Maybe not, for now. But with the way live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat have been receiving attention lately, it might not be long before people of all ages share live stream videos via their mobile devices as easily as posting on Instagram or updating their Twitter.
Live streaming on mobile is actually not a new concept. Back in 2011, Skype has acquired a mobile video startup called Qik, which had created a mobile app that would allow smartphone users to record and stream video content in real time, and then let other users be alerted in order to access and view the live stream feed. But several years ago, there were a number of technical hurdles that needed to be overcome. For instance, Apple once blocked any app that does live streaming because these apps initially had to make full use of a restricted screen capture API in order to work. Furthermore, the wireless carriers themselves were not prepared to carry that big an amount of data that the smartphone was delivering when live streaming, which sometimes caused shared streams to have unstable signals or connections.
But fast forwarding to 2015, advances in wireless technology have already taken care of most of these obstacles. Indeed, in recent events like the Arab Spring and the Occupy Protests, we have witnessed mobile users use their smartphones to stream events live.
It also really helps that social media has made society more conscious of the now. No longer are we content with reading about happenings through the morning paper or even on the evening news. We want to see things as they happen and react to them in real time. In the age of Twitter and Facebook, we want to be in the thick of the things more than ever.
However, there are other who think that having instant live streaming capabilities will only increase users' selfie mentality. Narcissistic folk will always use any piece of technology to feed their vanity. But live streaming that is used for the right reasons is a very good thing. For one, it helps facilitate faster sharing of information, especially those that work best in video format than in written or static formats. Examples include tutorials, seminars, TED talks, or product demos. Moreover, live streaming can be a useful media tool for various content creators -- those who cover sports can use it to broadcast sporting events in real time, adventurers can use live streaming to tell their latest adventures, and instead of podcasts, we could have livecasts.
For now, live streaming is just beginning to hit its stride. After Periscope and Meerkat, we could see other apps in the near future that will continue to expand the capabilities and uses of live streaming.
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