Twitter enabled any person to reach anyone in the world directly with 140 characters of text. And, of course, you know it’s now being used as a news source for millions of people throughout the world. News always breaks on Twitter before it breaks on television.
But WHY is the ability to reach the world directly in real time limited to text?
Why can’t anyone in the world open an app on their smart phone, click one button – and INSTANTLY be streaming live to the world?
Why can’t anyone open their phone, see a quick summary of all the people/brands they’re following streaming right now — and tune into the one they want to consume in real time?
The massive opportunity I see is the ability to stream live to the world, direct from your mobile phone with the click of a button. Imagine a Twitter like platform, for live video.
Imagine a real time video feed of Syria with analysis from a local witnessing the events. Or Tahrir Square, Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, or any other major event of interest. A whole new breed of reporters would emerge — the people AT the location when something is happening in real time. Traditional media could even tap into these sources so as not to have to send video equipment to the location.
It’s not a technology issue. Major media brands such as CNN, ESPN, and NBC already stream news and content live online. There is Ustream and Google Hangouts On Air, which indeed can do the trick. But only uber geeks use those platforms (from my experience).
The reason such a real time peer-to-peer video platform doesn’t already exist is largely due to ease of use, along with the demand side of the equation. People aren’t going to broadcast live, if no one is watching. The classic chicken and egg problem.
That said, I’m convinced a few influential people could kickstart such a platform. Someone such as Gary Vaynerchuk would draw quite an audience if he streamed 15 or 30 minutes every day or two. Or niche online media outlets such as GeekWire, for that matter. How about it Todd and John? Why not broadcast a 30 minute daily show, or weekly recap?
What’s needed is a drop dead simple way for anyone to record live to the world from a smart phone with one click. It needs to JUST WORK – without any hassle or crashing. To start, you’d just enable people to share their broadcast link on Facebook or Twitter – but over time, a way to follow the people, or eventually brands, you were interested in – and have a quick and easy way to figure out when the people you care about are broadcasting.
In every single vertical, we are seeing a shift to P2P. I’m not sure when it will happen, but I’m convinced live streaming from your phone is the next phase of news.
Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Oh Hey World. Global nomad originating in Seattle. Ex-Zillow community builder. Social Entrepreneur. Microfinance advocate. Travel addict. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva. Find him on Twitter @drewmeyers.