14 thoughts on “Live-streaming: The Real-Time Crowd Community Social Media

  1. Hey Joshua,

    Awesome read mate! I believe that fear of missing out is dramatically decreased with live streaming as viewers who can’t make it in person have another means of viewing the program. Live streaming has also allowed for the stream to be viewed on demand whenever the view wants to (so long as the streamer allows for it to be viewed after the stream has taken place) further decreasing viewer FOMO as they have access to the stream at a click.

    I think in recent times live streaming has definitely brought communities closer together (weddings, DJ live sets, product launches and fashion weeks are all being broadcasted more regularly).

    I find live streaming ‘crowds’ are also very interesting. Obviously the streamer wants as many people connected to the stream as possible. Streamers with only say 50 streams may perceive that as poor performance, but if 50 people were to come to their house in person and watch them play a video game on their computer, the perception changes!

    Again, awesome read – all the best!


  2. Hi Joshua!

    Great read! As someone who isn’t particularly educated on the whole live streaming thing, I found your paper really helpful in breaking it down along with some of its effects (both positive and negative). After reading your paper, I would think that a lot of people utilise these live streaming platforms in order to feel a closer connection to the social media influencers or celebrities that they follow. Would you agree with that?

    Additionally, do you think that the live aspect of these platforms creates an unnerving sense of the unknown for, say, parents of children utilising live streaming platforms?


  3. Hi Joshua,

    I really enjoyed reading your paper, my paper is also focused around streaming platforms etc.. But I never even considered FOMO when writing my paper, so this was very interesting to read! As a streamer myself and I avidly watch Twitch, I definitely experience FOMO if i cannot tune in due to work and feel like I am missing out on new content.

    I think Twitch has tried to reduce this in their platform as they hold previous vods viewers can come back to and engage as well as the clip creation which is a great tool. It happens from the streamer side as well, as the majority of my streaming friends are in America I miss out a lot of the time on playing or streaming with them and as a result I usually tune into their streams because I am missing out on the playtime.



    1. Thanks for the read, and sorry it took me so long to respond, Jessica.

      I’m glad I was able to bring up a unique point that others did not consider. Especially when those people can validate it to some degree.

      I think you’re right that Twitch is recognizing the post-stream/rewatch market is worth investing in, though I think they’re a bit more restricted in terms of related features. But I suppose that’s a simple trade-off. Twitch’s stream-focused design makes VODs less visible, but allows even the small streamers to have visibility by focusing on the immediate, and Youtube does roughly the opposite.

  4. Hi Joshua,

    Overall I found your paper quite interesting as in my own readings and experience I had focused heavily on the affordances of the platforms themselves and how those affordances shaped the overall environment rather than focusing on the impacts on the individual users.

    In particular I found your discussion of FOMO interesting as I would agree that this plays an important role in drawing viewers in and encouraging them to engage with the stream itself both of which are important to the success of streamers on streaming platforms.

    1. Thanks Brodie.

      The interactions between platforms, developers, creators, and audiences are all pretty complex, multi-directional, and not very similar at all. It’s good that we have two papers dealing with similar topics in different directions – there’s far too much for one paper. Even without the word count, handling it in a single paper would quickly show how you can’t lump it all together. I’ll make sure to look up and check your paper out later.

      FOMO is pretty much integrated into community. When you’re invested in the community, having the community “happen” without you is pretty off-putting. I’d think it’s more about “encouraging to engage”, but having friends who talk about it, and wanting to experience what your friends do, is pretty similar, I do admit.

  5. Hi Joshua,
    Great paper! I completely agree that live streaming offers a way in which the streamers can connect with their viewers. Live-streaming has definitely become a huge part of social media, whether it be on platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, or Twitch (I’ve seen a lot of influencers go live on Twitch nowadays), especially during COVID-19.
    Social Media has allowed us to idolize or even become fans of influencers on Instagram and YouTube because we like the sort of content they release and watching live streams of these individuals, gives us a more intimate relationship and makes us feel connected or closer to the people we watch. I think a lot of people resort to live streams now for either entertainment purposes as there’s not much to do because of COVID or because they feel the need to be at every life because other people are there too (basically FOMO like you’ve mentioned).
    This also allows the fans to see that these people they idolize are just ordinary people like themselves.

