Whenever a new tool comes along, high tech pundits write hyperoxygenated riffs on What It All Means. They’re fascinated by high-stakes money questions. So the questions about livestreaming were mostly about fame and profit. Will people use it to create new forms of celebrity stardom? Will they upend news-gathering or political campaigning? Will they pirate movies in real time?
Nope. They’ll use livestreaming in the same way every new technology is used—to do things that nobody expects. Things like #showusyourfridge.
The real significance of a new medium isn’t in how already-famous people use it or how businesses use it. It’s in the mundane uses. You’d think we’d have learned this lesson by now. When a new form of communication suddenly becomes cheap and easy, people don’t merely copy the stuff on TV and in Hollywood. They do new things. Weird things too, which violate previous ideas about aesthetics and utility.