Thinking Digital livestream

Thinking Digital 17: it’s all about live video

Last week I was up North for Thinking Digital’s tenth birthday. This was the tenth year that Thinking Digital has been held in Newcastle, although the actual conference is well into its teens. There have been Thinking Digital spin-offs in Manchester and London. I’ve lost count of how many TDCs I’ve been to. Each one has been amazing.

The big news for me this time was live video. From Christian Payne’s fantastic video 101 workshop to Dan Biddle’s talk to the whole event being streamed on Facebook Live and host venue The Sage tweeting with Periscope, live was the flavour of the day.

I used to work in live TV: it’s exciting, anything can happen, and you don’t have to edit. Now that immediacy is available across social media. Yes – YouTube and Snapchat have been around for years but it’s only really with the global roll-out of Facebook Live last year (and accompanying hard sell) that live video has been pushed into the mainstream.

Here are five things I learned about live video at TDC17:

1. Steve Mann and Jennifer Ringley (Jennicam) were the first people to live-stream back in the 1990s.

2. Live video tipping is massive in China: people make huge sums of money for doing things as mundane as eating a restaurant meal or hosting a dinner party. (Here’s more about how online tipping works).

3. Tiny Kitchen’s burger video (Facebook Live) has had over 3.8m views during and since it was live-streamed last year.

4. The camera is the new keyboard, according to Facebook. And social video is tactile – it’s all about the interacting: adding filters, stickers, comments etc.

5. The Internet is nearing 80 per cent video. 5 billion videos are viewed daily on YouTube. 10 billion videos viewed daily on Snapchat.

And here are five of the best live video apps to play with:

Periscope – the most established live video community and probably the best place to start. Lets you broadcast and explore the world through live video

Switcher Studio – a live video editing studio – helps you incorporate pre-recorded material into your live-stream

Live.ly – live video streaming and group chat from the folks who brought us musical.ly

Houseparty – live group video chat from Life on Air (the company behind Meerkat)

Twitch – live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon

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