App Spotlight: Periscope

From the moment Periscope was released from stores in March of 2015, it was an app that caught our eye, if not many others. The prominent live-streaming app has not even been around for a full year yet and it’s already made waves.

meerkat

From the start, the app was working off the back of Twitter, who bought the company right before it launched. Because of Twitter, Periscope was able to easily push aside their competitor Meerkat, another broadcasting app that had only been released a month before. After only four months, Periscope had accumulated 10 million users, whereas Meerkat only had 2 million. Despite the similarities of the two, Periscope is used more often because Meerkat doesn't hold your broadcasts for 24 hours and it also lacks browsing capabilities.

What makes us so interested about Periscope though is that we can view what is happening right now practically anywhere in the world. We can essentially visit a sunny beach in Florida on this cold, snowy day in Pennsylvania or cross the Atlantic see what people in Europe are doing. The map feature that makes this possible is also very easy to use and makes the options almost limitless.

Periscope adds another level to media and how we experience it. Some companies, like Kohl’s, are using Periscope on the red-carpet and in between breaks to give their viewers extra footage of their favorite celebrities and behind the scenes insight. Periscope is also good for ongoing journalism pieces. As said by Max Foster (a CNN correspondent) when he was covering the royal baby’s birth, “I was responding to the questions that people were asking and things that I wouldn't think to have covered.” Foster also said that the app helped bring an intimacy to his work that is usually one-sided.

Of course, there is always a downside with things. For Periscope, they are running into copyright and piracy issues. For example, people live-streamed the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, as well as other sport events – costing broadcasters money and viewers. This has brought upon a ban for live-streaming devices at NHL games, U.S. Open and more.

periscope app

However, Periscope is still developing strongly. Over the course of their year, Periscope has been making it easier for people to watch their broadcasts, which at first were only seeable for people who downloaded the app. But then Periscope introduced web profiles and playbacks for people who did not follow broadcasters but still wanted to see the content. And now, Periscope is fully integrated into the Twitter timeline, allowing multiple people access to these broadcasts without being forced to watch elsewhere.

In even more recent news, Periscope teamed up with GoPro. This partnership allowed for people to broadcast their adventures with their GoPro camera. This is also said to be a feature that will be used for the X-Games this year for fans.

At this point, it is hard to say if Periscope will last the likes of companies similar to Facebook. But nevertheless, Periscope has helped open up a world of possibilities for people to interact in real-time, and has helped showcase a way for people to experience everything differently. If anything, what the app has helped create will span into the future, even if Periscope itself is left behind.