Periscope, Twitter’s answer to live video streaming app Meerkat, is now available to all and based on early feedback, the service feels way more “complete” than the competition. Of course, that’s to be expected considering Twitter recently acquired the app company that silently built Periscope over the past year for a rumored $100 million while Meerkat was rushed out the door in a matter of months.
Much like Meerkat, Periscope allows Twitter users to view live streaming video from another user’s phone. The key different between the two is the fact that Periscope allows for replays. With Meerkat, if you don’t catch the stream live, you’re out of luck as it’s essentially lost forever.
Periscope also has another cool feature. During a live stream, viewers can tap the screen to send a virtual heart to the streamer. This shows up instantly on the streamer’s end as well as to the entire audience. It may sound annoying but this simple feature lets streamers know their video is being watched, enjoyed and appreciated.
I know what you’re probably thinking and you’d be correct. Both apps are ripe for abuse, just as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and virtually every other social network are.
In the earlier days of social media, many struggled with the purpose of a service like Facebook or Instagram. Do I really care what Bill had for breakfast or what song is at the top of Amy's playlist?
As it turns out, people are voyeurs by nature. If Twitch – a site where people watch other people play video games – can take off like it did, I see no reason why Periscope, Meerkat and what’s bound to be a slew of eventual competitors can’t do the same (perhaps even on a larger scale).
Sure, you’ll come across your fair share of boring and useless streams (like Bill and Amy) but given the sheer size of Twitter, there’s bound to be people in the middle of breaking news or those that want to share truly memorable moments in their lives as they unfold.
Periscope is only available for iOS as of writing (Android is coming soon).