One of the key ways young people may engage with livestreaming is through hosting their own streams for other people to watch. In this case the young person is the host or streamer.
What kind of livestreams might my child be hosting?
Some young people are now starting to host their own livestreams, broadcasting live video content to their friends or followers.
- They may use the live features of social media services they already have accounts with (for example, Instagram Live) to show friends and family what they are doing in their day-to-day lives.
- Some young people may choose to broadcast their livestream to a wider audience - or even publically, particularly if they're trying to build up a following online.
- Young people may try to replicate the content they enjoy watching. For example, popular video styles like hauls (sharing recent shopping purchases with the audience), gameplay or musical performances.
What are the risks of hosting livestreamed content?
Young people who are livestreaming their own video content need to think very carefully about what they are showing, doing and saying.
Live content is available to an audience as it happens – whilst some services provide the option to edit or delete the content after the stream has ended, the initial broadcast cannot be taken back and any audience seeing it live will see the unedited version and could take a screenshot of this.
Young people should think carefully about the dangers of revealing personal information, including their location – in what they say, what they do and even what is visible in the background of their video.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that content which is broadcast as part of a livestream could become part of your digital footprint. The audience of a livestream or the service where it is hosted may keep a recording of the stream which could be made available after the original stream has ended or expired.
The chat function provided by lots of livestreaming services allows the audience to communicate with the streamer. Young people who are streaming their own content should be aware that depending on their privacy settings, they may be contacted by people who they do not know offline and who are strangers.
There is a risk that sometimes viewers of a stream will make hurtful comments, inappropriate requests or offer money or praise in exchange for streamers undertaking certain behaviours on camera – young people need to be aware that there is never any obligation to participate in this and that they should speak to an adult they trust to get help in these situations.