Every evening, thousands of smartphones beep with this notification -“Dimple D’Souza is broadcasting on Bigo Live.”
Immediately, the owners of these smartphones swipe right to enter a live chat where a Chennai-based broadcaster is showing off her makeup skills in a lace black off-the-shoulder dress. As she talks, Dimple’s screen is flooded with instant messages from followers, who ply her with virtual gifts like roses and tiaras.
Dimple is a star on Bigo Live, a Singapore-based app, which is a cross between Snapchat (a messaging app that allows you to post short videos which disappear after 24 hours) and Periscope (Twitter’s live streaming video app where videos can be saved) for its live-streaming and multimedia messaging features. It’s just one of many live-streaming platforms that allow users to showcase their skills and make a quick buck from their fan base.
The app claims to have over 20 million registered users in India. Unlike YouTube, every user is both a broadcaster and follower. The more people you follow, the more followers you earn, who in turn gift you virtual stuff like a picture of a sports car, which can be exchanged for money.
Live streaming apps have also become a great marketing tool for automobiles and media brands.