Broadcast series: Social Media Apps

Broadcast series: Social Media Apps
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Broadcast series: Social Media Apps

Broadcast series: Social Media Apps Part 2

 

Last week we kicked of this two post series with an overview of new technology and applications hitting the social media market for broadcasting and content sharing. This week we are continuing that trend looking at two more platforms a little more closely. We’ve touched on Snapchat which many of you will be comfortable with, below we look at YouNow and BeMe.

YouNow

This app I stumbled upon through twitter. One of the people I follow tweeted that he would be “live on YouNow” so I clicked through to see what it was all about. As the name suggests, it’s all about YOU NOW. The app is a broadcasting app that let’s you set up your own channel and live broadcast from anywhere at anytime. You become your own TV show. Talk about what you want, when you want, and how you want. You don’t have total free reign, there are monitors or moderators who scan the broadcasts and step in when things are not acceptable. There is a list of rules you are expected to follow. For example, you are not allowed to have a show if you are under the age of 13, nor are you allowed to promote drugs or sex in anyway, including showing it on your broadcast. So they do cover their bases. In all honesty it is quite entertaining to see what goes on in other people’s heads, but it is mainly popular with American teens… so you can image the type of content they are talking about. I do worry about the safety of the kids on this app though. A 14 year old does not always have the life skills in my opinion to be able to discern between what should and shouldn’t be broadcasted. For example, I was scrolling through various categories of broadcasts when I first downloaded the app, and started watching a kid talking about his day at school. No harm there, but there is a scrolling text feature on the app where the viewers can engage with the broadcaster live. And while I was watching a member of his audience texted that they would like to send him a gift, and the kid (mid to late teens) gave his home address out, live on air. Now if this teen was broadcasting live from his house after school, without his parents being there… this does pose a bit safety risk. But again, that exact scenario is guarded against in the rules, so these sorts of things should not really happen. It’s gaining a following in the States, so I imagine it’ll be a matter of months before our own south African youth are live broadcasting their life storiesYouNow1

Beam

Pronounced “beam” I’m told, is a recent offering that is playing on an exclusivity element to get in. Once you download the app, you either have to wait 100 hours before you can gain access and start using the app, OR… you can get a passcode from another user as an invite to start posting. This approach as launched into a whole marketing approach on its own. People are taking to twitter and other social media platform in search of access codes. Once you’re in, the app allows users to generate 5 unique codes a day. Which they can share with other people wanting to access their new accounts. Just take a look at the #bemecode feed to see the hype around trading codes and gaining access.

But we have gotten lost in the hype already and don’t even know what the app does yet… It beams. Beme essentially works like snapchat, with a few key differentiators. Firstly, you can’t see what you are recording. You shoot blind. The app uses your phones sensor on the front, and when it’s covered it starts recording, but doesn’t show you what you are capturing, so you just hope for the best. Secondly, there is no curating. You don’t edit your footage, add filters or insert little messages. It just sends the footage in its pure, raw format. Lastly, it can go out to anyone. The audience you follow and who follows you will see it, but it can also go out to any other random user on the platform.

I’ve only just downloaded this app, and started to get to know it, but have not tried using it properly yet, so it is a learning process still.

BEME

 

These are all just quick examples of new ways of engaging. Our mode of communication is different to what it was, that goes without saying, but there’s no need to be scared of, or ignorant of the new channels. Sure, we can’t be on them all, nor should we try, but as new technology comes our way, it is important to at least understand what they are and how they work. From a brand perspective, it’s important to know where our audience are collaborating, and to know if we should be there too. From an interpersonal perspective these platforms make global living less detached and more interactive. I can communicate with my family in the UK through any number of ways, and when we travel there is no longer a need for us not to be in constant contact. Lastly, as parents (I’m speaking theoretically now, not from experience), it is important for us to know what the kids are up to, and for us to have frank conversations with them about protecting themselves. Much like the “sex talk” became a thing decades ago… now the “online talk” needs to be part of the parenting toolbox. They have access to everything in the palm of their hands, we need to learn with them and help them understand where they are vulnerable.

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