Ask any millennial on the street to tell you about livestreaming, and you’re sure to get an enthusiastic, if not, overwhelming response. In recent years, the concept of peeking into a day in the life of other people has really taken the world by storm. Our societal commitment to innovative technology has now rendered us with the ability to experience life from the eyes of another. And now that this trend has started, there’s no going back. But what is livestreaming, anyway? And where did it all begin?

What is Livestreaming?

Let’s start out with the concept. Livestreaming is, essentially, when users of a given media platform stream the events of their life in real time. Users can stream themselves, cooking, painting, making music, or playing video games, just to name a few. It’s a simple concept. Yet, it’s garnered a huge amount of hype for the way that it has brought our world just a little bit closer together.

Back to the Basics

But, in order to have the most complete understanding of livestreaming, let’s go back to the beginning. In this case, the beginning is all the way back in 2005. This was the year that saw the debut of YouTube. Although not livestreaming as we know it, YouTube was essential in paving the way for the streamers of today.

Suddenly, anyone could upload a video of themselves or their environment, and share it with the whole world. At the time, this was revolutionary. But it didn’t end there.

YouTube exploded in popularity and, two years later, in 2007, Justin.tv and USTREAM took the video concept a step further and introduced us to the world of livestreaming. The concept behind Justin.tv was equally as simple and equally as innovative.

Justin Kan, one of the founders of Justin.tv, streamed his life around the clock. This was interactive streaming like none seen before. With a look into his life, users of Justin.tv could see the possibility that livestreaming provided. And, just like that, the popularity of livestreaming was sealed.

Although it was a wild success that eventually branched out to allow other users to broadcast their lives as well, Ultimately, Justin.tv shut down so the founders could focus on Twitch.tv, which allows gamers to livestream their play.

But this is just one piece of the larger livestreaming history.

Streaming in 2016

Today, livestreaming exists on multiple platforms. In addition to Twitch.tv, there is Meerkat, Blab, and Stre.am, not to mention the popular apps Periscope and Snapchat, which have also maximized on this new-found love of livestreaming personal content.

Facebook Live jumped on the livestreaming bandwagon not long ago, and there are rumors that YouTube may be working on YouTube Connect, so as not to be left behind in the dust.

In 2016, the opportunities to broadcast your life and the means by which to do so, are seemingly endless. But why bother? Why livestream anyway?

Well, for starters, livestreaming is a lot of fun. Once you get over the initial camera-shy feelings (if you have any to begin with), livestreaming gives you a platform to speak your mind and share something about your life with, potentially, the rest of the world!

There are countless “celebrity” streamers out there today, which reinforces the idea that truly, anyone can become famous. And while most streamers may not reach celebrity status, for those that do, there are many doors that can open up.

This leads us to our second reason to stream, which is that it can be a great tool for marketing. Whether you’re marketing your business or yourself, streaming gives you an audience and a convenient way to connect.

Across the planet, people are tuning in to their favorite streamers at all hours of the day and night. This is one medium that never needs to sleep, which means that the growth potentials here are endless. And as we look forward to the future of livestreaming, we are excited about what is to come.