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Live streaming refers to online streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real time. It is often referred to simply as streaming, but this abbreviated term is ambiguous because "streaming" may refer to any media delivered and played back simultaneously without requiring a completely downloaded file. Non-live media such as video-on-demand, vlogs, and YouTube videos are technically streamed, but not live streamed.
Live stream services encompass a wide variety of topics, from social media to video games to professional sports. Platforms such as Facebook Live, Periscope, Kuaishou, Douyu, bilibili and 17 include the streaming of scheduled promotions and celebrity events as well as streaming between users, as in videotelephony. Sites such as Twitch have become popular outlets for watching people play video games, such as in esports, Let's Play-style gaming, or speedrunning. Live coverage of sporting events is a common application.
User interaction via chat rooms forms a major component of live streaming. Platforms often include the ability to talk to the broadcaster or participate in conversations in chat. An extreme example of viewer interfacing is the social experiment Twitch Plays Pokémon, where viewers collaborate to complete Pokémon games by typing in commands that correspond to controller inputs. Many chat rooms also consists of emotes which is another way to communicate to the live streamer.