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Live video to become the new 'selfie' by 2017

Gartner predicts strong upswing in popularity of user-generated live video

Live video to become the new 'selfie' by 2017
Gartner expects a noteworthy shift from static photos to video over the next four years

By 2017, live video broadcasting will become the new ‘selfie', meaning that product managers should begin creating visual strategies now to accommodate the trend, according to Gartner.

In a statement, Gartner said that video and visual technologies are becoming increasingly important for interacting with customers and each other. The research house said that it expects a noteworthy shift from static photos to video over the next four years, with live video becoming important as a medium.

"The next generation of consumer services and products has one main theme in common and that is video," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner.

"This means incorporating live video or other real-time technologies into products to engage users in live events and enable more personalised communications, providing better customer support, and offering best-of-breed video and TV experiences to connected homes."

Gartner said that there had been significant developments in 2014 alone. By the end of the year, according to the research house, more than a trillion photos will be taken, uploaded and shared daily. The sharp rise in the popularity of online photos shows no signs of slowing, Gartner said.

Gartner explained that, although live and user-generated video still less accessible than static photography, it is also growing in popularity. Beyond its potential to be a richer medium for self-expression, live video's use cases surpass what static images and pre-recorded video can accomplish, Gartner said. It can be used for remote monitoring (of a baby, or of the security of a company's premises), remote doctor-patient consultations and remote collaboration (via shared workspaces), and for improved customer service.

As live video technology becomes more accessible, Gartner predicted that it will appear in many contexts, from mobile apps for consumers to customer support services. To benefit, users will need robust bandwidth, devices and cameras, as well as apps and services that capitalise on video's communicative power.

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