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A Trip Around the World With Facebook Live

A quick journey via livestream

When the livestreaming app Periscope first appeared, I was in love. I even wrote about it for The Daily Dot, calling it “the closest we’ll get to spinning a globe and ending up exactly where our finger lands.” Since then, the livestreaming thing has taken off — mostly thanks to Facebook doubling down on its version, Facebook Live, which has quickly outgrown Periscope (and its unlucky predecessor, Meerkat).

Since then we’ve seen exploding watermelons, President Obama and a very happy lady in a Chewbacca mask — each a record-breaking moment in the history of livestreaming.

That’s cool and all, but what’s most fun about Facebook Live (which was also the most fun thing about Periscope when it launched) is the streamer with five viewers, 15 viewers — 75 viewers, even. It’s the livestreamer who doesn’t break a record, but is just putting it all out there. And while using Periscope felt like a random spin of the globe, I’ve now discovered Facebook Live Map, an evolving guidebook to what’s happening live on Facebook.

So I took a little trip.

I started on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, near where I actually live, and I found a man with one viewer…. fast asleep. He was snoring.

Was I that single viewer? Probably.

Further north, in Kennewick, Washington, I found a powerlifting competition. Here’s a 54-year-old named Mitch lifting 331 pounds.

Go Mitch!

Heading east, a Pee-Wee League football game in Mobile, Alabama.

I can’t tell if they won.

Outside Denver, Colorado, a woman named Katy and her friend Bryanna, selling pearl jewelry on their live feed.

Always show off your pearls with a fresh french manicure.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I watched a drag queen named Harmony Breeze apply her makeup.

Now this looks fun.

A girl yelped as she livestreamed her tattoo appointment in Houston, Texas.

She was screaming.

Teens in Colombia mugged for the livestream.

Yes, the guy in the back was about to take off his shirt, thanks for asking.

I caught a bit of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in the U.K.

Ready to take off.

In Taranto, on the heel of the boot that is Italy, three men caught a fish off the back of their boat.

Can someone identify this fish?

I kept a guy company while he smoked hookah in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Imagine this guy with a vape.

I watched a publication called АВТОгид broadcast from the award ceremony of what appeared to be a car-racing event in Kyrgyzstan.

Like the Olympics, but not.

I watched a beauty regimen in Bangkok.

Weirdly soothing.

And a woman sing karaoke in Thủ Dầu Một, Vietnam.

Whatever this all-in-one karaoke is? I want it.

In fact, there was a ton of karaoke out there. I found more in Ryuo, Japan.

He sounded good! Kind of!

I stumbled into some sort of conference, maybe, where they appeared to be selling this exercise bike, in Shenzhen, China.

Not gonna lie, this made me want the stationary bike.

And back again, across the ocean, to California — where someone was watching Judge Mathis in Fresno, CA.

It’s a little embarrassing how long I hung out in Fresno.