GLOBAL – Live amateur videos of the Arab Spring protests won the support of millions of viewers via the world’s mainstream media and we can reveal an Ovi Store app was the brave broadcasters’ tool of choice. Footage conveyed the violence and tension on the streets from an intense point of view as never experienced before but few stopped to think how activists managed to broadcast their struggle so effectively, assuming it was all done via You Tube.
But mobile live video broadcast service Bambuser, which is rapidly approaching a million downloads from Nokia’s Ovi site, has revealed it was at the heart of the action as the go-to app for the rebel broadcasters, along with Nokia handsets.
The featured video is by human rights campaigner Ramy Raoof and was shot with a Nokia E90 on June 13 2010.
It documents police cracking down on protesters at an anti-torture demonstration and is fairly typical of the kind of valuable citizen journalism made available online.
Often Bambuser provided the only way of viewing events, as official TV stations were banned from covering them.
Three Arab governments tried to close down Bambuser’s service during the uprisings and now the Swedish-based website has shared stats with Nokia Conversations showing just what a threat to the oppressive regimes it became.
Videos featuring protest and political commentary went viral and, in Egypt alone, the top 23 videos received nearly 5.5 million views.
An astonishing 88 per cent of thousands of live broadcasts on Bambuser from the streets were made on Nokia mobile phones.
And during last year’s protests over Egypt’s disputed election day result, Nokia handsets were used to broadcast 97 per cent of more than 10,000 Bambuser videos.
Bambuser Executive Chairman Hans Eriksson said: “In the digital age, revolutions may not be televised – but they will be broadcast live on to the web.
“Events this year clearly show that Nokia and Bambuser not only provide a disruptive way to communicate with friends and followers, it’s also become part of the toolkit for political freedom.”
Bambuser works by live streaming footage to followers via the user’s account which gives them the advantage of not having to upload to a site like You Tube. You can also spread links to your video by sharing them via Facebook and Twitter.
And with police or soldiers moving in on the rebels during protests, it means that, even if they are arrested and their phone is seized, the footage is already on air.