At a Glance.
With PubNub, LiveLike:
- Can build without concurrency limits or messaging caps to create truly engaging in-app chat and experiences.
- Operates their platform in real time, without latency restrictions, to make virtual events feel truly live.
- Has decreased their development time for new features and platform customizations, which has allowed them to expand their customer base.
- Can capture the joy and excitement of in-person events, virtually.
“Now that we build with PubNub, we never have to worry about how to handle audience spikes or an influx of engagement.”Justin Poliey, Director of Engineering and Product Lead
LiveLike is a New York-based technology company dedicated to capturing the sense of joy and community of live events, virtually. They offer a platform for broadcasters, sports associations, and other live events companies to build customized and immersive experiences that allow audiences to watch, chat, and connect with each other in real time.
“Our goal is for virtual events to be engaging and energetic,” said Justin Poliey, Director of Engineering at LiveLike. “We want viewers to feel as if they were sitting front row at a concert or game, talking and laughing with their family and friends.”
LiveLike’s platform provides customers with real-time reactions and emojis as well as direct chat, group chats, and even larger audience chats that allow hosts and anchors to engage with viewers. Plus, LiveLike allows broadcasters to push out custom content interactions—like trivia, promos, and polls—on a schedule or in response to pivotal moments, like a goal or touchdown.
To build and power their platform, LiveLike relies on SDKs and APIs as their foundational technology to allow viewers to engage with each other authentically and genuinely. And because their live events platform must handle large audiences, they need a partner who can help them develop quickly and at scale with no concurrency limits or latency issues.
Building engaging events without limits
LiveLike turned to PubNub because Poliey and his team hit a hard concurrency limit at a crucial time: while developing for Turner Sports—a large sports broadcaster responsible for digital streams of the NBA, NCAA, and the Bleacher Report—a few months out from the app’s release.
Poliey’s team was tasked with developing the ability for viewers to create and share their basketball brackets in real time, through chat, while watching games. Turner Sports wanted to keep viewers engaged and in-app so that audiences wouldn’t use third-party messaging services.
But when Poliey began to build out this chat with LiveLike’s previous chat API provider, he discovered a hard concurrency limit of just a few thousand users. “Working with live events, audience sizes fluctuate all the time—we have to be able to handle any amount of usage and traffic, and we just couldn’t.” His team tried a variety of workarounds, but nothing worked.
Poiley and his team had worked with PubNub at previous companies and were already considering switching to PubNub to build and push their content interactions. “When we hit our concurrency limit, it was a no brainer to go with PubNub to power our entire platform and our whole team gave the go ahead,” said Poliey. “We knew we would be supported by PubNub no matter how many users and messages we were handling.”
LiveLike switched over to PubNub just a few months before releasing their platform with Turner Sports, but were still able to build a truly engaging chat experience without delays. They can now easily build direct chat, group chat, and larger audience chat that allows hosts to engage directly with viewers—all without limits and caps. “Building with PubNub, we never have to worry about how to handle audience spikes or an influx of engagement,” said Poliey.
In fact, Poliey credits the successful development of the Turner Sports platform with PubNub as one of the key reasons why the NBA has chosen to partner with LiveLike.
"Building with PubNub, we never have to worry about how to handle audience spikes or an influx of engagement."
Capturing the joy of in-person events
As a platform that powers live events, avoiding latency is crucial to ensure that audiences feel like they’re sitting front row watching their favorite musician or team, while connecting with their loved ones and fellow fans. “We always want to create the sense of being in a crowd and that shared emotion,” said Poliey. “And that’s accomplished by making our platform as interactive and real time as possible.”
Prior to PubNub, the API provider LiveLike used to build and run their platform not only had concurrency limits, but latency issues as well. “We had overall problems with lagging and viewers ran into roadblocks and couldn’t send their friends live messages,” said Poliey. But by switching to building with PubNub, Poliey’s team has the confidence and assurance that their entire platform operates in real time.
LiveLike’s customers can now create and push different content modules—like polls, quizzes, and trivia—in response to in-the-moment activities, like a team scoring, to make viewers feel truly connected with one another and like they’re part of a close-knit community. This real-time ability is essential to boost audience participation, giving virtual events and games an authentic energy that keeps viewers coming back.
Decreasing development time
In addition to the ability to build without latency or concurrency issues, Poliey and his team have found that with PubNub they can roll out features for customers faster, without sacrificing customization.
Before PubNub, his team spent valuable time just trying to establish a common framework to understand and build certain features. “The process of even coming up with a messaging definition was hard enough to get people to agree on,” said Poliey.
But now, LiveLike’s dev team has a full tech stack to easily create the features and functionality their customers require. “With PubNub, we now have the building blocks we need,” said Poliey, “PubNub has made our engineering and product roadmap discussions easier because we know what our capabilities are so we can map our ideas precisely to how we’re going to execute them.”
For Poliey’s team, this means that their development time has significantly decreased because they no longer need to start from scratch when building for new customers. Because they white label their platform for each and every customer, they used to have to add and develop new features continually on a customer-by-customer basis.
But PubNub has allowed them to establish a suite of standard features—like chat, reactions, polls, and quizzes—that they can quickly customize for each new client to match and maintain their unique brand identity and needs. This has allowed LiveLike to expand to cover new kinds of events and has improved how quickly they can turn around projects for customers. “PubNub has allowed us to adapt our pitch without needing to adapt our technology,” said Poliey. “We can now just as easily service a sports association as we can a concert venue.” As a result, LiveLike has expanded their customer base from sports to other entertainment events and even political debates.
“With PubNub in our stack, we can meet every customer's needs and feel confident in our capabilities."
With PubNub, LiveLike has truly found a partner to ensure that they can provide engaging, real-time live events platforms for every customer, regardless of their audience size and usage. “With PubNub in our stack, we can meet every customer's needs and feel confident in our capabilities,” said Poliey. If you’re looking to create virtual events that feel just as authentic and captivating as in-person ones, reach out to our sales team to learn more about PubNub for live events.
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