Why WebRTC Needs a PR Campaign

Why WebRTC Needs a PR Campaign

Blacc Spot Media has been following the Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) industry since its inception.  We have witnessed the industry’s maturation and the increased adoption of the technology amongst many companies.  We have observed healthy debate around codecs, browser interoperability, scaling beyond peer-to-peer and so on by experts in the industry. All in all, the fact remains that WebRTC has come a long way and evolved into an emerging technology of the future. We should give ourselves a pat on the back for the impact we have and are making in this field.

Ok that’s enough applause for now. While the industry has accomplished many things in the last 5 years we are still at the beginning stages of acquiring the mass adoption needed to sustain the industry. Tsahi Levent-Levi, makes some valid points in his article “WebRTC Demand isn’t Exponentially Growing”. We agree with his position and think it will take approximately two more years before we experience exponential growth, despite seeing WebRTC jobs on the rise and other solid signs of growth in the industry for 2016.

In the summer of 2014, Tsahi pointed out that there were close to 2,800 LinkedIn profiles that listed WebRTC as a skill. Today there are close to 8,000 profiles with the WebRTC skillset highlighted. However,  if you analyze the numbers more closely, engineers makeup about 3,500 of those LinkedIn profiles, the majority of which already work with companies like Google, Cisco, Intel, Oracle and others. With such a low number of developers in our industry, it makes for ripe pickings among prime developers in this field. Dr. Alex Gouaillard recently posted “War for webrtc talent” discussing Philippe Hancke’s move to TokBox. It’s an interesting topic, but we only point it out to show that we have all dropped the ball and still have some major work to do. In 5 years we have only been able to bring awareness to 3,500 developers of the 20 million plus developers in the world, now that is a sad thought. Before you get out your calculators looking at percentages or shun us for that statement, we just wanted to provide you some true shock and awe. We get it, everyone doesn’t benefit or care about this technology as we do. If we account for those developers using Twilio, TokBox, Xura, Temasys etc the numbers should be closer to 100k or more (factoring in Twilio’s 700k+ developers). Perhaps those developers are not comfortable enough to list WebRTC as a skill via a third-party which makes sense, but does it make sense that such a limited number of developers are venturing out to figure out the technology on their own. Either the vendors have done such a great job creating their Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) or the mobile and web communities are still intimidated by the technology.

We believe there are many more people who have heard about WebRTC but don’t understand it enough to be invested. This is where we need to do better. In marketing 101 you learn about “The Rule of 7” which states that a prospect needs to see or hear your marketing message at least seven times before they take action. This is why we believe WebRTC should have a PR Campaign. WebRTC  is not getting enough exposure and the exposure it receives is not all in the right forms.  We think there is much more that can be done to increase awareness for the development community. We are grateful to all of the current industry bloggers such as bloggeek.me, webrtchacks.com, thenewdialtone.com, chriskranky.com, webrtcstandards.info among others for spreading the word. All have taken a different approach targeting specific audiences that align with their goals.

In the beginning of 2015 we started an initiative called the “WebRTC Challenge” with the goal of targeting the developer community, take a look at the sponsorship kit we created. We sent this sponsorship kit to approximately 40 providers within the industry outlining our plan. All responded with great excitement but no one ever pulled the trigger in financial supporting. Disappointing results, but we recognize that every company has their own agenda, marketing budgets and customer base to serve.  We are not alone in our actions of facilitating better engagement with the developer community. The team over at &yet sparked an initiative called “WebRTC for the Web”. They received just about as much traction as we did, none.

There is a team that had a slightly different approach and are yielding better results with traction. Tsahi Levent-Levi and Chris Koehncke created the Kranky Geek Show. However, we noticed that developers are still limited to the resources available which are far and few between. This sparked the idea for another avenue that we can use to expand to the developer community.  We are starting a new community website dedicated solely for developers called webrtc.tutorials. It will serve every level of developer from beginner to advanced. We will utilize our Twitter following of over 30K followers (@webrtcdigest, @html5_digest, @js_digest), which we have built up in the past year, to push tutorials to this development community. If you are interested in partnering with this movement by writing a post, please let us know by sending an email to hi@webrtctutorials.com. We are targeting a mid-February launch date.  In addition, we will post an article on at least one major developer site each month. SitePoint will be used for the kickoff article/tutorial in February. If you are interested in sponsoring a post on your platform just let us know and we’ll make it happen.

In Conclusion

Let’s face it, the telecommunications community is currently in the drivers seat. We all know that explosive growth within the WebRTC industry will not come from them. Growth with a major impact that sustains this industry will come from the development community. Therefore, we believe that exposure and expansion to developers is critical. We are interested to see how many others in the community feel as we do. What are your plans to expand awareness of WebRTC in 2016? Awareness expansion should be at the top of everyone’s minds in 2016 and beyond.  

About Blacc Spot Media, Inc.

Blacc Spot Media focuses on Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) development across web, mobile, native desktop and telephony implementations. Our team works on strategic projects developing custom applications, enterprise platforms and mobile applications for a wide array of clients. If you are interested developing your own WebRTC product or service, let us know how we can help you.

Take a look at our website for more information (https://www.blaccspotmedia.com) or email us at hi@blaccspot.com.