Mobli, the social-mobile photo and video-sharing app which competes with Instagram and the like, has a major update out today that adds one, single important new feature: live broadcast streaming. The question is, will this be enough to attract the attention of the millions sharing images on Instagram and, now, WhatsApp? mobli has over-hauled the app to make it faster, improved the UI, the website and is now opening up to 3rd party developers. However, I put it directly to CEO and founder Moshe Hogeg, that although this might seem like a significant move, the fact is that live streaming from mobiles has not proved as viral as photos, straight recorded videos and, latterly, short Vine-like videos. Live streaming, to put it bluntly, is unlikely to be the magic bullet to take Mobli out of it’s also-ran status at 15 million active users, into a new stratosphere. "Standalone live streaming apps like Qik were boring. It’s the combination of being able to post pictures, video AND do live streaming - the integration - that we think users will be attracted to,” he tells me. However, one can’t but get the feeling that this is a last throw of the dice for Mobli - since no live streaming app has been that successful. It also faces competition not just from Instagram but WhatsApp which has about 600 million pictures shared a day. Mobli’s integration of live streaming is going to have to fly in the face of evidence that live broadcasting really just not that interesting enough of a feature - even when it’s been implemented in the YouTube app. Of course, far be it for me to criticise - let’s see what Mobli’s numbers look like in six months to a year. Maybe I’ll have to eat my leather jacket. But I doubt it.
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