We are a generation of streamers. We stream our movies and our music, making the latest trends in entertainment all about mobile and instantaneous results. But streaming is also becoming ubiquitous with the broadcast of real-world events, and just a few leaders in the field are already changing multiple aspects of digital communication.
While apps like Meerkat and Periscope are all about ephemeral and instantaneous content, many believe that user-generated content might have some sticking power in the coming years. In fact news outlets like CNN and ESPN have jumped on board to broadcast selected footage, and many other people have started using it as a way to get their own perceptive of an event out to their followers.
As with startup social media platform or new technology, it seems like every day presents a new update or false start. Live streaming apps continue to run into copyright problems that come with the territory of live, un-curated posts, as they attempt to parse out what code of ‘digital ethics’ they will adhere to. But even with these problems, live video streaming video is already influencing the wider world of social and new media. As news outlets, well-known brands and even the White House jump onto these apps, Meerkat and Periscope have been fighting to gain traction and engaged followers. In a strategic move last week, Meerkat announced its partnership with Facebook, a platform that has a larger user network and overall engagement, essentially breaking a long-held bond with Twitter. They are hopeful that this move will prompt more people to view and created streams through their Facebook profiles. In addition, Meerkat just introduced the interactive element of ‘Cameos,’ where other viewers can take over your stream for 60 seconds.
These new apps harness the very best aspects of social media - the ability to connect people. With real time streaming from your mobile device, these apps allow us to go inside an event or a place and see it from the perspective of another mobile phone user - not a curated, edited film tape. From these streams we might be able to get a more behind the scenes look at things even before they break on The Associated Press’ site. For now, we will have to wait until the net ‘big’ story breaks on an app-based platform to see if these individual live video streaming is really the new age of communication.