By: Connor Gray
While there are many different platforms that have always allowed for live content during significant events around the world, there is one piece of social media that is relatively new to most platforms: live video. The magic with this tool is the infinite number of ways it can be utilized in today’s public. During a time in America where things are certainly tense, live video is becoming essential to giving communication. The twist here is that it’s not exclusive to media outlets like CNN, but to the general public. With live video, anyone can present information raw and untouched.
Live video footage may be relatively new, but raw video footage has certainly been a component to some platforms for a while. Snapchat was initially released in September 2011 for Apple users and was one of the first apps to allow people to send direct, unedited videos to the public. With their advent of the “My Story” feature, users could immediately release footage to the public. As Snapchat matured, other social media platforms scrambled to catch up to this idea of live footage. By mid-2016, other media heavy-hitters like Facebook and Instagram had created their own versions of live video to connect with the public.
These new features have elevated the role of the public in citizen journalism. Citizen journalism has certainly become a vital part to the media in the last few years. Citizens have been called to become make-shift journalists in areas where media resources aren’t readily available. With features like Facebook live, users can immediately broadcast scenes of civil injustice, red carpet premieres, and the recent Inauguration.
As 2017 has already proven to be a volatile year within the United States, live video footage is going to become even more essential to spreading information. The best part of this citizen journalism is that it truly represents the public in the media, because the actual public is producing it. These new updates not only show a diversity in the media, but help lend to a more holistic view of perspective.