Tip – How to setup a LiveStream Encoder for YouTube

Live streaming events has now become a mandatory facility. If you feel you have the skills to get this done, then this article is for you.

If you feel this info is totally out of understanding, then you should book Hashtag South Africa to run your event with Social media to find out more visit

Social Media Events

Set up your live streaming encoder

Before you can start streaming on YouTube, you need to download encoding software. Encoding software allows you to capture content, including your desktop, camera, microphone and more, and send it to YouTube Live to be streamed to all your fans.

The best encoding software for you depends on your needs. We’ve organised a selection of encoders below.

YouTube Live Verified Devices & Software

Live Verified devices and software are integrated with YouTube Live – just look for the YouTube logo in the software and log in with your Google Account. Your encoder will be automatically set up for use with YouTube and you’ll be ready to start streaming!

Mobile live streaming
Android 5.0 and 5.1.1+Record and stream from the YouTube Gaming app.
Elgato Game Capture HD60
Windows, MacRecord and stream your Xbox, PlayStation or Wii U gameplay.
XSplit Broadcaster
Windows (Free version available!)Revolutionary audio/video mixing application that allows you to create professional live broadcasts and video recordings.
XSplit Gamecaster
Windows (Free version available!)The easiest way to stream and record your greatest gaming moments at the click of a button. Perfect for sharing your gameplay.
Wirecast Play
Windows, Mac (Free version available!)Everything you need to stream live video from your desktop to the world.

The products listed above meet the YouTube Live Verified criteria. As none of the above products are made by Google, it is important to evaluate these products and decide what makes the most sense for you or your business.

Other Encoders

Looking for something open source?Try Open Broadcaster Software, free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.


If you’ve selected an encoder that is not Live Verified, no problem! Here is how to set them up.

If you are using the Stream now option:

  • Simply copy the server URL and stream name/key into your encoder.

If you are creating a Live Event:

  • Copy the YouTube entry points from Ingestion Settings to your encoder.
    • Stream Name – This identifies your stream on YouTube’s servers.
    • Primary Server URL – This is the main server where your stream will be ingested by YouTube.
    • Backup Server URL – This is the backup server where your stream will be ingested by YouTube.
  • Choosing to stream to the backup is recommended but requires double the outbound bandwidth (you are outputting a simultaneous redundant stream). So make sure that you have the Internet bandwidth capacity.
    • Ideally, your backup stream should be on an entirely redundant physical encoder.
  • Configure your encoder using YouTube’s recommended encoding settings.
  • Configure your audio and video sources.
  • Start encoding.
  • If you’re using a scheduled event, you’ll need to start the event on YouTube too!

Beyond Pokémon GO: The Secret to a Better Augmented Reality Experience

Whether or not you understand the recent drive to fill the world around you with obnoxious animated characters that you can only see as long as you hold your phone up in front of your face at all times,augmented reality does have the potential to enhance our world in ways that are occasionally useful. However, the AR experience is currently a sterile one, with augmentations overlaid on top of, but not really a part of, the underlying reality.

Abe Davis is a graduate student at MIT Rather than using 3D graphics to model the motion characteristics of objects, IDV extracts motion information from a small amount of 2D video, and then generates simulations of objects in that video, allowing the augmented part of AR to interact directly with the reality part, turning static objects into objects that you (or your virtual characters) can play with.

To understand how this works, imagine a simple moving object, like bedsheet hanging on a clothesline in a gentle breeze. As the wind blows, the sheet will ripple, and those ripples will consist of a horizontal component (movement across the sheet) as well as a vertical component (movement up or down the sheet). Once you’ve figured out these motion components, called resonant or vibration modes, you can simulate them individually or combine them together in ways that can mimic a breeze blowing in a different direction or at a different strength. The fundamental knowledge that you gain about how the real sheet moves on a very basic level allows you (and a real-time video editor) to make the sheet in the video move in a realistic way as well, without being constrained by reality itself.

This method can be applied to much more complicated objects than bedsheets, although it gets trickier to pick out all of the vibration modes. For it to work properly, you need a stable, baseline video of the scene, you need to move the object that you’re interested in simulating, and you need to watch it move for long enough that you can accurately extract the vibration modes that you care about, which may take a minute or two. Unfortunately, this means that using it for Pokemon GO is probably not realistic unless you have a lot more patience and restraint than the typical Pokemon GO player seems to have, because you can’t just wander around and point your phone at physical objects that can be instantly animated (yet):

As curmudgeonly as we are about whatever silly games kids (and some adults) are playing these days, the underlying technology here is very cool, and there’s potential for many different applications. Generally, modeling a real world object for any purpose, from civil engineering analysis to making animated movies, requires first making a detailed 3D model of that object and applying a physics engine to get it to move. With interactive dynamic video, you can skip the complicated and time-consuming 3D modeling step to create a virtual model with reality-based physics. Such a model may not offer the same movement space as a full 3D model, but that’s a reasonable trade-off for only having to spend a minute or two with video camera and a tripod to create it.

