Let's Watch Paint Dry on Facebook Live

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Facebook is pouring millions of dollars and billions of user-minutes into its newest product: live video. The feature has already found a modest new audience for scientists and astronauts and a mega-huge one for viral watermelon exploders. Just yesterday, a Washington Post reporter used it to broadcast from within North Korea.

But those were all imperfect fits for the technology, at best. Now, we can use Facebook Live for its true purpose: watching paint dry.