Glowbl Delivers Video and Chat in Near-Real Time to Satisfy Global User Expectations for Seamless Online Collaboration.
Launched in 2011, Glowbl.com is a social website offering a patented online video and collaboration platform that makes it possible for people around the globe to meet and share media content and live events. Through what the company calls LiveStages, an unlimited number of participants interact in real time in either public or private online events. To date, over 60,000 users have created 5,000 LiveStages through Glowbl’s freemium business model. Users can optionally pay for additional services such as security, production and branding.
With a goal of enabling engaging and fun group communication for an unlimited number of online participants, Glowbl duplicates its applications and synchronizes streams in real time. However,
as the company began supporting more and more concurrent users, it saw that a small portion of them had a lackluster experience. Based on client feedback and monitoring of live events, Glowbl
saw that some users were having less-than-optimal experiences when connecting over low-latency networks or fighting against network congestion. According to Mathieu Labey, CEO of Glowbl, “If even one user has a bad experience, it negatively affects all participants.” To ensure user satisfaction and the growth of its platform, Glowbl needed a way to ensure a consistently good experience for all participants.
Glowbl needed to meet two key requirements to support its objectives:
• Optimize performance for everyone. The company wanted to ensure that all platform users could experience satisfying, high-quality collaboration.
• Reduce network latency. Glowbl wanted to reduce the network latency that could contribute to a bad online experience.
Choosing a Unique Solution
Glowbl initially tried to address the issue by deploying more servers around the world on the Amazon EC2 platform hosting Glowbl.com. Labey explained that Glowbl could not solve the performance problem on its own because of the number of servers it would need to deploy to ensure a positive experience for users around the world. Unfortunately, the Amazon EC2 platform also failed to address Glowbl’s needs. “The Amazon cloud service offers what about 80% of the other cloud solution providers in the market do, which is to cache and accelerate downloads on non-real-time streaming.”
After consulting with numerous providers offering Content Delivery Network (CDN) services, Glowbl found that only Akamai was able to satisfy its real-time requirements. “The other providers were mainly focused on buffered streaming and cache optimization, but we saw that the Akamai IP Application Accelerator Solution could truly reduce latency and network connection drops,” continues Labey.
Satisfying User Expectations
Akamai IP Application Accelerator overcomes Internet congestion and improves non-optimal connections to accelerate videos and interactive chats for Glowbl, enabling the real-time collaboration and conversation at the heart of the company’s offering. “We are a live collaboration tool, so the more real time we can deliver audio and video, the better. Akamai allows us to achieve our goals in this respect,” explains Labey. The proof of user satisfaction with Glowbl’s real-time performance is seen in the fact that clients return again and again to use the platform.
With a solid foundation for consistently delivering a good experience to all users, Glowbl is now free to pursue further growth. “Now that Akamai has enabled us to reach the level of quality we want to offer our clients, we can aggressively move forward with our plans for expansion and exponential growth,” concludes Labey.
Glowbl develops cloud-based solutions to communicate and collaborate in real time. With over 60,000 users, the platform is increasingly successful toward users who find a powerful and easy-to-use tool to organize real time meetings on the web. Free in its basic version, Glowbl simply integrates with all applications, web services and social networks. The company is based in Lyon (France).
Glowbl offers innovative digital group experience: this is the first platform allowing unlimited number of users and interactions in real time. Whether you belong to a community of ten or ten thousand people, Glowbl offers virtual meeting places in one click to collaborate, talk and tweet.
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