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Video/web conferencing – in contrast to live streaming platforms – is invite-only. Generally you have to invite people you want to attend. It does afford people some interactive features (and you know exactly who’s watching), however you can’t grow an audience during an event/live stream.


  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Cisco Webex
  • BlueJeans
  • Knovio
  • Powwownow
  • Gotomeeting

Live streaming through social media

Streaming apps like Facebook Live and Periscope are provided in conjunction with a social media platform – meaning you should think about how you use them in relation to your social media following on that platform.

For organisations with an already-large following on Facebook, we’d recommend looking at Facebook Live first.

These platforms won’t offer a set of rich features specifically built around the streaming – so they might not be right for showing slides alongside a speaker, or more complicated presentations, etc – but would work well for conversation-style events.


  • Facebook Live
  • Periscope (Twitter)
  • Google Hangouts/Hangouts on Air
  • Smiletime

Live streaming platforms

There are an almost unlimited number of live streaming platforms aimed at both commercial and non-commercial markets that allow you to embed a livestream into your website. These simply provide some kind of ‘webcast player’ that you embed on your own website, and sometimes offer a ‘microsite’ specifically for the live stream.

Unlike the social media providers they don’t tend to put as many limitations on what you do (like the time length of a stream), but some will charge you extra to unlock additional services.

Most people who are interested in this kind of streaming are looking to hold an event webcast event (like some kind of meeting) and employ a service operator (like Alpha Media Events) to do the streaming, provide the cameras and sound equipment, etc.

Live streaming platforms also provide an opportunity to include speech-to-text reporting (stenographers), making the outputs available to viewers with impaired hearing (for example, we did this at our October 2016 Community event).


  • YouTube live
  • Ustream
  • Livestream

Download a table showing the pros and cons of all the tools mentioned on this page.

Thanks to members and others for helping creating this page. In particular Andrew Brightwell for helping with the advice. Andrew works with WriteStream, which offers live-caption webcasting to make events and meetings accessible online.

Please email us at if you have any suggested improvements/changes to this page. This listing is based on our experience – we’d greatly value your experiences with these or other tools for talks.