I recently discovered YouNow through my 15-year-old son (@jettlifejoel, I beg you in advance to pardon his language). What exactly are kids doing on there, I asked? Nothing, he responded. Just being stupid and chatting with commenters. It seemed vacuous and terrifying.
But the more I learned, the more interested I became.
YouNow is like watching a live, streaming selfie. Millions of users create 50,000 hours of content per day. You can broadcast yourself at any time, and viewers can comment and ask questions in real time. It's currently overrun almost exclusively by bored Millennials, but it seems inevitable that the network has the potential to expand beyond the teen heartthrob genre.
The “guesting” function is what really made me think this was something I—and other bloggers—would use. When someone guests, the window turns into a split screen, and viewers can see the original broadcaster with their guest side by side. They can chat together, or answer viewer's questions. It immediately seemed like a great way to conduct interviews with designers, boutique owners, stylists, etc.
A quick perusal of the #makeup and #fashion hashtags makes it clear there is tons of room for new voices (and faces). The trick may be to find an engaging way to present fashion topics to a YouNow audience. Getting dressed live is tricky—but I can imagine broadcasting a styling session between a stylist and his or her client, or a shopping expedition.
A Slate article describes YouNow's unique appeal.
… YouNow broadcasts compete for the attention of the entire social network through a roiling leaderboard tacked to the side of the screen. When a Periscope user stops streaming, the screen goes black. When a YouNower signs off, her viewers are instantly pitched into a new stream, where a different broadcaster is challenged to charm the newcomers into sticking around.
Nearly three-quarters of the network's users are between 13 and 24 years old, and they broadcast more than 100 million sessions per month, 150,000 per day. It already has its first “stars.” Many, like @bruhitszach, have dropped out of high school to reap the monetary rewards of their YouNow stardom (users pay broadcasters by using real money to buy “bars” that go into virtual tip jars or become virtual gifts like a big thumbs up or heart-shaped fan mail).
Who will be the first breakout fashion YouNow star? The possibilities for style bloggers on the network are endless and untapped.