24 May 2016

The Wall Street Journal: “What to Know About Live Video, Social Media’s Latest Craze”

Why live video? My cynical take: It’s the latest gimmick to get us to record, share and watch more video. By 2020, 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video, according to an ambitious estimate by networking-equipment maker Cisco. The big brands want to get the jump on any competition and keep us locked into their money machines.

My optimistic take: It’s a powerful, spontaneous way to share your life and interact with people. Think of it as one-way video chat with two-way texting. A reporter live in Syria can read a viewer’s suggestion to move a little to the left to get a better view of the scene. A musician in his bedroom can take song requests. Aunt Ida and the rest of the fam can tune in to Stacy’s dance recital from across the country.

It may very well be the future of live TV. But live doesn’t always mean thrilling, and for now, everything looks more “Wayne’s World” than “World News Tonight.”

Joanna Stern

A couple of valid points regarding live video here. As I mentioned before low quality is a sore point that could drive people away after a few poor experiences. More challenging still: the privacy questions around live broadcasting when it isn’t very clear who the audience is – an issue that comes up again and again every time Facebook launches a new feature or tweaks the News feed. There are already reports of people accidentally broadcasting a live birth and of teenagers live-streaming sexual acts (on purpose in this case). Live Video might turn out to be a fad in social media, the porn business on the other hand could make big bucks from adopting this format.

Facebook Live Video Map
Facebook’s Live Map displays many of the current, public live broadcasts from around the world

Post a Comment