Summary:

Webcasting and virtual event firm ON24 is adding new social features to its webcasting platform in an effort to drive deeper engagement between audience members and webcast participants. The new social webcasting tools will connect users through group chat, hosted Q&A discussions, and integration with Twitter […]

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Webcasting and virtual event firm ON24 is adding new social features to its webcasting platform in an effort to drive deeper engagement between audience members and webcast participants. The new social webcasting tools will connect users through group chat, hosted Q&A discussions, and integration with Twitter and (eventually) other social networks.

ON24′s social webcasting tools work in a browser-based conferencing platform that is easily customizable, along its customers to create their own webcast skins and allows them to pick or choose from a variety of integrated widgets. Currently those include audio and video webcasting, slides, transcripts, moderated Q&A, Twitter, group chat and sharing widgets. In the future, customers will also be able to build their own customizable resource widgets.

The goal of the new platform is to increase engagement with webcast viewers by giving them more control over the experience. Due to the social aspect of the platform, ON24 expects that it will help drive traffic to the host’s site, thereby increasing brand awareness and helping hosts to develop deeper relationships with potential customers. As a result, ON24 expects to charge a premium of about 50 percent over its current webcasting platform, according to ON24 director of product marketing Mark Szelenyi.

ON24′s social webcasting platform goes into beta release later this week, after a year of development with certain advisory board members and internal stress testing by ON24. The webcasting firm says it already has a few customers signed up to participate in the beta tests, which will run through the end of May. ON24 expects to then make its social webcasting platform generally available to all customers.

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