While Davis has no immediate plans to commercialize any of this (he’s heading to Stanford for his postdoc in the fall), MIT has a patent on the technique, and it’s not difficult for Davis to speculate about where we might see IDV in the near future.

“[W]hen you look at VR companies like Oculus, they are often simulating virtual objects in real spaces,” he says. “This sort of work turns that on its head, allowing us to see how far we can go in terms of capturing and manipulating real objects in virtual space.”


Introducing Instagram Stories

Introducing Instagram Stories from Instagram on Vimeo.

Today,  Instagram releases Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.

With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.

You’ll see stories from people you follow in a bar at the top of your feed — from your best friends to your favorite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colorful ring around it.

To view someone’s story, just tap on their profile photo. It’s easy to view stories at your own pace: tap to go back and forward or swipe to jump to another person’s story. If you want to comment on something you see, you can tap and send a private message to that person on Instagram Direct. Unlike regular posts, there are no likes or public comments.

Your story follows the privacy settings of your account. If you set your account to private, your story is visible only to your followers. However, you can also easily hide your entire story from anyone you don’t want to see it, even if they follow you. When watching your own story, swipe up to check out who’s seen each photo and video. You can even choose to feature a particular part of your story by posting it on your profile.

Instagram has always been a place to share the moments you want to remember. Now you can share your highlights and everything in between, too.

Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android. To learn more, check out Instagram’s  Help Center.

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3 Facebook Changes You Need to Know About

authors, facebook, marketing, books, sales






The competition to be king of the social media hill is hotter than ever, and Facebook cannot coast just because it’s on top. Snapchat and Twitter are making changes regularly to try to woo users to their platforms. In order to stay on top, therefore, Facebook needs to constantly innovate. You can always expect there will be a few tweaks here and there—a new platform within the behemoth (like Facebook Live) or a change in the algorithm to keep fans and advertisers happy.

Here are the three major changes we’ve seen lately and how they might or might not affect your book marketing.

1. The 20-percent text rule on ads is officially gone. This has been coming for a while as a slow rollout, but now it is in effect across the board. You can now stuff as much text in a Facebook ad as you like—not that it’s a good practice. However, you are no longer bound by the famous 20-percent rule and that awful grid tool. But where there’s good news there is also a caution. According to expert Jon Loomer:

“Your ads will no longer be rejected for having too much text. However, the more text in your image, you can expect less distribution and higher costs. Images will no longer be broken up into a 5×5 grid. Going forward, Facebook breaks down text density into four categories: ok, low, medium, [and] high.”

You may have already noticed this in messages you’re seeing before you press the order button on an ad. I’ve tested this with varying amounts of text on ads and I can testify that reach is hampered when you go over the 20-percent mark.

What it means: stick to the 20-percent rule, or close to it, and your ad costs should be consistent with what they’ve been. Don’t be tempted to stuff text in an ad. Put it in the description. White space is your friend. More text equals higher cost and less delivery. It’s Facebook’s way of instituting a rule without making a rule.

2. The friends and family plan. In June, Facebook announced yet another change to its newsfeed to respond to what it called continual concern that people could not see the posts from friends and family they wanted to see. This change, however, will affect mostly brands that you rarely interact with. It will make your newsfeed more personal and less based on what other people think is interesting. Friends and those designated as family will be the priority.

What it means: be sure you educate your fans. Ask them to designate your page as one they want to “See First.” I’d even include a little instruction:

On my Facebook page, hover over “Liked.” Under “In Your News Feed,” click “See First.”

3. The new layout is rolling out. Some of you may have already received the new Facebook page layout update. I haven’t seen it on my page yet, but people have sent me screenshots of their pages asking if something is wrong. Nothing is wrong, but you may want to familiarize yourself with this cleaner layout. You now have your full cover photo available (which is very cool). The other major change: the tabs under your cover photo have moved to the top of the left column. ShortStack recently put together a great post highlighting where everything has moved (see screenshot below). It’s much cleaner and easier on the eye. The biggest winner: the call-to-action button on your cover photo is now a big blue button below your cover photo (see number five below). I outlined the changes and what they might mean for book marketing in a recent video you can find here.


What this means: Your Facebook cover photo may need some attention. There is no rush to change it today, though. People like me who do not have the rollout yet will continue to see your page with your profile picture embedded on the cover until we get the new layout. In the meantime, remember that the location of your “tabs” is moving over to the left column. The management of them remains the same. If you include directional arrows or instructions on your cover photo to click on the tab below the cover photo, you will want to change that as well. Keep an eye on this over the next month or so and make sure you take advantage of the new layout.

As Facebook continues to grow, it will have to evolve to stay on top. Authors who use their business page as a primary location for engagement will want to take advantage of every sales tool Facebook has to offer.




