Online streaming platforms and the social communities based around them are the newest forms of social media. They have become mediums for people to connect irrespective of their origins, which acts as a great form of social media. Streaming communities are friendly most of the time. Online streaming culture in the sub-continent is relatively new, especially in Pakistan. However, there is still hope that live streaming culture will grow its roots here and improve with time.
Online streaming is the simplest way of creating content on the internet right now as it is pretty common these days; anybody with a webcam, a good mic and a stable internet connection can stream their life stories on the web, streamers are gamers mostly who broadcast their gameplay and skills for an audience, or artists, athletes, and public figures trying to connect with their followers, the followers of certain streamers, thus, can create a social community amongst them, which results in a social circle of people who solely exist because a particular streamer decided to go live or simply stream; Online Streaming can be a source of entertainment on the internet. The other thing about online streaming is that it can serve as a source of earning for the streamer. One of the best things about online streaming is that it is convenient for both sides, the streamer can stream on for hours to generate revenue, and the viewer can join and exit the stream with ease,
Although streaming is yet to be accepted as a real profession by the masses. Streamers can earn from streaming through features like Super Chats, donations, memberships or revenue generated from ads. The former three options exist because of the Social Community built around a streamer's channel while the latter is from the site they stream their content at, the audience that watches them, and is known as their fandom, also plays a role in their earning through the features of tips or super chats as a token of appreciation towards the streamer and their services offered, on an average, ordinary western streamers make 253 USD or roughly 43194 PKR while big names like Ninja, Tfue and Pewdiepie make over 10 million USD monthly through ad revenues and generous tipping from their audience all over the world, an online social community built around a streamer is not aimed at a single group of people, most streaming communities have different kind of people from different countries and parts of the world creating a social community irrespective of their differences and background, this is how a simple streaming channel and a community based around it on YouTube, Facebook or Twitch connect people together providing a friendly environment for social interactions to take place and kill time. A Pakistani Musician and Streamer Sunny Khan Durrani, who goes by the online streaming username of "Azaad", has a channel on YouTube of the same name on which he often streams himself playing games and connects with his followers; his channel is a prime example of what a streaming community means. His audience consists of people from all over the subcontinent and other parts of the world as well, from Pakistan and India to the United Kingdom, showing how social communities of streamers can be so diverse and connected at the same time.
In the modern world, online streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch-tv are slowly and steadily taking away the spot of being the primary source of entertainment from traditional sources like television, or electronic media. Through online streaming platforms, individuals can showcase their talents to earn the appreciation they deserve, and such opportunities are scarce in Pakistan. However, the online streaming culture still has a long way to go, it still has its quirks and flaws, but hopefully, one day, online streaming will be accepted as a real profession by the masses and will receive the same kind of attention and importance as other mainstream forms of entertainment and work like web-shows and freelancing. Furthermore, the culture of forming social communities surrounding online live streaming will continue to improve and act as a safer alternative to social media and online social interactions.
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