BlueJeans Network offers first many-to-many video conferencing at scale for Facebook Live

Brands can use the new high-res service, supporting up to 100 simultaneous video feeds, for fan events, Q&A sessions or product launches.

Video communications provider BlueJeans Network is out with a service that it says is the first to turn Facebook Live’s one-way video broadcasting into a many-to-many video platform at scale for brands and other businesses.

The Mountain View, California-based company, which specializes in high-quality video conferencing for businesses, is now offering BlueJeans for Facebook Live on a 30-day free trial for selected companies that request an invite.

Chief Marketing Officer Lori Wright told me her company hasn’t yet figured out pricing, and will do so after they get a better read on the type of demand.

Applications could include brand launches between celebrity spokespeople and selected customers, fan events, question-and-answer sessions between audiences and creators like filmmakers, interactive town halls and so on. BlueJeans notes that The Sundance Film Festival, the TED conference, and Chelsea Clinton are among the users of its platform, and that it has about 4,000 business customers worldwide.

Up to a hundred people can participate in a single session simultaneously, which is controlled by the moderator. The person speaking is automatically switched into the largest or the highlighted view. A variety of matrix-formats are available, including Brady Bunch-type or a switchboard format.

The resulting broadcast stream, Wright said, can be seen by virtually any number of Facebook’s 1.3 billion members, made possible through BlueJeans’ own content delivery network and six global data centers. The video conference can support up to 1080p high-res video, depending, of course, on the quality of each participant’s camera.

While Google Hangouts is a possible many-to-many alternative for brands, Wright pointed to several differentiators.

The most obvious, of course, is that BlueJeans for Facebook Live appears in the Facebook timeline as a live event, and then as a recording for on-demand viewing. Wright also said BlueJeans requires 300Kbps to 1.2 Mbps transmission speed, while Hangouts, which only accommodates up to 25 participants, needs 3.2 to 4 Mbps.