If you’re following social media trends then you’ll know that live streaming is having a moment right now. Social app Meerkat, which allows users to live stream video to their Twitter followers, has got tech nerds, content creators, and most importantly innocent civillians buzzing about the possibilities. There’s just one problem. The Meerkat team didn’t cut Twitter in on their idea, so the social network cut the app’s access to their platform.
Now Twitter is ready to strike back with an live streaming app of its own. As of today Twitter users can download Periscope, a live streaming service that allows you to stream video straight from your phone to your Twitter feed. If the talk on Twitter is to be believed, it’s already a hit with early adopters.
This isn’t the first go around for the live streaming fad. It was only a few years ago that YouTube stars like Shane Dawson could be found holding court in regular live stream sessions on sites like Stickam and BlogTV. In fact, YouTube gadget queen iJustine launched her online career on JustinTV, the self-styled “life-streaming” site that would one day evolve into gaming giant Twitch. What makes apps like Periscope and its competitors unique is that they’re designed for mobile. Live streaming used to mean sitting in front of a laptop taking questions from a chat feed or donning some fairly cumbersome camera gear, as Justin did, if you wanted to take your audience on the go.
True to its Twitter origins, Periscope will give users the ability to give users the ability to “like” other people’s video streams. Just like Twitter users might favorite particular posts that they enjoy, users on Periscope can like different parts of a video multiple times to show what sort of content they like. The app also includes a build in messaging feature to allow viewers and streamers to communicate directly. It’s still early days for mobile streaming apps, but enterprising content creators are already looking for ways to use the app to share more with fans.
It’s no surprise that Felicia Day and Steve Zaragoza are among the early adopters <center<
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) March 26, 2015
It’s not clear yet where this latest live streaming renaissance is heading. The last revival of the concept gave us Twitch, live stream gaming, and the rise of ESports. Mobile live streaming could lead to anything, but it’s likely to produce some intriguing content along the way.