By 27 March 2015 | Categories: news


Predicting the next big thing in social sharing is not exactly rocket science these days, with video sharing seemingly the clearest contender as the development to watch. In the wake of video streaming app’s Meerkat’s growing popularity, social media giant Twitter has announced a new app of its own, called Periscope. This enables users to broadcast live video footage from their mobile phone. Users can title their broadcast, as well as choose who can view it, thus sharing some videos privately with only family members, for example, while sharing other videos with a wider audience.

The company elaborated that while there are many ways to discover events and places, it realised there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around,” it continued.

You’re live in 3, 2...

In a statement, Twitter further asserted that most mobile broadcasting tools feel far from live, explaining that broadcasters on Periscope are directly connected to their audience, able to feel their presence and interact.

The free app though, is not just aimed at budding broadcasters, it is also geared at enticing armchair travellers (to our mind, still the best oxymoron we can think of). Twitter is promising that, with Periscope, users will be able to step into someone else’s shoes, “see what they see, hear what they hear, and hopefully feel what they feel.” Additionally, the company enthused that watching a broadcast isn’t a passive experience like television. On Periscope, viewers influence the broadcaster by sending messages, and can “express their love” by tapping the screen to send hearts (Periscope’s version of likes).

Come again

Additionally, broadcasts can be made available for replay, enabling an audience to watch them later; and the app further offers feedback, keeping track of how many hearts a broadcast receives from one’s followers. The only downer to the announcement is that the app, at present, seems to be iOS only. Sorry, Android users, it seems you have a bit of a wait ahead.

In our recent interview with Ali Jafari, the vice president of sales for Europe at Twitter, he noted that video sharing drove significantly high levels of engagement than their text only counterparts. This would seem to indicate that citizen broadcasting may well become the next big thing of a social-media obsessed culture. How will this affect traditional broadcasting channels? Well, it will certainly be interesting to see.  

However, Twitter has some serious competition, from the aforementioned Meerkat. At the same time the social media giant made its announcement, the also iOS-only Meerkat revealed it has secured a substantial $14 million (R154 million) investment, with much of this coming from Hollywood connections. We get the impression that securing top dog position as the go-to live video streaming app/service is going to be a street brawl of note. If only there was a way to capture it on video and share the contenders having at it...    


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