Live streaming is technology that enables users to broadcast what they are doing in real time to an online audience. This can include anything from a ‘what I’m doing right now’ type stream to an interactive Q&A, talent show or celebrity interview. Live streams can be watched and shared across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch TV (popular with gamers) House Party and TikTok.
Some live streams are private and only viewable by a chosen audience but others can be ‘public’ which means that they might be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people. Those watching a live stream can interact with the content by posting messages, emoticons or gifts such as coins that appear on the screen. They might also be able to record the live stream so that it is available to watch again.
Many young people enjoy watching and creating live streams as it can be a fun way to express themselves, develop their communication skills, build their self-esteem and connect with their favourite influencers or celebrities. However, there are some concerns about the risks associated with live streaming which you should discuss with your child, such as being exposed to age inappropriate content, bullying or offensive comments and the potential to be contacted by adults who might want to exploit them. It’s also important to talk to your child about how to access support if they need it and how to report any concerns they have. youtube live stream viewers