How Mobile App Developers are Making Livestreaming Take Off

November 28, 2016 - 3 minutes read


Livestreaming has had a rough road to the mainstream. Apps like Meerkat and Periscope have struggled to maintain consistent growth. Even when integrated with Facebook via Facebook Live, mainstream app users have generally been bewildered by the concept of livestreaming.

Part of the reason for that speed bump has been the constant pressure on app users to create content, be creative, and perform. NYC app developers have found wide success with user-generated content platforms — but the saturation of the market for such platforms leaves many users overwhelmed.

The answer to that problem isn’t going to be more exposure for social media users, and the latest generation of social media app developers is blazing a trail for apps that are semi-private and low-pressure — more like a house party than a cocktail party.

The latest sensation in this field is Houseparty, a livestreaming app that combines elements of Google Hangouts, Meerkat, and Skype to create a simple, fun livestreaming experience that’s taking off with younger millennial users. Unlike other livstreaming apps, there isn’t a presenter/observer relationship. The screen is split up so every person in the stream has a square, and there’s no entering/exiting function. When the app is on, you’re at the party. When it’s off, you’re not. That simple.

The idea is taking off, and Houseparty peaked at number three in the iOS app store last spring. It’s been a steady advance since then, and app developers are confident the product will continue to carve out a strong niche for itself. The on/off nature of the core value proposition makes it difficult for another social media giant to carve into the userbase themselves, since making a houseparty “feature” on Facebook would leave out the spontaneity and mobile-first approach that has made the app such a success.

For now, Houseparty is showing iPhone app developers how the livestreaming market can still be tapped, in spite of frustrations with slow growth outside early adaptors. Social media apps in general can sometimes benefit from the counter-intuitive strategy of allowing users to feel more private. When it comes to user-generated content, less is more.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,