March is the month of new beginnings. Aside from the first glimpses of Spring and all the clichés that come with it, it is also the time for new technology. This month we finally saw the unveiling of the Apple Watch and a new MacBook, Samsung confirmed the release date of the Galaxy S6 and there were new apps on the market. It was the latter that really got us excited, so I decided to experiment with Twitter’s new live-streaming video app, Periscope.
What is it?
This app allows the user to watch and broadcast live video from all over the world, and although it is still in its very early stages of development it is pretty impressive. You might have heard about Meerkat, which is also a live streaming app, but Periscope differs slightly as it allows the user to save the broadcast once they have viewed it. Frustratingly Meerkat’s video disappears once you have viewed it.
How does it work?
Currently it is only compatible with iOS, so videos can be shot through the app using an iPhone or iPad. Once you have given the app permission to access your camera, microphone and location the user can start the streaming process.
Is it easy to use?
My first impressions of the app were that it is very easy to use. The sign up process was quick and straight forward, with many similarities to Twitter’s own sign up method, including suggestions of which accounts to follow. Once you are set up I would advise that you enable notifications so that you can keep up with which accounts are streaming video.
When I first heard about Periscope I thought that my 3G would not be able to handle the live streaming, but I was pleasantly surprised when I started watching the videos. It was slightly surreal at first, for example Mashable took me on a tour of a conference they were attending and then I was on a bike ride with Twitter’s Joanna Geary.
The app also clearly shows who is watching the video and allows users to send the streamer a comment so that they can start a conversation. I did notice that when a video had many viewers the comments were disabled but maybe this will be changed with later versions?
Who is using it?
Everybody! Okay, maybe not quite, but there has been a lot of hype surrounding this app so I predict that it will only be a matter of time before everybody has it. I would definitely recommend following Mashable as they have been streaming video frequently. For example, earlier I watched one of their staff play ‘What’s in the Box…?’