With Snapchat’s latest update to add Memories to the platform, you’ll hear a lot of people saying things like “Snapchat has gotten away from what it was,” or “it’s over for Snapchat.” We’ve heard the same doomsday sentiments about other platforms over the years, so let me give you my two cents.


Snapchat, the platform most famous for its disappearing content, is shifting in a new direction with their new “Memories” feature. If you haven’t heard yet, Memories is a searchable and shareable archive of your favorite snaps and Stories. It will allow you to create new Stories by linking your older saved Stories and snaps, as well as the ability to send snaps from Memories directly. The search functionality will make it easy to find the moments you are looking for.

Aside from the ability to archive Stories and snaps for later use, Snapchat is making some key functionality changes with this Memories update. This is the first time Snapchat will allow the user to upload photos or videos created outside the app. You can select photos and videos from the phone’s camera roll, edit them in Snapchat with the doodle, text, sticker, emoji, and filter tools, and then post them to your Story.

However, Snapchat will be branding these Memories differently to distinguish them from other snaps. Any Memories uploads, whether originally from your camera roll or Snapchat, will include a timestamp and special border. This distinction will help preserve Snapchat’s real time integrity—a strategic move by the company to prevent abuse of these new features.

If you’re worried about someone logging in and seeing your most private saved moments, don’t be. Memories will include a password protected section within the app called “My Eyes Only” for those times when your phone gets passed around at a party.

Memories will be rolling out to Snapchatters over the next 30 days. You will receive a Chat directly from Snapchat when it will be ready for you to use.


That’s the black and white of Snapchat Memories. Now, what does it mean? The idea that “Snapchat is over” or that any major platform is dead whenever it makes any change is ridiculous. The discussion around Snapchat’s update is the same as when Facebook was opened to people outside of the college demographic, or when they created the Timeline, or when any major platform introduces a new algorithm. Change is always fought at first.

Change is always fought at first.

What Memories signifies to me is another subtle move in Snapchat’s very smart strategy. Whether it was premeditated or reactionary, Snapchat started in a niche that it owned, scaled its user base, and now is becoming a complete distribution channel without restrictions. Snapchat is now the place where most of America’s (and soon to be most of the world’s) 18 to 35 year old attention is. Limiting content creation to what can only be created within the app doesn’t have as much upside as allowing people to upload pre-existing content. I bet that in 24 months, this update will be seen as a very smart move in Snapchat’s maturation into an even more influential platform.

Watch our CEO Conrad share insights to SnapChat 101, click the image below



For Local Government municipalities, having an active social media presence with relevant content posted regularly can help boost your citizen following. Often times, finding relevant content to help keep your citizens engaged is the primary reason why social media accounts aren’t updated on a regular basis.

Having worked around Government for the past 5 years from the outside, and sometimes within, Hashtag South Africa  has thousands of great social media examples of how local governments are utilizing social media to communicate and engage with their citizens. Here are our top seven proven examples of ways you can utilize social media to engage your citizens.

  1. Crime Prevention and Police Assistance

Police departments are posting crime prevention tips, time sensitive information such as Amber alerts and using social media channels to seek information on wanted criminals in the area.


  1. Emergency Alerts and Severe Weather Updates

Severe weather and other emergencies can occur very quickly with little or no warning. Social media channels can help municipalities communicate important safety information to the affected areas in a short amount of time. Of course, not everyone is on social media so you don’t want to rely on it for all of your emergency communication, but many communities have set it up as a major part of their communication plan.


  1. Activities and Class Registration

Several Parks and Recreation departments use social media to remind the community of upcoming activities and classes to register for. Within the social media post they’re linking to an online registration form to boost participation by making it easy to sign up.



  1. Town Halls and Council Meetings

For the municipalities that offer live or archived video of public meetings, sharing links to the video on social media can remind citizens of the service and encourage them to view and participate in local government matters.


  1. Public Service Announcements

Public Service Announcements (PSA) are an effective method for raising awareness of issues that affect your community. Municipal examples of PSAs on social media include general health, safety and fiscal tips from various departments. YouTube videos can be a quick and easy way to convey a message, but even images and ads posted to Facebook and Twitter with a caption can be just as effective.


  1. Construction Updates and Road Closings

Road construction can be frustrating, especially when it affects your daily traffic route. Posting updates about possible delays or routes to avoid can help ease your citizens’ frustration.


  1. Job Applications

To help fill open job positions, municipalities are posting them on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter with links to full job descriptions and instructions on how to apply. With many municipal websites offering online job applications, one or two posts on social media can get several people to apply and add new followers.

 Hashtag South Africa is a Technology company focused on Social Media. Contact us today 



Watch Episode 006 – #SouthAfricaShow goes to PE

Episode 006 Is more of a summary of the past days we spent out of town on a Social Media Event, We were able to get our client to trend at Number 1 on Twitter in South Africa for a day resulting in reaching over 1.5Mil people with great insights. At the end of the video our CEO shares points on running an effective Social Media Event. Hope you enjoy

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