Betaworks launches Upclose to compete with Google’s Hangouts.

Betaworks has officially launched Upclose, the site that does exactly what the Hangouts feature was built for on Google Plus but in a simpler manner. With only one touch, you can start broadcasting live video to people around the world, without the usual hustles that are seen on other applications built with the same feature.

This is how Upclose works…. After signing up, you get notified when somebody you follow on the platform is on air, so you can join them in the broadcast if it interests you. You can also comment on the broadcast through mobile or via the web. There is also a feature to discover people who are live-streaming especially if you are new on the platform and would like to check out the live streams to find one where you can participate.

Ideally, Upclose reminds me of Qik that was bought by Microsoft and then slowly folded into Skype. It is now a feature called Qik inside Skype. Upclose was originally built by the team at The site was originally built for the community to connect fans to artists and videos. But the idea didn’t stick because people didn’t embrace it. Eventually, Betaworks, an app studio, got involved and has decided to move on from the original idea to something new and simple. Betaworks CEO says it is a form of business where they encourage change, instead of working tirelessly on an idea that isn’t growing, you change it into something else again and again until you find something that sticks.

I first heard about Upclose today on Product Hunt and CEO Ramon Sastron happens to have found a footing for the app. And it works really. According to the number of votes on Product Hunt maybe that new concept may get to stick after all.


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