The fight of their lives
With all of the major social media platforms constantly competing for a bigger share of our online activity, it’s no surprise they end up treading on each other’s toes. The latest arena for this competition: livestreaming.
Livestreaming refers to filming a video that is broadcast simultaneously – like a live TV channel where you’re the presenter (and the subject, and the producer, and the cameraman…).
A number of platforms have been providing livestreaming for years without hitting the mainstream. But the buzz really started in March this year when livestreaming app Meerkat was launched – and quickly had its thunder stolen by Twitter-owned Periscope a few weeks later.
The combination of improved technology with an already-popular social network has brought livestreaming to the masses and made it the new frontline of the battle between the social media giants.
10 million users have taken to Periscope to broadcast everything from their journey home to major news events – sending a total of 40 years’ worth of video every day. No wonder Twitter’s competitors want to get in on the action.
Just last month Facebook unveiled its own “Live” feature – but only for celebrities and public figures with verified fan pages. It’s not yet clear whether Facebook plans to eventually roll out the feature to its everyday users or whether it will keep the focus on exclusive, edge-of-your-seat celebrity content like videos of Ricky Gervais’s cat.
We’re also waiting to see how the biggest player in the world of online video, YouTube, will react to this emerging trend. Livestreaming has been available as a feature on YouTube since 2013, but only to verified users whose accounts are “in good standing”. For someone who just wants to press a button and start streaming, that can sound like a lot of effort. It’d be no surprise to see their live service get rolled out soon for everyone to use in a quick and easy way.
Meanwhile, don’t forget that part of the explanation for the sudden surge of interest in livestreaming lies with newcomer Snapchat. The fast-growing platform disrupted the social media status quo by shifting the focus onto what’s happening here and now, unapologetically adopting a “blink and you’ll miss it” attitude. Live video chatting between two online users has been a feature on Snapchat since last year – could that be a precursor to the app enabling livestreaming on a bigger scale?
(Följ salgado på snapchat genom att fota spöket i snapchats kameraläge)
So while we keep an eye on the changing live landscape, it might be time to ask yourself – what do you want to broadcast on your TV channel today?