I had mixed feelings when I was asked to try livestreaming on Bigo Live.
On one hand, I was giddy with excitement at the idea.
It’s the ultimate narcissist's dream to be able to talk and do anything (legal) under the sun and have random people listen to you.
But here’s the obvious problem: I’m not exactly near livestreamer material.
I’m just Guan Zhen; full-time Mothership writer, and part-time nervous, awkward sack of flesh.
Last I checked, watching me would be slightly less exciting than watching a coffee-high snail crawl across the pavement.
Despite those doubts, deep down I knew there was a first for everything. How would I know for sure until I took the first step?
For the uninitiated, In Bigo Live, users can stream to show their life moments, showcase their talents, and interact with anybody worldwide.
The app also has diverse features and functions. You could tune into others DJing via Bigo’s LiveHouse music function, watch people stream their games and even give or receive virtual gifts.
For the newbie, don’t worry too much about having to know all of these. All you really have to do is to just sign up for a Bigo account, and go live by pressing the middle button.
After a first test run without talking at all, I soon realised that I needed to interact with the audience for a truly fruitful experience, otherwise I would be the human form of watching paint dry.
I wanted to be seen as a friendly, approachable livestreamer, so began by greeting my audience. I started talking about my interests, mainly about drawings I’ve done, and what I like about drawing.
It felt super weird at first because it felt almost like speaking to myself or to the wall, but I tried to sound as genuine and as passionate as I could.
My efforts attracted some comments from a user, who asked me relevant and interesting questions about my drawing hobby.
My next and final livestream attempt was when I found the most success in terms of interactions with my viewers.
I made use of Bigo’s filters, which placed a cute virtual girl’s head on mine. It helped me feel a lot more at ease as I knew that strangers would be looking at the filter, not at my face.
As such I was able to speak more candidly than I did previously, sharing about my thoughts on life experiences, such as friendships and hardships.
I even touched on interesting topics, such as the fact that Singapore’s timezone had technically been shifted, and my theory was that it explains why I feel like time in Singapore is a lot faster than it should be.
My frank and open way of speaking attracted two users in particular, who commented at length while my livestream took place.
One of them even openly shared with me that he was currently recovering from dengue, to which I wished him well.
The other user commented throughout the livestream, and gave me plenty of “hearts” as well, something you can use to show your support to a particular livestreamer.
In all, my rookie efforts paid off. I earned a total of two beans, which is an in-app currency that can be exchanged for money.
Additionally, “beans” could be exchanged for real cash if you collect enough of them - for people to give me a bean despite not really knowing me was mind-blowing.
It shocked me that people liked what I was doing enough to watch me, despite the presence of other more established streamers on Bigo.
This was also in spite of several hiccups: I was nervous and rambly. My sound quality wasn’t great as I was filming in a sparsely furnished meeting room in my office.
However, thanks to Bigo’s algorithm, it makes it easy for people who may have randomly discovered newbie livestreamers like me by simply tapping a video thumbnail under your preferred category tab (nearby, popular, multi-guest, game, etc) and then scrolling up to find your preferred streamer.
For a rookie livestreamer, even without professional equipment and experience, Bigo has proven to be extremely helpful; if I were to go live on other platforms, it would have taken me a while to find new fans beyond my current network of family and friends.
But in this case, Bigo did the work for me, pushing my video to new viewers.
All I pretty much had to do was to go live and speak, and I found traction that I couldn’t believe someone like me would have received. I felt very rewarded with regard to my newfound popularity. How could it be that simple to build a fan base like that?
While not everyone of us may be able to earn money from the platform, the experience was fun and rewarding, in a way that I might not be able to feel from other streaming applications.
Even if you’re not big on livestreaming yourself, you can still find multiple ways to socialise with others on the platform, such as a chat system that allows users to reach each other and send messages.
There’s even a guild-like system called Bigo Family, for you to bond and make friends with other like minded individuals.
I discovered established streamers through the “popular” tab, and found it convenient to stop watching anytime I like to swipe to the next streamer. I was rewarded with gifts and items when I stayed to watch a particular streamer for some time.
So if you feel like livestreaming or watching livestreamers a shot, this might just be the app for you, and it also just might be your lucky break.
If I somehow managed to gain fans, you surely can too.
This sponsored article was brought to you by Bigo Live, who made the writer discover the fun side of livestreaming, without the fuss.