After selfie became the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013, some analysts think the next stage in the social media revolution is video. Welcome to Big Brother, the voluntary version.
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“LiveLens is a platform to broadcast live from your phone," says CEO Max Bluvband. "One of the main things it can do is to charge money, up to $10 per user. A man can generate a live broadcast and make real money on it, much more than clicks from ads on YouTube, which are worth 2-3 cents per click. We have the possibility of a cup for tips, if someone wants to voluntarily pay for the broadcast."
Bluvband thinks the app may change live broadcasting entirely: no filters or editing. “LiveLens can replace the traditional broadcast a little like the way Instagram supplanted the professional photographer,” says Bluvband. “You can broadcast directly to Facebook and your friends, or make a link for sharing. But the main thing is that LiveLens is a social network in which you follow other content creators and receive notifications when something happens."
The CEO foresees the product appealing to everyone from parents filming their little snowflakes playing piano to music bands. Bluvband speculates that fans will be willing to pay a little to see their favorite musicians jam.
He also notes that journalists will be able to broadcast live from press conferences to their website, which his company has already done.
While the app could have darker uses, Bluvband insists pornography and sex won't be live on LiveLens. “It’s not the app’s goal, and if you are familiar with Google and Apple, you know they don’t allow it,” he says.
LiveLens is a free app for Android and the iPhone. The company, founded in early 2013, employs seven people and has so far raised $2.5 million from private investors. It has competition in the likes of Realify, Yevvo and mobli, as well as Israeli startups Justin.tv and Ustream. That said, LiveLens has just announced expansion from smartphones to Google Glass as well.