Live streaming is an often misunderstood concept, but it’s actually very simple in reality. In order for something to qualify as a live stream, it must be recorded and delivered instantaneously. There is no time for cutting, editing, or colour grading, everything that is recorded is sent exactly as it is to viewers. In order for this to be possible, the device that is recording must be internet-enabled, to allow the video to be streamed in real-time to others. Most of us have a smartphone that is capable of this, but so are tablets, laptops and more specialist equipment, which we’ll discuss later. First, we’re going to discover the industries that live streaming has had a profound effect on, starting with one industry that all of us will be all too familiar with, social media.
Facebook Live was one of the first social media live streaming platforms, allowing people to record themselves live and send it instantly to any of their friends who happened to be online. Gradually, Facebook Live began being used to reach wider audiences, where people could choose to ‘go public’ with their broadcast. On these live streams, other Facebook users could comment in real-time, as well as leave emojis to express their feelings about the live stream. After the success of Facebook, many of the other social media platforms hopped aboard the live-streaming train too. Instagram’s live streaming feature works exactly the same as Facebook’s does, allowing people to appear in Instagram Live Stories. Depending on the settings of a person’s Instagram profile and the stories themselves, these too can be watched either by followers or by anyone on the platform. House Party and TikTok followed shortly after, with TikTok now being one of the most popular live-streaming platforms there is.
Twitch TV provided a crossover between social media and the gaming industry, allowing fans of gaming to record themselves playing their favourite games and send them directly to their followers. Twitch managed to cleverly monetise its live-streaming capabilities by allowing users to subscribe to their favourite content creators, for an amount set by the creators themselves. This works in conjunction with the advertising method, that is used by almost all other social media platforms. Twitch isn’t the only business in the gaming space that’s used live streaming technology to advance though. Making an experience as close to life as possible is something that the entertainment industry has been striving toward for years. Lately, there have been huge moves towards the use of live streaming for creating a casino experience for players at home. This collection of the best live casinos online shows just how many casinos have realised the importance of creating a realistic experience. Asiabet has rated each of the casinos individually on a variety of factors including the bonuses that they provide new customers, the games that they offer and their star rating according to users.
Being able to keep up with your favourite football team, or follow your horse around the track in real-time might be something we take for granted, but it’s live streaming that makes it possible. Before the days of live streaming via the internet, you’d need to be in front of the television, often with an expensive subscription to watch certain sports. Nowadays though, you can log in to various websites and keep up with all kinds of sporting action as it’s transmitted to you second by second. For ex-pats who still want to support sportspeople from their home country, the ability to do this is invaluable.
Whilst the live streams that we’ve talked about so far have been largely public, some of the biggest changes that live streaming has made are in a more personal sphere. Over the last couple of years, everybody has become aware of Zoom, a live streaming service which allows you to chat with friends, colleagues, or just about anybody, using your webcam and an internet connection. This service, along with other video conferencing services, has revolutionised how some of us work. They’ve enabled more people than ever to work from home and take to their laptops to meet with their colleagues face to face. The mark of great innovation is when it is able to change lives for the better and for many, the ability to ditch their morning commute and work a more flexible schedule from home has made an immeasurable difference to their lives. As well as this, speech to text translation has meant that people who are hearing impaired can also follow along with meetings, more easily than they could in a workplace setting.