Streaming is live broadcasting of videos, a bit like TV, but in real time. It can be done on devices like smartphones and tablets, apps such as TikTok, Facebook Live and Twitch (used by gamers) or websites. Live streams can also be private – for example, video conferencing apps like Skype or Zoom are used to create private conversations between two or more people. However, most live streams are open to the public and can be watched by hundreds or even thousands of people.
Some young people enjoy creating their own live streams and can feel very ‘in the moment’ as they broadcast to family, friends or a global audience. It’s an opportunity for them to express themselves creatively, and for some, it can build their self-esteem and confidence. Viewers can comment and interact live with the streamer, giving them virtual gifts of coins which appear on screen. This can encourage children and young people to engage with others online, including with influencers and celebrities.
It’s important to talk with your child about how they can get support and report concerns when using these types of apps and websites. Remind them that they can always speak to you or someone they trust and that they can contact organisations like Brook, The Mix and Childline if they’re concerned about any online contact. They can also use the reporting function on the app or website they are using. get youtube live stream views