Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Live.ly up your online life with new challenge to Periscope

Katie Wright tunes into the new kid on the live-streaming block

Published 09/07/2016

Chart topper: Live.ly is popular in the UK and allows you to broadcast live on the internet and follow other users
Chart topper: Live.ly is popular in the UK and allows you to broadcast live on the internet and follow other users

The already overcrowded live-streaming battlefield has just got a whole lot busier, with the sudden emergence of Live.ly, which has shot to the top spot in the US iPhone download charts just a week after it hit the App Store.

It's proving extremely popular in the UK, too, currently sitting at eighth in the free downloads chart top 10, sandwiched between YouTube and iMovie.

Similar to Periscope, the app is described as a video social network, allowing you to broadcast live on the internet and follow other users.

But with lots of live-streaming services already available, why has the new platform racked up 500,000 downloads in a week?

Live.ly is, in part, piggybacking off the success of parent app Musical.ly, the two-year-old app that has 95 million active users worldwide - more than both Dubsmash and Vine.

Its mostly teen users post 15-second videos of themselves lip-syncing, or dancing, to songs. Cute animal videos are popular, too.

Based in Shanghai, the app has birthed its own breakout star, 13-year-old Jacob Sartorius, who started with 900,000 followers on Vine, but grew his fan base to more than 7.5 million with lip-syncing videos on Musical.ly and subsequently released a single in the US charts called Sweatshirt.

At VidCon, where Live.ly was announced in mid-June, a planned Sartorius live performance had to be cancelled because the venue couldn't cope with the thousands of fans who turned up to see the baby-faced singer. Musical.ly CEO Alex Zhu has set his sights set on the streaming market - so, should competitors be quaking in their digital boots? In short, yes - particularly Periscope.

Facebook won't be worried, because most people only allow friends and family access to Facebook Live videos (unless it's a public figure with a fan page), whereas Live.ly is for following people you don't necessarily know in real life.

Millennial-favourite blogging site Tumblr has just unveiled live-streaming capabilities as well, but since it's via a series of third-party apps, sign-ups will be divided among them rather than creating one Goliath. If more of Musical.ly's vast user base sign up to the offshoot and Live.ly's ferocious first-week growth continues, it could quickly overtake Twitter-owned Periscope, which hit 10 million users in December last year.

Whatever happens, one thing's for sure: the race for live-stream domination is well and truly on.

Belfast Telegraph

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