APRIL 1, 2021
Publishers Can Now Watch Livestream of Local Circuit Assembly
Jehovah’s Witnesses recently released JW Stream–Studio, a new website designed to broadcast live virtual circuit events with the circuit overseer. On March 6 and 7, 2021, 340 circuit assembly programs were held globally using this method. More than 500,000 individuals viewed the events.
Shortly after the pandemic began, the Teaching Committee of the Governing Body instructed the world headquarters Broadcasting Department to develop a website enabling circuit overseers to host live virtual circuit events. The goal would be to develop a tool that allows thousands of users to view a livestream.
The Broadcasting Department assigned a small group of brothers and sisters to work on this project. During the process, the group had to address a number of challenging requirements.
For example, the website had to be intuitive because brothers with varying technical skills would be using it. Also, it needed to run well even with slow Internet speeds. Additionally, the Broadcasting Department worked with the world headquarters Computer Department to secure enough computer servers to handle the large amount of Internet traffic to the website.
“The task to develop a tool for hosting hundreds of assemblies simultaneously was exciting and challenging,” says Alex Hernandez of the Broadcasting Department. “We had a small team of programmers, and for many it was the first time they were developing a website for real-time communication.”
The first concept designs for JW Stream–Studio were completed in May 2020. Just five months later, in October 2020, the Broadcasting Department began field testing the website with the assistance of circuit overseers in six countries. This testing process allowed Broadcasting to identify and address issues with the website prior to the launch date. A team of 17 brothers and sisters was on hand for technical support during the website’s global debut.
Alex continues: “At every roadblock, we would stop and pray about the issue at hand. When a solution would become apparent, we were convinced of Jehovah’s backing.”
Many expressions of appreciation have already been received.
Brother Jairo Espinosa in Colombia says: “We felt that the assembly program through JW Stream–Studio strengthened our Christian unity and allowed us to feel closer to our brothers. In addition, knowing that the broadcast was in real time, helped us to stay fully focused on the talks that were presented. We didn’t want to miss anything—it was such a great blessing!”
Sister Magaly Reymundo in the United States relates: “I know the information is the same even if it’s prerecorded, but I really enjoyed seeing familiar faces giving the talks in real time.”
Since its launch, JW Stream–Studio has already been used to hold more than 800 circuit assemblies. We are grateful to Jehovah for providing us with another tool that helps us stay spiritually strong and united.—Psalm 133:1.