I think the trajectory for Blab was similar to my own experience. The first one I ever joined, I got to sit there and talk with some social media experts I greatly admire and discuss live-streaming, marketing, and strangely enough, NASCAR. I was like, “Whoa, I can’t believe these guys are even letting me speak!”
There was a honeymoon period where I wanted to meet everybody. I joined random Blabs just to talk with strangers. It was awesome. I made some great connections and more importantly, put a voice/face to people I had only known by a profile picture and a bio.
But then slowly over time, I just didn’t find much value in it and I’m not surprised. Even last year early on, there were too many “What is Blab/What’s the purpose of this?” chats that it raised some red flags with me. Too much of the content just lacked focus and consistency (my same criticisms for Periscope), but more importantly, it never broke into the mainstream like Periscope did. My real life friends/acquaintances, even the tech savvy ones, had never heard of it.
Even the positive Blabs that ran on a schedule and had focus that I participated in just seemed to be preaching to the choir and didn’t bring in “converts.” There seemed to be a real difficulty in not only building an audience, but keeping them there.
Twitch succeeds because people know what they’re getting when they log in: Live-streamed video games with a single stream (not multiple random people contributing) and the ones that succeed are those that provide an entertaining product. It converts the passion video gamers have into a viewing experience where they determine what they want to see. The popular streams succeed, grow, and monetize while the pretenders slowly lose interest and stop.
That’s why I lost interest in Blab/Persicope after being psyched about them initially. The experience is often unpredictable and the quality is mostly low because there is no “I want/need to see” aspect to either of them like Twitch.