Microsoft’s user-response Pulse platform now supports on-demand video

Moving beyond live transmissions, the free Pulse can serve as a more versatile tool for video-based marketing or education.

Chat with MarTechBot
The live video version of Pulse on CNN

The live video version of Pulse on CNN

Microsoft Pulse is the real-time voting platform that you might have seen on TV, as viewers give their real-time feedback during a live political debate.

Today, Pulse is becoming on-demand, with Microsoft’s announcement of Video Pulse. It allows prerecorded video to be synced with voting, polling and other responses from watchers, down to five-second increments. The marketer only needs to mount the video on YouTube, Vimeo, Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services, and then set up the corresponding viewer testing.

This means that Pulse is now available as a time-shifting testing tool, where online users’ reactions can be individually synced to recorded video clips at any time, without being tied to a live event and a massive group of viewers.

Previously, the responses — conducted via a responsive web page featuring up-and-down voting or an active slider for continuous feedback — and the live video were treated as two parallel live streams.

Beyond mass focus groups responding to, say, a live transmission of President Obama’s State of the Union address, marketers can now use Pulse for testing individual responses to video ads or video content, or it can be employed for massive online education.

Microsoft Pulse head Dritan Nesho pointed out to me that Pulse is integrated with the company’s conversational tool Yammer, the collaborative digital notebook OneNote, analytics tool Power BI, Skype MeetingBroadcast, Twitter and Facebook.

Amazingly, Microsoft Pulse is offered as a free service, although mounting video for Video Pulse has a separate cost. There is no restriction on the length of the video clip.

Nesho noted that the platform has processed as many as 50 million responses or votes, because Microsoft’s Azure platform on which it resides is built to automatically scale. He said there probably is a limit to the number of responses it can handle for one group, but it wasn’t clear what that was.

Here’s a screen from the new Video Pulse:

Microsoft Pulse

Compared to other platforms that enable online responses to video — some of which are even tracking facial expressions to detect emotion — Nesho pointed to Pulse’s ability to massively scale, its do-it-yourselfness, and the free price tag.

In the works for Pulse, he said, is “structured testing” where marketers or educators can readily conduct voting, a survey or a focus group that responds to a given clip, and then immediately compare responses to the same clip conducted some time earlier.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.