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YouTube live mobile video changes everything

Mike Elgan | June 28, 2016
Google finally embraces mobile live video streaming. Here's why the world will never be the same.

Doing an end run around the C-SPAN blackout, some members of Congress did what was impossible until recently: They live-streamed the event on Facebook Live and Periscope. Millions of people tuned in to the streams. C-SPAN picked up some of those feeds as news, rather than scheduled House coverage.

My friend, journalist and professor Jeff Jarvis, told the Washington Post that the event "showed that you don’t need government cameras and you don’t need TV networks to speak to the nation. Anyone can do it."

Live mobile video streaming is already changing politics. I think it will change society, too.

We've already seen incidents of aggressive police behavior and shootings streamed on Facebook Live. (The interesting fact about live-streaming when filming crimes and abusive officials is that it doesn't matter if the phone is taken away -- the live-streaming protects the content from being censored.)

I believe live-streaming video on YouTube, Facebook Live and Twitter's Periscope will include protests, political events, insurrections, shootings, hostage situations and other news events. In fact, as in the movie Nightcrawler, I fear that news events will attract amateur wannabe journalists, including freelance war correspondents, freelance spies and freelance man-on-the-street interviewers.

YouTube's entry into live mobile video streaming will accelerate the trend, create a new kind of YouTube star and change the world by making major events and crazy situations available to anyone in real time.

It's an amazing world out there. And now we get to watch it all happen live.


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