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Selfies for Singers, Coming to YouTube

You sound great, you look great -- share.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Sure, you sound great when you’re singing in the shower. And your Blue Steel is pretty sweet, too.

But what if you could combine both of those skills, in one video — and then post it to YouTube?

This is the premise, sort of, of an updated version of StarMaker, a popular karaoke app: Now when you sing along with Rihanna, you can record what you look like doing it, and share it on the world’s biggest video site. You can see what that looks like here:

StarMaker’s parent company makes a similar app for NBC’s “The Voice.”* And company officials figured that between the two apps, which have been downloaded 20 million times, it would generate so much new video for YouTube that it would need special help from the site to handle the deluge of uploads.

Perhaps that’s wishful thinking — after all, YouTube already handles 100 hours of new video every minute. But it is a good reminder that even though the site has pushed to bring in more “professional” content, YouTube remains a place where lots of people are happy to make their own stuff — and other people may even watch it.

If YouTube ends up buying Twitch, the service that lets gamers watch other gamers playing games, that will be another reminder. Speaking of that: What happened to that deal?

*NBC parent company NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Revere Digital, the parent company of Re/code.

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