    1. Thanks for reading, Saranya.

      I’m glad to see you’ve read it through, and agreed with it’s main points, so at least I’m thinking in the right general direction.

  6. Hi Joshua,
    Covid lockdown was a great time for live streaming and building social media engagement through those live videos. I participated in quiz nights, tasting packs, educational forums, all through Instagram Live streaming. I didn’t have much else to do and the brand was making the time to come online at a convenient time for their followers, so I made the effort to tune in. It was great to just watch and listen to the streamer discuss their topic, plus I could write in the chat, and have my handle read out along with my question, then have it answered. It felt more personal than perhaps a reply to a standard comment on an image post. You mentioned FOMO and I agree with you that I felt like if I couldn’t tune in, I was missing out on unique ‘free’ content that others were subscribing to. Do you think that video rather than static images, is the way social media is heading?
    Great paper, thanks!

    1. Thanks, Laura.

      As has been attributed to Howard Moskowitz, “there is no perfect pasta sauce, only perfect pasta sauces”. It doesn’t seem plausible to claim that several different systems with different use-cases would entirely consume each other until only one is left – or even that most people would use only one on a regular basis.

      Some content creators will want live, some will want prerecorded, and all of them will want some way to tell viewers what’s going on now or in the future, which neither of those is especially good at. (Though Twitter doesn’t provide much of a monetization model, so content creators will push video as their main product by default.) Peer-to-Peer is also a very different beast, which this style of live-streaming isn’t particularly compatible with. The sheer speed of information processing that text and image based social media provides is invaluable.

      In short, I see no reason text and image chat should become redundant. It’s a matter of who, why, and what features each product can offer.

      1. Excellent reasoning, love your explanation!

        I would also like to say, with the increase in video based platforms like TikTok I think it has allowed users to have fun with video. I’ve noticed more small business owners going live, posting stories or reels, and not taking themselves too seriously. I’ve enjoyed the inside peak or behind the scenes into peoples lives. It’s entertaining to watch!

        1. I can’t claim to have used Tiktok much. I checked it out not long ago, and was pretty surprised that there was a lot of editing. I’m not sure if that’s implemented into tiktok, or some external app, though. I also found the inability to see comments unless you sign up, and the lack of fast forward to be… a little off-putting.

          That said, I can see how it’s shorter lengths, and heavily mobile-based platform, makes it more accessible to mobile social media users, and also how that would restrict it’s ability to handle larger projects.

          It’s an interesting example of how two video-based social media systems have completely incompatible use-cases.

  7. Hi Joshua,

    Thanks for your paper!

    Like you mention in your paper, live-streaming offers a way for a streamer and their viewers to connect (Although, somewhat limitedly). I feel like this is the key reason that streaming has become so popular.
    I think we as media consumers have always wanted the ability to interact with those who we see, and sometimes even idolize, in the media. I think this is why, classically, forms of media that give us a further insight to the lives of those who we see on the television or movie screen (Such as celebrity gossip magazines) had such a popularity. They provided people with the ability to feel like they knew the famous personality past their television or film personas.
    I think live-streaming takes this a step further and allows people the ability to actually interact with an entertainer personality, give them the feeling that they can connect with the personality themselves, not an abstracted report or persona of that personality.
    What do you think about this?

    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for the response, Jordan.

      You’re right, it does feel like it brings them closer in a way that people have spent a lot of time and effort trying to do in the past. I feel like it would interesting to see how it stacks up against classic idolatry, like music idols. Beetle Mania, for example, as well as the ravenous crowds seen in rock idols. Japan’s even had concerts by Virtual Idols (like the artificial singer Hatsune Miku, which is a voice bank developed by a Japanese company), and streaming idols. I suspect there’s a deep pit of potential investigation branching off of this subject that doesn’t seem popular in mainstream sociology.

      I didn’t really consider the idea of gossip magazines, and it seems like an interesting avenue of consideration, though I’m hesitant to believe there’s a wealth of articles about it.

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