the link off to some friends that don’t lurk blogs and social sites all day – chances are they’ll be more amazed by the fact that you’re streaming live video from a phone than they are by the content.
Many of these services have turned to outside networks to get the word out, enabling users to automatically share their content out to their already established circle of friends. Just recently, for example, both Qik and FlixWagon added support for Nokia’s Share on Ovi service. That’s all well and good for reaching the geek crowds – but what about everyone else?
This evening, Qik is announcing that they are the first to roll out Facebook Connect support, which could potentially introduce the concept to a massive new group of people.
As they’re leveraging Facebook Connect, they’re able to post videos directly to your video collection or wall without requiring the user to install additional Facebook apps. It’s as simple as could be for the user looking to share, but not without its faults: due to a limitation of the Facebook Connect API, videos can’t be streamed live directly onto Facebook, only posted after the fact. As an alternative, however, users can opt to publish a status update which links directly to their live video whenever they’re streaming.
The update is being rolled out immediately. As it’s a user profile setting, no updates are needed to the handset software. To get things going, users just log into Qik, pop into the “Edit Networks” screen, and authorize Qik as you would any Facebook Connect service.
Over time, however, all handsets will see updates which improve upon the new functionality. Available immediately is an update for non-touch Windows Mobile smartphones which allows users to pick-and-choose which videos they want pushed to Facebook. On other handsets, for the time being, Facebook will be updated with all Qik videos set as “public”.
This is a huge move for Qik and, as I’d imagine that all of the competition is already hard at work at rolling in Facebook Connect support as well, a huge move for the concept as a whole. Facebook is amongst a small handful of social networks that have really breached the main stream. Integrate a product properly, and you’ll be pitching your wares to one of the few online audiences that isn’t almost entirely geeks.