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How to Stream to Your Facebook Page with BFF

Hey there Ustream! We are pumped to announce the release this morning of the next version of Broadcast for Friends, our free and simple broadcaster for Facebook. Using BFF, you can go live any time to your Facebook Timeline and News Feed. Check out the great coverage of this new version over at TechCrunch.

There are some great new features in this version, including the ability to delete videos and Open Graph support, but most importantly, in this new version, you can now go live to your business and fan pages!

This is how you do it:

1. First, if you haven’t already, download BFF in the app store.

2. Open the app. It will prompt you to connect to Facebook. This is necessary to go live to Facebook 🙂

3. When the broadcast screen loads, you will see your user picture in the upper left. Click your picture to go to your profile page.

4. In the upper right corner, press the gear icon to go to the settings page.

5. You should see a heading that says “Enable Broadcast to Pages.” You need to enable Broadcast to Pages first, which will require additional Facebook permissions. When you have successfully enabled these permissions, the button should change to brown and say “Enabled.” It may take a couple seconds to change. Click “Done.” (Note: if you can’t enable this feature, it means you don’t have any Facebook pages for which you are an admin. You can set one up here.)

6. Now, when you click “Broadcast” on the camera screen, you should see a menu where you can choose onto which page you want to go live.

7. When you click “Start,” your video will stream right to your Facebook page!

We are very excited about this new release, as so many of you have asked for this feature and we can finally get it out there. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your broadcasts!

Also new in this release:

  • Delete your videos permanently (for those embarrassing party moments)
  • Broadcasting support for connections as low as 200 kbps (that’s almost any 3G connection)
  • Stability improvements as well as some helpful pointers on making the best quality videos
  • Faster broadcasting process–no more countdown!
  • …and lots of little changes to make the experience even better

Enjoy Broadcast for Friends! Here’s the download link again:

Ustream watch party contest starts now!

Ustream Debate Contest Oct. 3

Hey political party animals: We’re having a debate night contest and you’re invited!

On Oct. 3, President Barack Obama and prez hopeful Mitt Romney square off for the first of three presidential debates at Denver University starting at 9 p.m.

In celebration of the democratic process, we’re throwing the world’s largest watch party, complete with a contest.

We want you to BYOB (Bring Your Own Broadcast)!

To guide you a bit when planning for the contest, we’ve determined a few categories. The best watch parties of the night will be featured on our front page for millions to see. And if that’s not enough, the organizer of the winning party will receive some cool Ustream prizes.

The categories are:

  • Loudest and proudest for Obama
  • Loudest and proudest for Romney
  • Party with the best costumes/outfits
  • Best animal mascot
  • Editor’s Pick (we pick this winner in house)

If you want to win, you’ll have to do a bit of campaigning. Get people to tweet to @Ustream with the hashtag #UstreamContest, plus your Ustream user name (sign up here) and the category. For example: “Hey @Ustream, my vote goes to DemocracyRocks for best animal mascot. #UstreamContest”.

Without #UstreamContest we won’t be able to track the winners so don’t forget that part!

The party with the most votes in each category is crowned winner. We will tally them at the close of the debate, contact the winner and mail out the prizes. Winners have until Oct. 5 to respond and claim the prizes.

To register, fill out the form here or scroll to the bottom of this post. A Ustream rep will be in touch to confirm your party.

If you’ve never broadcast on Ustream, we have some useful information on how to get started. It’s easy, and you can use almost anything to broadcast – your smartphone, webcam or any higher-end video camera. For more information about broadcasting on Ustream please visit: or

So, if you love politics, if you love Obama, if you love Romney, if you just love a party, go live on Oct. 3!


Hugo Awards: An apology and explanation

NOTE: Post updated below 9/3

On Sunday night, The Hugo Awards were streaming live on Ustream (The Hugo’s are like the Academy Awards for science fiction). Very unfortunately at 7:43 p.m. Pacific time, the channel was automatically banned in the middle of an acceptance speech by author Neil Gaiman due to “copyright infringement.” This occurred because our 3rd party automated infringement system, Vobile, detected content in the stream that it deemed to be copyrighted. Vobile is a system that rights holders upload their content for review on many video sites around the web.  The video clips shown prior to Neil’s speech automatically triggered the 3rd party system at the behest of the copyright holder.

Our editorial team and content monitors almost immediately noticed a flood of livid Twitter messages about the ban and attempted to restore the broadcast. Unfortunately, we were not able to lift the ban before the broadcast ended. We had many unhappy viewers as a result, and for that I am truly sorry.  As a long-time Firefly, Stargate and Game of Thrones fan among others, I am especially disheartened by this.

As background, our system works like this in order to support a large volume of broadcasters using our free platform. Users of our paid, ad-free Pro Broadcasting service “NOTE: UPDATED CLARIFICATION” ‘and those free broadcasters who notify Ustream in advance they have copyrights permissions (Ustream’s messaging to our broadcaster community how this process works is inadequate.  We are resolving this now)’ are automatically white listed to avoid situations like this and receive hands-on client support.

I have suspended use of this third-party system until we are able to recalibrate the settings so that we can better balance the needs of broadcasters, viewers, and copyright holders.  While we are committed to protecting copyright, we absolutely must ensure our amazing and democratizing platform allows legal broadcasters to Ustream their events and shows.  This is our first and foremost obligation to our users and community.  Additionally, we need to ensure fair use of copyright as permitted by the law.

Ustream is committed to promoting Internet freedom, and we will strive to continually improve our service to provide the best, legal viewing experience possible.

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