Livefyre is best known as a commenting system, but it’s launching a new product today for large brands and publishers called StreamHub — comments are part of StreamHub, but just one part.
There are two big pieces to the new system. First, there’s the Core product, which allows publishers and brands to engage their audience directly. The tools to make that happen include Livefyre’s commenting system, as well as liveblogging, live chats, and custom apps.
All of the Core services are linked by the ability for publishers and readers to have conversations in real-time. TechCrunch readers got a peek at the liveblogging portion last week, when we used Livefyre to cover Amazon’s big press event. (Does that foretell greater TechCrunch integration with Livefyre StreamHub? Don’t ask me — I’m just the writer.)
Founder and CEO Jordan Kretchmer tells me that a big emphasis with StreamHub Core is the ability for publishers to own their audience. In other words, if you create a commenting account on a StreamHub site, that account is unique to that site. That’s a pretty different approach from services like Facebook Comments (which we use here at TechCrunch) or Disqus, which allow users to carry their identity from site to site. Livefyre has “a very different view”, Kretchmer says: “If I’m sitting here talking to my political friends I say very, very different things than I would with my friends watching the football game on Sunday. We believe that when if you’re talking on Fox Sports you shouldn’t have the same identity on Fox News.”
And from a publisher perspective, this system gives them an opportunity to build their own unique community, and to learn more about their audience.
The second major StreamHub product is Curate, which allows companies to add live content from elsewhere on the social web to their sites. So you could embed a live stream of tweets to a web page, and you could also set up a number of rules around the stream — if you only want photos, or if you only want tweets from within a certain geographic area. So for example, a sports site could use Curate to create a stream of photos shared by fans that are coming from a specific game.
Kretchmer says StreamHub expands Livefyre’s customer base beyond traditional web publishers (though StreamHub is meant for them too) to include TV networks who want to create a second-screen experience around a live event and brands who want to provide live content for their fans. Meanwhile, the company will continue to offer its free commenting platform to smaller publishers.
The company claims to already have more than 60 enterprise customers, including Fox, Sugar Inc, CBS, and The Wall Street Journal. There are now 5.5 million registered users.