AfreecaTV takes over the internet in South Korea

In South Korea, people have a more intimate relationship with the online media with the activities of online communities and individual users having a rather large effect on not only social matters but also on political and cultural issues. Even without undergoing an exhaustive study on South Koreans’ relationship with technology, as I go back and forth my home country and Europe, I am able to see the difference in just how wired people are at two different parts of the world. South Korea boasts the world’s fastest average internet connection speed, which allows the 92.4% of the total population that is connected to the internet experiment with any and all tools available to them in their area of interest.

Before the age of Facebook and Twitter, social media was already popular and a surge of user-generated contents took over the Internet several years before the rise of Youtube and forums. And now, the current trend among the digital users in South Korea is Afreeca TV, a  P2P technology-based video streaming service, where any user is able to create their own show and broadcast it live to an audience that is able to give immediate feedback in a realtime discussion board displayed on screen. The platform itself ranges anywhere from TV broadcasts, live video game broadcasts, artist performances and personal daily-life video blogs. Afreeca TV converges the traditional media of live TV broadcast with the Internet, as well as an online chat room that takes the general appearance and function of an already popular instant messaging mobile app, KakaoTalk. 

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 3.05.28 PM

A renowned chef giving realtime cooking lessons on Afreeca TV. A live chat discussion among the audience is displayed on screen. 

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1 Comment

  1. I heard about AfreecaTV for the first time a few months ago when I read an article about meokbang that’s why I couldn’t help reading your little post here. I think it’s a great channel because the content is created by ordinary people that’s why although it looks simple most of the time, it’s still very appealing. Maybe because you see that those people in front of you are not some cool celebrities but the same people like you who might turn out to be your neighbours. Also, I might be wrong here but, from what I read about meokbang, there’s a feature in the chat rooms which you can use for transferring money straight to the account of the person whose show you’re watching. Like, if you enjoy their show and want them to keep creating such content, you can support them financially. Personally, I believe that paying for what you enjoy watching is fair, especially when it’s not obligatory. I think there should be channels like AfreecaTV if not in every country then at least in America and Western Europe.

    Like

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