And the world laughed with her

A MAN broadcasts via Facebook Live the moment a sniper gunned down five policemen in Dallas. With her dying boyfriend next to her, a woman in a car recounts with stunning composure how just seconds before he was shot by a police officer after a traffic stop in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Citizens live-stream the aftermath of an attempted coup in Turkey. A woman cannot contain her excitement about a mask of Chewbacca, a Star Wars character, she has just bought, earning her 160m views on Facebook (pictured).

Scarcely a week now passes without the world being treated to the real-time footage of another, sometimes harrowing event, which goes viral. But whether or not live-streaming will be a big money-earner is less obvious than its rising appeal. It was a decade ago that websites such as Justin.TV and Ustream made it possible for anyone with a PC, an internet connection and a webcam to become a broadcaster. Live-streaming’s current, far more user-friendly mobile incarnation emerged early last year, by when wireless data connections were fast enough. And when Twitter (via its Periscope app) and Facebook…Continue reading