March 22, 2023

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Live Streaming is a Huge Optimistic Mess…For Now

3…2…1…, We’re live!

Chances are you’ve noticed the buzz around live streaming on social media and feel a bit overwhelmed. Well, you’re not alone. Live video is projected to be a $70 billion (yes, billion) industry by 2021, but right now it’s a colossal mess. Over the last year every major social media platform has introduced its own version of live video streaming. Most people don’t exactly know how to use it, but nearly everyone realizes the potential.

It’s no surprise that live video has become the next popular social feature. We’ve been primed for this function – thanks to Apple’s FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and even Snapchat. It’s social media content in real-time. Live video is as authentic as you can get online, with 100% unfiltered and unedited moments.

But with any new opportunity comes new complexity. There are a needless number of platforms trying to dominate the live video space, presenting an issue of where to broadcast. YouTube and Twitch allowed creators to live stream back in 2011. Periscope was introduced in 2015, and shortly after purchased and integrated into Twitter. 2016 saw Instagram and Facebook both add live video, but with varying functionality. Other players include,, YouNow, and the recently shuttered Meerkat. This plethora of options results in different user interfaces and confusion over how to broadcast (not to mention the fact that most users are unaware of the skill it takes to entertain a live audience). Adding to these complexities have been cases of misuse, including four bullies in Chicago who streamed a hate crime involving kidnapping and battery.

Misty Kingma

Despite the obstacles that live video faces, the potential for the industry is enormous. Brands can now stream product launches and Q&A sessions, while corporations can broadcast meetings and global events. Digital influencers can stream makeup tutorials and dedicated live-only shows. The platform has led to real-time exposure, with users benefiting from increased audience engagement. For instance, Michelle Klein, Facebook’s Director of Marketing, claims users comment 10 times more frequently on live video than regular video. Further, the opportunity to earn revenue has already been introduced. Facebook has allowed select live publishers to earn ad revenue, whereas the platforms YouNow and allow broadcasters to earn money through digital “tips.” With these promises of exposure, engagement, and revenue, live video isn’t going anywhere, and possesses the power to connect lives everywhere.

Misty’s Dos and Don’ts for Live Video Streaming

DON’T forget to advertise when you’re going to go live so your audience knows when to tune in.
DO check your internet connection. Poor video quality will frustrate watchers and potentially interrupt your video.
DON’T fall victim to dead air. If you are at a loss for what to say, simply describe what is happening around you.
DO look into the camera while talking, not at yourself on the screen.
DON’T forget to clearly explain what you’re going to live stream in your caption, and don’t forget to include relevant hashtags.
DO pick your favorite live streaming platform (or where you have the largest audience) and stick with it. Users will know where to find you.
DON’T expect perfection. It’s live, and anything can happen.

by Misty Kingma

By I&T Today

By I&T Today

Innovation & Tech Today features a wide variety of writers on tech, science, business, sustainability, and culture. Have an idea? Send it to

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