YouNow Launches in the Middle East

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Live streaming platform YouNow has officially launched in the Middle East and aims to 'change the way people interact online'.

The website and mobile app enables real time interaction between broadcasters and their fans, while also offering influencers the opportunity for revenue.

With over 100 million user sessions per month and 150,000 hours of live video consumed every day, YouNow is a creative hub which facilitates live content creation from performers, celebrities, social influencers and brands.

Arab Markets Manager, Chereen Zaki, said: “YouNow is an opportunity for the world to see what the Middle East has to offer. There is so much culture, art and diversity in the region and it will allow individuals to not only display their talents, but connect with fans from all over the world.”

Lebanon’s answer to the Kardashians, the Abdelaziz sisters, have already become ambassadors of YouNow, using the platform to broadcast topics such as fashion, beauty and fitness.

Additionally, keen social networker and Saudi star Abdullah al-Hassan, aka Abodybad, has racked up over 200k fans in a short amount of time. Moving away from recorded short clips to live broadcasting, he has gained a legion of followers, keen to interact with him and see what content he will air next.

YouNow has completely changed the way I use social media to communicate with my following,” he said. “It has allowed me to be more creative with my content. But ultimately it has meant that I can connect with more people, build a more solid fan base and take advantage of more offers and deals that come my way.”

In addition to one-on-one interaction, YouNow is an advertising-free platform, and instead favours a 'tipping' system as a way to generate revenue and income for its broadcasters. For instance, audiences may decide to tip a musician for his lyrical talents or a beauty vlogger for her make-up tips. Users can also tip in exchange for extra features on the chat room such as highlighted comments or becoming a guest broadcaster.

“As far as I am aware we are the only social network out there that facilitates consumer-to-consumer payment,” said Candace Tossas, Head of International Markets. “This means artists are given a good opportunity to earn a fair wage directly from fans who appreciate their skills. We have had broadcasters give up their everyday jobs to be a full-time YouNower because they are earning enough money to support themselves.

“Brands such as Coca Cola and Starbucks have also seen the benefit of the live broadcasting platform to target a 13-25 demographic, meanwhile media companies such as Buzzfeed and MTV are using YouNow to live stream for a connected mobile audience.”