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 A new livestreaming platform called YouNow has officially launched in the Middle East, and the app is now ‘live; in Dubai and the rest of the UAE.

Like the ever popular YouTube, the new platform is available through its website and mobile app, and enables real time interaction between broadcasters and their fans – but it also offers influencers the opportunity for revenue.

Audiences can actually decide to tip a musician for his lyrical talents or a beauty vlogger for her make-up tips. Users can also tip in exchange for extra features on the chatroom, such as highlighted comments or becoming a guest broadcaster.

The app is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

The Abdelaziz sisters, the Lebanese ‘Kardashians’, have already become significant ambassadors of YouNow, using the platform to broadcast topics such as fashion, beauty and fitness.

The new platform claims to host more than 100 million user sessions a month and 50,000 hours of live video every day, and says it is “one of the leading” livestreaming platforms in the world.

YouNow is backed by Oren Zeev, Venrock, Union Square Ventures, and Comcast Ventures.

“YouNow is an opportunity for the world to see what the Middle East has to offer. There is so much culture, art and diversity in the region and it will allow individuals to not only display their talents, but connect with fans from all over the world,” says Chereen Zaki, Arab Markets Manager of YouNow.

According to the app-maker, YouNow is a creative hub which facilitates live content creation from performers, celebrities, social influencers and brands; encouraging personal interaction with fans anywhere in the globe.

Among the other regional social ambassadors using and promoting the new platform is social networker and Saudi star Abdullah al-Hassan, aka Abodybad, who has racked up over 200,000 fans in a short amount of time.

Moving away from recorded short clips to live broadcasting, Abodybad has gained a legion of followers, keen to interact with him and see what content he will air next.

“YouNow has completely changed the way I use social media to communicate with my following. It has allowed me to be more creative with my content. But ultimately it has meant that I can connect with more people, build a more solid fan base and take advantage of more offers and deals that come my way,” Abodybad said.

In addition to one-on-one interaction, YouNow is an advertising-free platform, and instead favours a unique tipping system as a way of revenue and income for its broadcasters, the firm says.

“As far as I am aware we are the only social network out there that facilitates consumer-to-consumer payment. This means artists are given a good opportunity to earn a fair wage directly from fans who appreciate their skills. We have had broadcasters give up their everyday jobs to be a full-time YouNower because they are earning enough money to support themselves,” said Candace Tossas, Head of International Markets.

With over 70 per cent user engagement and 90 per cent mobile engagement, brands such as Coca Cola and Starbucks have also seen the benefit of the live broadcasting platform to target a 13-25 demographic.

Meanwhile the form adds that media companies such as Buzzfeed and MTV are using YouNow to live stream content that is compelling for a connected mobile audience.

To safeguard users, the YouNow site is heavily moderated to ensure no controversial, political or religious broadcasts are hosted.