The Rise Of Social Media Live Streaming

The technology of social media has allowed millions of people to interact with one another in a way that wasn’t possible before. Now, the rise of live streaming has given people the chance to offer more engaging and exciting content across numerous industries, including professional and casual gaming, professional sports, and online gambling. Live streaming is also used for political purposes and day-to-day life vlogging too.

With many social media platforms embracing live streaming, it’s now easier than ever to start your own live stream, but how did it all start and why is live streaming so popular now? Discover all of that here.

Live Streaming: Beginnings And Popularity With Gamers

Live streaming has been around since the 2000s, and while there were plenty of websites with live streaming services, Justin Kan’s Justin.tv was one of the first platforms to popularise the activity. The website, which launched in early 2007, documented Kan’s life on a day-to-day basis. Its success led Kan to launch a second stream featuring popular YouTuber iJustine months after its founding. By the end of 2007, the platform was open to anyone around the world, essentially kick-starting the live streaming business.

The overwhelming success and popularity of Justin.tv led Kan to found Twitch in 2011, a platform which allows users to live stream themselves. Although the website initially launched with a focus on video game and also casino live streaming, it now allows users to stream themselves doing any activity and recently launched “real life” streams for general vlogging.

With the closure of Justin.tv, Twitch became one of the first major live streaming platforms around and is still popular to this day. Now, many streamers make a living through the platform, and it’s widely used to broadcast well-known eSports games and competitions. Twitch’s success caught the attention of Google and Microsoft who both decided to launch similar services to compete with the platform.

In 2016, Microsoft acquired Beam, a video game live streaming platform which was later renamed to Mixer. The service was integrated into Microsoft’s Xbox One console and was fairly popular, even managing to sign two of Twitch’s top streamers Ninja and Shroud. However, the website was later shut down in July 2020 due to its inability to expand when compared to competing services like Twitch.

Google achieved much more success in the live streaming scene when it launched YouTube Live in 2015 as part of a move to compete against Twitch. Being an already-successful platform, YouTube Live was hugely popular and primarily used for video game streaming as part of a separate platform. However, YouTube combined its Live platform with its main service in 2018, allowing more content creators to use the platform’s live streaming service.

Live Streaming With Social Media Platforms

Around the mid-2010s, live streaming began to lose its gaming focus and became more widely used for everyday activities and live vlogging due to the emergence of new platforms and apps such as Periscope and Facebook Live.

Two months before its official launch in March 2015, Periscope was acquired by Twitter and became one of the biggest social media platforms for live streaming. By August of the same year, the platform had surpassed 10 million accounts, and the company noted that the amount of video being watched was equal to around “40 years per day”.

The success of Periscope led social media giant and Twitter competitor Facebook to launch its Facebook Live service in 2016. The service, like all others, allows users to live stream themselves through broadcasts and allows viewers to share live reactions via emojis. Like with previous live streaming services, Facebook Live was a huge success in allowing anyone to live stream their day-to-day life, even though it was involved in some big controversies.

Since then, social media platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn have also launched their own live streaming services, confirming just how much demand there is for live streaming services across social platforms. But why has it become so popular?

Why Is Live Streaming So Popular Right Now

Since its inception around the 2000s, live streaming has become hugely successful and popular for one main reason; it offers people a brand new way to interact. Interaction is the crutch of social media, and these live streaming services provide people, celebrities, and companies a way to do this, bringing everything and everyone closer together in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Live streaming allows fans to interact directly with their favourite celebrities, allows people to experience something new, and it allows for people to strike up friendships along with plenty of other opportunities. The fact that live streaming is now so easily accessible has only widened its appeal.

More people and businesses are now turning their attention to live streaming, and if you’re not shy about getting in front of the camera, it may be worth giving the activity a try yourself!


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