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YouTube co-founder launches live video app for celebrity chefs and foodies

Food porn and live video have been on every social network’s radar for a while now. The popularity of the former can be glimpsed in the countless #healthyeating images and videos available on Instagram, and the popular Web and TV shows dedicated to delicious food. Meanwhile, the high user engagement from live video has made it increasingly important to everyone from Twitter to Facebook.

Nom is an app that combines those two things to deliver a platform that can be used to create live streams from celebrity chefs, trending restaurants, and general users.

The startup is the brainchild of YouTube co-founder Steve Chen who created the company alongside another former alum of the Google-owned video service, Vijay Karunamurthy.

Related: New study reveals Instagramming your food makes it taste better

Together they envision Nom as “a community for food lovers to create, share, and watch their favorite stories in real-time.”

Building that community, however, won’t be easy. After all, the live-video sector is flooded with major players, including Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube, and Facebook. It has also seen its first casualty in Meerkat, the app that started the trend only to be overshadowed by its competitors. How exactly does Nom intend to beat those Web giants at their own game?

According to Chen, the new platform does have a couple of unique traits that distance it from its rivals, reports Business Insider. Firstly, its streamlined approach of targeting a single (if rather large) community — namely food lovers — means it can cater (no pun intended) its platform around that group’s interests.

Drawing inspiration from Slack, Nom boasts a stream of content (both live and pre-recorded) through its channels, which are run by a team. A quick glance at its content shows everything from upcoming live feeds based around food-oriented city guides to pre-recorded recipe videos for cupcakes and cocktails.

Users can interact with live videos by leaving comments, or simply hitting the heart like button (similar to Periscope), or additional “thumbs up” and “LOL” buttons. Viewers will also be able to share GIFs, notes and photos with broadcasters. Another technical advantage is Nom’s two-camera support for live video, meaning creators will have a bit more to play around with when it comes to recording their clips.

In terms of the celeb side of things, Nom boasts some famous broadcasters and backers. The app has already enlisted 3­-star Michelin chef Corey Lee, master sommelier Yoon Ha of Benu in San Francisco; pastry chef Joanne Chang; Tim Hollingsworth of Otium in downtown Los Angeles, Hubert Keller in Las Vegas; and Michael Tusk of Quince in San Francisco. Major live food events will also be broadcasted on the platform, including the 2016 James Beard Award Nominees. The startup’s famous investors include actor Jared Leto, and South Korean pop sensation Psy. Nom is available now on iOS and on the Web.