Ning announced a new feature today that will enable its users to broadcast video directly from their sites. The capabilities are a result of a partnership with Ustream, bringing the live streaming video capabilities to the social networking platform.
The Ustream integration will let Ning users embed both live and recorded video into their sites. In addition to the video content, the new feature will also make available live chats so that people watching the event can also participate.
When the Ustream functionality is activiated, there will be a pull-out tab on the side of the Ning social site. A green indicator dot will indicate that the channel is live; a red dot will indicate that there isn't anything being broadcast. Even so, visitors will be able to click on that tab to bring up the pop-up window and watch recorded video content.
Ning boasts over 2 million Ning networks, and the video broadcasting integration is well-suited for many of these, particularly ones associated with education. The Ustream feature is only available, however, to Ning Plus and Pro subscribers (not to the Ning Minis, which are free for educators).
But with the possibility to broadcast tutorials or workshops or discussions, it does seem as though this video integration will make upgrading to a paid subscription very appealing for many users of the social network.