Twitter officially released Periscope this morning, the live-streaming video app that the network purchased in January. Periscope is being widely hailed as the “Meerkat killer” but what does that mean? Is it true? And why should you care? Let’s take a look at the facts:
What Does Periscope Actually Do?
First of all, lets talk about what Periscope actually is and what it does.
Periscope streams live audio and video from a user’s mobile phone (still only available in iOS). This stream can be viewed, favorited, and commented on by other people with the link, which can be shared on Twitter directly from the app.
This functionality is very similar to Meerkat, which does the same thing, except for the fact that Periscope isn’t as tied to Twitter as Meerkat is. On Meerkat, any comment within the app is simultaneously published to Twitter. Periscope comments will remain within the app; a function of Twitter not wanting to sacrifice brand identity by over-saturating user feeds with Periscope comments.
Why Marketers Should Care
Live streaming is an emerging technology that is catching a lot of attention, and Meerkat, regardless of how long it can stick around now that Periscope is here, is a great example of that.
Use of Meerkat has grown like crazy over the last few weeks, picking up major steam at SXSW, but continuing to grow beyond that, hitting peak mentions of #Meerkat at 5,300 per hour on March 24th.
Meerkat has been used by some major players. Jimmy Fallon, who’s proven himself as the late-night social media king, has Meerkatted (that’s a verb I never thought I’d use) videos of his monologue to give his followers a free preview before his show.
The ability for brands to create an exclusive and real-time experiences that aren’t available after the fact is huge with streaming video, and provides an incentive for users to follow a brand, just to have access to the next live stream. There are bound to be some unique applications of this tech, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Periscope crushes Meerkat, or if there’s room for both.
Updated Daily Totals (3/1/2015):