Live Video Streaming is taking the Internet by storm, who’s watching?

Live video streaming is not a new thing in itself -having been around for more than a decade- but it’s now fast gaining momentum due to a more affordable and faster internet connection, and an influx of high-end smartphones that literally anyone can broadcast themselves if they so wished. All it takes is to aim and shoot. As can be expected, live video streaming is more popular in the the Americas and Europe with Asia playing catch-up: Africa has not yet taken to live streaming but considering the prohibitive and sketchy internet, this is to be expected.

In Africa, we saw live video streaming come into play during the Presidential Debate 2016 in Uganda. Local TV stations such as NTV and NBS used YouTube Live to broadcast the first ever presidential debates in Uganda to the rest of the world. Live video streaming has been used for sports matches, concerts and the usual happenings in people’s lives from cat and dog video streams, streams of Chinese girls eating fruit to live streams of bored random people going through the motions of life; live stream apps have it all.

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Facebook Live on mobile

“Never before has a generation so diligently recorded themselves accomplishing so little.”

If you will forgive the appropriate quote whose obscure origins add to its allure, the words capture the essence of what exactly people are doing in live streams. We have apps  such as Periscope and relative new comer Facebook Live that have created a niche for themselves in live video streaming serving up millions of viewers daily and covering all manner of topics from a woman giving birth to a mass brawl breaking out and then the viral Facebook Live stream of a hilarious mom in a Chewbacca mask all viewed in real time allowing people to see unfiltered events as they unfold. Sure a good chunk of live stream is boring and getting entertainment gold is a hit and miss for every view, but when it’s good, you’ll love it. Nothing much happens until it does, and then it’s worth the time it and patience it took to watch. Where live stream services have had a hell of a time attracting viewership, Facebook Live has the backing of more than 1 billion users accessing the site who can at any one time tune into a live stream.

How to Use Live Video Streaming (Facebook)

  1. Tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast
  2. Go live when you have a strong connection
  3. Write a compelling description before going live
  4. Ask your viewers to follow you and receive notifications when you go live
  5. Say hello to commenters by name and to respond to their comments
  6. Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people
  7. Be creative and go live often!

Popular Live Streaming Services

Negative Effects of Live Video Streaming

Russel Crow acting as Marcus Aurelius, a fallen Roman General in the epic year 2000 movie Gladiator is thrust in an arena teeming with spectators. And as a source of entertainment to those present, he has to kill a fellow gladiator so he(Marcus Aurelius) may live.  After he dispatches the gladiator he addresses the crowd with the now famous words:  Are you not entertained? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?! Is this not why you’re here?!

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In those words, Russel Crow address a human flaw that has hounded humanity since time immemorial. We are unrepentant voyeurs. O! how we love to watch others whether out of innocent curiosity or to experience some bizarre gratification from viewing a sensationalist event. Live video has come a long way from harmless footage of random people having harmless fun and boring viewers to death to a more darker tone of the ever growing consumerism gobbling up the globe. As they say, the stage is set. We only await the actors. Recently, two teen girls and a boy ditched class to live stream their birds and bees encounter to fellow classmates. A fellow is reported in critical condition after he was shot during a live stream on social media. Another 19 year old ended her life in real time on Periscope after she informed those watching of what she is about to do. The list is endless showing a dark side to live video stream and the direction humanity is taking in living for an audience waiting to be entertained at your expense. When all is said and done, perhaps it may not be the best idea to broadcast all the little things you do in the privacy of your home.

We leave you with the Facebook Live video of the Chewbacca mom’s infectious laughter. May the Force Be With You:

Featured Image: CamVista


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