Twitter has launched Periscope, an app that lets users broadcast live video recorded on their smartphone directly to their followers on social media.
Today, Twitter launched its live streaming app Periscope that is Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, a similar live streaming app that took off at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference – SXSW in Texas, this month.
First, Twitter blocked Meerkat’s access to its social graph. Then it confirmed that it had purchased a startup named Periscope that was working on a competing app of the same name.
With Periscope, Twitter is offering a standalone app for anyone to broadcast themselves in actual real-time.
When a broadcast is live, followers can interact in real-time by commenting and sharing “hearts”. Once a broadcast is finished, it can be viewed for 24 hours as a “replay,” though it can be deleted immediately or saved for posterity to a user’s camera roll. There is also an option to automatically tweet a link to the broadcast when it starts, with viewers able to watch on Twitter’s website or within the Periscope app.
Periscope lets users easily stream footage from their devices to their followers. As soon as you start a broadcast an optional alert can be sent to all of your Twitter followers. They can then watch your video live, comment on it and send “hearts”. It is also possible to “lock” a broadcast so that only certain people are able to view it.
Periscope and Meerkat work in a similar way, but Twitter-owned Periscope is actually more independent from Twitter than Meerkat. Unlike Meerkat, where any Likes and comments are reflected on your Twitter profile, all the engagement on Periscope is kept within the app.
One of the biggest differences between these apps is the ability for users to replay streams on Periscope. Users can save their live streams and search for other recent broadcasts. Meerkat is ephemeral and live video disappears once you finish broadcasting. Both Meerkat and Periscope are pre-dated by other attempts at live-streaming apps, all of which fell by the wayside.
Although Meerkat already has a large user base of around 100,000 it is likely that Twitter can use the weight of its existing users to promote Periscope and gain dominance.
Currently Periscope is only available on iOS but an Android version will be released in coming months.
If you would like to download the Periscope app, click here.