There's a chance if you've been hovering around the internet the past few weeks that you've heard the term "Periscope" being thrown around. But what the hell is it?
Periscope is a new live-streaming video app, taken under the wing of Twitter. It's tagline? "Explore the world through someone else's eyes". You may also have heard "Meerkat", too. That's another live video-streaming app and both are in competition for the market of live-streamers.
This article will be focusing on Periscope, but both apps are essentially the same, with the key difference being that Periscope streams are saved for up to 24 hours whereas Meerkat's aren't.
There's no surprise that Periscope follows a similar format to Twitter in that you can choose people to follow, view global streams like "trends" and stream video yourself. It has a relatively simple interface that allows you to quickly view live-streams and playback from those that you follow. You can shoot your own video using iPhone's and iPad's and have people watch through the app or Twitter.
When watching a stream, you can add comments and tap to deliver a little heart to show your appreciation. The live chat feature is a great way for the streamer to interact with the watchers, allowing them to ask questions and in some cases, throw some demands into the mix. No need to be rude, people!
At the moment, there's not much more to it. You can follow, watch, comment, and stream your own video with a few other features. I've no doubt it will be updated with some better functionality such as a stronger discovery tab in the coming months as more and more people download it.
Screenshots of the Periscope Introduction Pages
With the huge shift in how we consume content over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before we ventured into the world of live-streaming as we did texting and snapchatting. We no longer want to record a video and upload it. That takes too long, duh. We want to see someone else's world, right now. Though I do think the app is a great way to explore different parts of the globe and for users to see all different walks of life. It opens up a lot of new possibilities, from seeing someones day in a theme park to allowing journalists to get stories out immediately.
You'll need a Twitter account to use the app, which is no surprise since they bought it for a reported $50-$100 million at the start of the year.
To summarise, if Periscope heads in the same direction as Snapchat and Vine, I don't see it disappearing anytime soon. I have a feeling celebrities will start picking up the app to broadcast to their legions of fans who will do anything to get a glimpse at their idol, (because who doesn't want to watch Kim Kardashian eat breakfast?). There may be a live-streaming revolution on the horizon, we best get prepared.