“I am a golden god!”
Billy Cruddup in Almost Famous
Aren’t you so glad live-streaming and video technology didn’t exist when you were growing up?!
How many of your idiotic moments would be preserved for all eternity?
Just think about how we cringe at the sight of our old yearbook photos and the outfits we were allowed to leave the house in!
Today’s adolescents have to deal with the potential for every moment being captured either by their own hand via live-streaming or by someone else (see the previous post on Self-Destructing Apps).
Live-streaming has created the ability to have an internet star in every household. App designers are cashing in, playing off of the perfect storm that was created by the Jackass and Guitar Hero “I could do that”-phenomenon as well as the “reality” TV boom and the growth in video technology brought on by the likes of the iPhone and GoPro.
There are a number of live-streaming apps on the current app-store market that parents need to be aware of. I’ll briefly mention some that I’ve already covered in other sections of this social media segment before highlighting some newer apps.
Facebook Live – We all know about Facebook and their addition of live streaming video content. Facebook and its live capabilities have been largely responsible for school districts across the country creating social media policies in their student handbooks.
Instagram – Adding the ability to broadcast and upload videos has kept Instagram in the game. It didn’t hurt that they were bought and backed by Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook in 2012.
Vine – This app allows users to create 6 second videos that they can share. It became widely known for the school fight videos that were so widely circulated. Originally, it was designed for ages 12+, but, due to the flooding of pornographic images they upped the age requirement to 17+. Vine was acquired by Twitter in 2012, and Twitter had announced in January of 2017 that videos can only be shared on Twitter or saved on a camera roll as Vine is being phased out.
Persicope – This live streaming app has gained in popularity since 2016.
Periscope’s notoriety took off when a French teenager live streamed her own suicide while some thousand viewers watched the feed. The woman spoke to the camera and built up to throwing herself in front of the Egly station train while some streamers pleaded with her to stop and others criticized and egged her on.
Live.Me – This live streaming app allows for chatting as well as broadcasting. The user is supposed to be 18+; however, underage users are pretty prevalent. The app uses geolocation features and can allow users to share personal information either intentionally or unintentionally.
Musical.ly – This is an app that has put a musical spin on the Snapchat-video sharing platform.
Users can view, create and post music videos that are 15 seconds or less; however, they don’t self-destruct. In addition, users can view, rate and comment on the videos of other users. What parents have to pay attention to is that there can be sexually explicit content and language as well as the ability to connect to strangers.