@INTERACTIONSMAG 36 INTERACTIONS JANUARY–FEBRUARY2020
Curious about live streaming? In this introduction, we’ll provide an overview of this
rapidly growing phenomenon, share a bit about our own live-streaming research,
and preview the five articles in this Special Topic section. In the past decade, video
sharing has become increasingly popular. Platforms used for broadcasting content
such as You Tube and Twitch have become widespread, frequented by millions of users
every day. As a nod to broadcast television, these platforms are generally divided into
channels, online profiles for streamers to post their content. Generally, each channel
has videos in a specific theme, allowing audiences to tune in to the channels that fit
their interests. Channels can either have prerecorded videos or broadcast live video.
The option of sharing live video is a relatively new addition to these websites, dating
back only to 2007.
The popularity of sharing live content in recent years is largely due to the creation
of a platform called Justin.tv—started as a way for people to share general live-video content and rebranded as Twitch in 2011 [ 1]. Since then, Twitch has become
the leading service for gameplay streaming. Gameplay streaming continues to gain
traction, with more than 1. 2 million average viewers per day and more than 3. 7
million broadcasters per month on the Twitch platform alone [ 1].
However, while gaming content and Twitch are what sparked the rise of live
streaming, other streamed activities are becoming increasingly widespread as well.
People stream everything from art (Twitch Creative) to live-coding sessions, and
talk-show-style conversations, to IRL (in real life) activities—streaming from daily
life. Streaming activities are now even being integrated into social media >>>>
Raquel Robinson, University of Saskatchewan
Katherine Isbister, University of California, Santa Cruz
RESEARCH IN HCI