Real-time updates. What does that mean to you?
Does it mean being able to communicate with friends or people with shared interests instantaneously?
Or keeping track of breaking news as it happens?
Or following a professional sport play-by-play?
The ability to connect with information in real-time has arguably been one of the foundations for many technological advances around the globe. When it comes to social media, real-time is primarily associated with Twitter.
Whenever news breaks – whether it’s celebrity gossip or a plane crash – the masses flock to Twitter; tweeting emotions, reports, pictures, videos, and reactions. Hashtags allow conversations to be organized by anyone and easily tracked in real-time. But there’s a flaw. The massive conglomeration of tweets creates a noise chamber where truth, lies, and inaccuracies blend together. To put it simply, there is no moderation – no filter to what’s said on the Twittersphere.
What if you want to get real-time updates on an event but you want those updates to only come from people you trust? That’s where reddit live – a feature that launched publicly on July 23rd – comes into play.
For this example, we’re going to do two things:
- Create a reddit live Q/A where anyone can submit questions for our CEO
- Embed the live Q/A on our own website
First, you’ll need to created a free reddit account and then head over to the reddit live page.
Click the big orange button!
Next, just enter in a title and description. You can include essential HTML attributes in the description such as links, bold, italics, lists, etc.
By clicking on “formatting help,” you’ll be able to style the description, which is your sidebar, to your heart’s content. If anything is mis-typed or information changes, such as extending the interview length, you can easily updated the title and/or description at any point. Just click on the settings tab:
Click on “save settings” when you’re finished making changes. Additionally, we can permanently close the live thread in this settings area, such as when our interview ends. When all is set up it will look like this:
Here you will see a very straightforward layout. The title is bolded at the top and underneath it is a text box where real-time updates can be posted as they happen. These updates can include links, media, and basic formatting.
Two hypothetical updates fmight look like this:
The only people that can make updates are those that you designate as “contributors” to the live thread. Contributors must also have a reddit account.
To assign contributors simply click on the contributors tab at the top of your thread, enter their username(s), and click on invite:
Now, you can take this real-time app and embed it on your website using the basic iframe embed code and making two tiny tweaks to the URL.
First, copy the following line of code:
iframe src="//www.redditmedia.com/live/yourLIVEkey/embed" width="400" height="600"> iframe
When you implement this on a post or page on your own website, remember to add the <iframe> and </iframe> closures.
Second, copy your LIVE key from the URL of your live thread. In our example, the live key would be: “tabu5esdb200″ from our URL: “reddit.com/live/tabu5esdb200/.” Simply copy that key and place it into the correlating spot in our line of code and you’re done!
The result will look something like this:
Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as possibilities with reddit live go. The links to the live threads can easily be shared and viewed around the internet; you don’t need to make a reddit account just to view a live thread, so it’s welcoming to all lurkers.
The live threads have already been making strides in reporting on breaking news. Here’s a live thread I’m currently watching:
Additionally, you can elect to trigger desktop notifications which makes it nearly impossible to miss anything.
While reddit live lends itself to those reporting on breaking news, it’s already seeing applications as a form of commentating on play-by-plays for sports, contests, social games, and more. Knowing redditors, we can expect to see some very cool things evolve through live in the near future.
In terms of businesses looking to expand their social arm, reddit live provides a platform (which, as we’ve seen, can be self-hosted) to engage potential customers and fans in real-time. You can post streams of photos and news – unrestrained by Twitter’s character and formatting limits – to provide your fans with an engaging real-time experience.
Think about it from an inbound perspective: creating content that earns visitors. Maybe your website is in need of a makeover – embedding real-time apps would significantly enhance the impressions of any business or visitor.
At the core, it shows that you are active.