Everyone has them on their phones: grainy, blurred, completely unrecognizable shots of what looks like a band performing in some anonymous venue. Taking such shots — as horrible and completely useless as they may be — is a badge of honor. A way of saying, “Yes! I WAS at this Kanye show. Or was it Tegan and Sara? I can’t tell.” And now, thanks to a new app from YouTube, those who brag via photo will be able to keep on keeping on — even if they’re attending a show digitally.
YouTube has just rolled out a new app called Front Row in conjunction with Vivid LIVE, an annual music event held at Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid Sydney, the city’s annual festival of light, music and ideas. YouTube users will be able to watch performances live on YouTube and, if they like what they see, they can use a built-in camera app to zoom in and take snaps of the shows they’re watching. They can then apply filters to shots and share them via social networks. Basically, the app creates glorified screenshots.
Tuesday, Imogen Heap will perform live on YouTube (and at the fest) — future performances include The Temper Trap and Amon Tobin. You can check out the full lineup here.
The concept is certainly novel in some respects, but in others, it seems a little, well, useless. First of all, taking a photo at a show, as we have already said, is usually done as if to brag, “I was here!” Since viewers using Front Row are decidedly absent, would they really want to take a shot of an event they cannot physically attend and share it out to their friends? Why not just share the link to the stream if they’re keen on broadcasting their activity? That seems much more efficient and useful to their followers.
Secondly, if viewers are looking for a memento to remember what they just experienced (another reason one takes a photo), why not just nab the video after it’s archived on YouTube?
Still, the app is still very much in its infancy, so we’ll have to see what engagement levels are like after the fact.
What was the last show you shared via photo?
Image courtesy of Flickr, genericface