A Beginner’s Guide to Live Streaming

Live streaming emerged as one of the most popular ways to create and consume online media content in the 2010s. The phenomenon seems to have happened overnight: nowadays, anyone with a smartphone and a strong enough connection can broadcast whatever it is they’re doing to the internet at large. Depending on how it’s used, live streaming can be a clever marketing tool, a vehicle for self-expression, or a lucrative career. Most live streamers have managed to make it all of those things at the same time.

There’s never been a better time to get in on the trend. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt globally, and until restrictions are eased, most people will remain confined to their homes.  Live streaming offers a unique opportunity to connect with others who may not be within your immediate circle and help them feel less isolated and alone. Here’s how to get started:

Finding Your Niche

The beauty of live streaming is that it is a near-boundless avenue for expression. Barring certain restrictions that differ from platform to platform, anyone can broadcast themselves doing almost anything. The most popular live streamers mainly produce content related to video games and gaming, but the field is wide enough to have a place for all sorts of activities, from musical performances to live poetry readings, cooking or baking demonstrations, makeup tutorials and much, much more.

If you have a talent or a skill that you’d like to showcase to the world, go ahead and do so. Even if you aren’t as talented or as skilled as you think, you can still attract an audience. Some of the most well-known and influential personalities of our time started out on streaming platforms with little more than a cheap webcam and a microphone! If you do something you love, your audience will surely feel your enthusiasm for it, too.

Choosing a Platform

Given the popularity of live streaming as an activity, most social networking sites now offer it as a feature. There are also several websites out there dedicated to hosting live streams.

One of the most popular apps for streaming live video content in Southeast Asia is Bigo. To get on the platform, all you have to do is download the Bigo app on a supported device such as a smartphone or tablet. After signing up for an account, you can instantly go live and broadcast yourself to thousands of people all over the world. Bigo offers plenty of ways to directly interact with your audience members, including a fully integrated live chat feature, video calling, multi-guest lives, and much more. You can even receive exciting virtual gifts from your audience while streaming!

Gathering Your Equipment

The ubiquity of live streaming has made it so that all you need to get started is a smartphone, a stable internet connection, and your imagination. However, you can make the experience more pleasant for viewers by investing in the following tools as well:

  • Lighting is crucial to streaming quality, especially if you’re doing most of your live streams indoors. Good lights make it easy for the audience to see what you’re doing or help them focus on a product or process that you’re showcasing. Even if you’re using a low-quality camera, good lighting can make your stream look great.
  • A tripod will keep your camera steady for static scenes, while a gimbal stabilizer offers smooth transition when moving from location to location. These tools will help keep your stream from being wobbly and unpleasant to watch. They’re widely available online or at smartphone accessory shops.
  • A battery bank is another handy thing to have around if you’re live streaming on the go. It’ll keep your phone juiced and prevent your stream from dying while you’re in the middle of something.

Live streaming is a great way to build communication skills and develop confidence while staying within your comfort zone. The first step, really, is to put yourself out there!

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