Using Slack for its collaborative capabilities? Looking for ways to bolster that effort through autonomous notifications of your streaming projects? Ustream is introducing a new Slack video integration that surrounding Ustream video channels. The integration allows broadcasters to link to a Slack channel to push automatic notifications, and works with both Ustream Align for internal communication and Pro Broadcasting. It creates an easy way for team members and followers to get informed about the latest live stream or video on demand content.
What is Slack?
Slack functions as a powerful and engaging tool to facilitate communication, largely for internal use cases. In 2014, a year after the “app” launched, engagement was tracked on an average of 10 hours per user. The service helps to keep people connected through being available on desktops and mobile devices, with apps available for Android, iOS, and even a beta version for Windows phones.
Slack Notification Use Cases
The Slack integration feature for Ustream can be enabled on “public” channels over the messaging platform. This feature is one of the few Connection options that works with Ustream Align. The use cases for this implementation are numerous, for example a general company channel can be linked in order to notify the team of important streams like a CEO town hall meeting. The notifications can also inform channel members of training sessions beginning or when training resources are updated as well.
For event use, a marketing team can be quickly notified when a broadcast for an event is live. The notification can be used as a sync point to notify others to begin increased social media efforts. It can also supplement webinars and notify a team to key up internal resources if the stream is expected to bring in live enquiries.
For public use, there are many communities open that allow for relevant conversation around a topic. For example, looking to live stream a construction site for a new skyscraper? Chances are a Slack community exists around that interest and can be easily notified and engaged whenever the broadcast goes live. Although Slack is generally associated with internal use, public facing channels do thrive with passionate participants. There are a lot of directories available to catalogue the many public channels available.
Setting Up Slack Integration
While logged into a team on Slack, a broadcaster needs to login to their Ustream account and go to the Connections tab under Account. One of the connection options on this tab will be for Slack. Clicking the connect button will redirect to an authorization page, where authorize can be clicked to redirect back to the Connections tab.
The Slack team account has now been integrated with the Ustream account. The integration can be disabled at any time by clicking the Disconnect button.
Check our Slack Integration Set Up Guide for a more detailed explanation of enabling Slack integration, with images for each step of the process.
Enabling Slack Notifications
After being setup, a new tab will be added to Ustream channels on the account called Slack Notifications. Selecting this will allow a broadcaster to enable the feature and also designate what Slack channel the notifications will be sent to. Note that the dropdown for Slack channels will include all Slack channels connected to your team, regardless of if the individual who set up the Slack integration is apart of that channel or not. “Private” channels are not available on the list.
Once enabled, the Slack integration will offer notifications for participants in the Slack channel. These notifications will be whenever a Ustream channel goes live or new video content is added. In the instance of either of these events, a message will be pushed to the corresponding Slack channel. For a stream going live, this message will appear like the following:
Both of the elements in brackets are controllably by the broadcaster. The “Channel Title” can be set in the Info tab. The “Channel Description” can be set as as part of the Channel Page tab, under the About settings. The description will truncate if the description is longer than 140 characters, ending in an ellipses (…).
The channel title will act as a link, leading back to the Ustream channel page. If the Ustream channel page is disabled, the link will be removed although the title name will still appear.
For videos content being added to a Ustream channel, a similar but different message will appear on the Slack channel to notify users.
New video on [Channel Title]
The bracket information can be customized by the Ustream broadcaster. This is controlled through going to the Videos tab for the channel and editing the video. The edit panel will allow the video title and description to be edited.
A single Slack channel can be linked to a Ustream channel at a time. However, a broadcaster can quickly change their Slack channel in the Connection tab at any time.
Note: The message to inform a Slack channel that a stream is going live is not linked to the Event feature, where a broadcaster or company can set a specific date and time that an event will begin. This message will instead publish whenever live video content is published from the encoder to that channel. As a result, this makes it faster to setup a broadcast, but users should be aware in regards to test streams and will want to disable the Slack notification when doing a test live stream for this reason.
Slack Integration Feature History and Launch
The Slack Integration feature was actually born as a December 2015 hackathon idea.
The feature is launching today on April 7th, 2016. It will be available on all plan levels at Ustream. This includes Align, being the second Connection feature there after YouTube.
Want to learn more about Ustream Align and how this Slack video integration can help bolster your internal communication?