Social media has once again been turned up a notch with live-streaming available on Twitter. The app Periscope makes it possible to live stream video from a phone to anyone who desires to watch it. Periscope was unveiled on Thursday, but a similar app, Meerkat, has been available for a month, gaining massive popularity. However, it was blocked by Twitter when Periscope was released
After Meerkat gained 120,000 followers in only two weeks, Twitter blocked access to its social graph, likely because it had just purchased rival Periscope for around $100 million dollars and was put to work by live-streaming a video of a building collapse in New York on Thursday, with about 600 people tuning in to watch simultaneously. However, Meerkat had already raised 14 million dollars, and will likely keep a heavy following at least for a while.
There are several reasons why Periscope is so much more sophisticated in style and ability than Meerkat. While you can't yet access Periscope from an Android, instead only on an iPhone or PC, that feature is expected to be coming soon. However, when one considers the planning behind Periscope versus Meerkat, it's clear to see that the year-long venture of designing Periscope has significant advantages over what is said to have taken only eight weeks to build Meerkat.
One awesome feature of Periscope is that live-streaming can be recorded, and recordings can be viewed later -- a function currently not available on Meerkat. This is important for people who can't currently watch a live stream on Periscope but wish to view it later. However, Ben Rubin, founder of Meerkat, will likely add that feature to his venture as well. Rubin said his company is currently working to add video archiving to their capabilities.
While live-streaming has been available before, the difference with Periscope is that more people than ever have the capability of watching it with the extreme popularity of smartphones. This means Periscope has the ability to enhance or potentially replace how we view and perceive media coverage, currents events, and access to happenings in real time with no agenda other than to broadcast them.
In fact, with no slant involved, these apps could have impact on important events like the next presidential election, says Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to President Obama, according to The Huffington Post.
"This could do to television what blogs did to newspapers by removing many of the financial and structural advantages of legacy media institutions."