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Blab Tutorial: To Blab or Not To Blab, That is the Question

BLAB Tutorial-To Blab or not to BlabAre you a blabber??

In Ireland, a “blagger” is someone that makes up things all the time, but a “blabber”… well that’s a new one to me!

In this article, we talk about the new live-streaming service called Blab.

We’ll talk about its potential, the functionality available and why you need to consider it!

NOTE:  Blab shut it’s doors recently!!!

What is Blab?

Blab is a video live-streaming application that allows up to four people at a time to have a free video conversation online.

The team at Blab feel that four people is the ideal maximum number of people to have a conversation in this format.

blab image
This is how it looks with multiple people on the Blab

You schedule a Blab and invite people to it.

A Blab is not public until there are at least two people in it.

Make sense?


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Is Blab going to grow quickly?


Blab is going to grow rapidly. There are a lot of influential people joining the platform already, which is bound to spur its growth.

Here are mentions of Blab on Twitter over the last few weeks!


Blab Tweets
Big growth for Blab


Is Blab going to take over from Google Hangouts?

On #Socialhangouts (a weekly Blab!), my friend Eric Mitchell asked me if Blab will take over from Google Hangouts, which is also a video live-streaming app.

The answer is Yes and No:

  • The Google+ loyal community – There is a (shrinking) loyal community of Google+ supporters who will continue to use Google Hangouts.
  • The Google+ ‘I’m there only if other people are’ – These are the people who are on Google+ because they feel they have to be.  But they’ll probably move to Blab, Periscope or Meercat, or some other live streaming platform, eventually.
  • The Google+ haters – They’ll avoid Google+ Hangouts, no matter how good they are.  So for these people, Blab could be the ideal venue for their live-streamed video chats.


Why is live streaming important?

In social media, we talk about people getting to know, like and trust you.

There is no better way than them getting to see you live online.  It’s the next best thing to meeting at a conference.

There is going to be rapid growth in live-streaming apps.


How do you kick off a Blab?

You go to Blab.im and create a title for a Blab.   Select up to three tags to identify what the chat will be about and decide if you want to run the Blab now or later.


Host a Blab
Creating a Blab

You then get a Blab link, which you can share.

Invite people to your Blab using your link.  When they go to that link, they can ‘subscribe’ to the Blab, which means they’ll get a notification when it starts.

How do you record a Blab?

When you launch, there is a ‘record’ button to the top left of your Blab.

When you click this button, you’ll get a link with an embed code for your recording that you can share out.


How does it work when you’re online?

If you’re hosting a Blab, you let someone else into the conversation (at least one other person) and start a discussion.

Blab interface update
The Blab interface

1. This is the name of the broadcast.  When you create the Blab, this is the name that is displayed.  During the show, you can change the name of this… see later…

2. A copy of tweets that are shared related to the podcast.   The ‘tell a little bird’ encourages people to share this out on Twitter.

3.  You can click on this button to follow a person or click on the image beside it to see profile details of the person.

4.  You can give people a high five by clicking on this.  This is only counted per Blab session.  If you join another Blab, this counter goes back to zero.

5. This shows you the current people who are on the Blab.  You can hover your mouse over each person to find out more details about them, and you can follow them if you want.

6. This shows comments and questions from people that are watching the Blab. If you have a question for the host (or the current speakers) then type /q or /question followed by your question to mak sure it stands out in the stream of comments.

Ask a quetion in Blab
Ask a question in Blab

What can the host do?

When you are the host, you can:

  • Block off seats – Imagine you are doing an interview and you don’t want other people to join in and interrupt the flow of the interview.  You can block the seats so other people can’t request to join.
  • Accept people on – People can request to join in but you must accept them before they can join.  If multiple people request to join and you only have one slot available then you can decide who gets the coveted seat!
  • Ban people – You can ban somebody from a Blab.  They will still be able to listen in but they won’t be able to interact.
  • Mute – You can mute yourself on the call or the host can mute you. So make sure to watch your P’s and Q’s !
  • Change topic – The host can change a topic by clicking on the pencil icon on the top right of a Blab.  But they can also type /topic into the comments box followed by the new name for the Blab.  Conversations go off on tangents quite easily on Blabs so it’s important to keep the listeners up-to-date on the current topic.  Anyone else on the call can also change the topic name.


How do you join in on a Blab?

If you get a link to a Blab, you can click on the link to join if the Blab is running or, if it hasn’t started yet, hit the subscribe button to get notified when the Blab is live.

You can also go to Blab and filter out any shows that are currently on or coming up. Just click on one or more tags on the left to see all live and scheduled Blabs in those categories.

blab search update
Searching for a Blab


How do you end a Blab?

A Blab is ended when everyone exits.

If you are the host and you exit the Blab, it is not ended.  If you want to make sure the Blab has ended, you remove everyone else from the Blab first,  and then exit yourself!


What do I need to do to set up my profile?

blab profile
Creating your Blab profile

Your profile information is taken from your Twitter account, so not a lot of work is needed to set up your account.

When you view your profile, you’ll see:

  • Followers/following
  • Replays – a link to any of your recordings
  • Scheduled – any Blabs that you have scheduled


Blab Short Keys

There are some special symbols to use:

/q = Question – Type in your question and the host will be notified

/topic = Change Topic – This can be useful as the conversation evolves you want to let people know what you’re currently talking about.

/shrug = to express yourself –  funny symbols displayed as you see below

/tableflip = to express yourself

blab expressions
Blab expressions – shrug is first, tableflip is second

What about Blab on a mobile device?

Blab is currently supported on an Apple iOS and an Android version is coming soon.



Blab is a very exciting platform that is destined to see major growth over the next few years.

Live streaming is going to be huge and the team at Blab have got this right.

The best time to build a presence on these platforms is when they launch, so get in there quickly and build your presence.


Cartoon of Shakespeare is courtesy of Shutterstock