Many people felt that Periscope is Twitter’s own Meerkat competitor, rumors that only gained more steam after Twitter pulled support for Meerkat.
Unlike Meerkat, where the livestream is dead once the user stops it, Periscope allows the livestreamed content to be replayed for 24 hours. Periscope users can connect the app with Twitter, where a link will be tweeted out when the stream starts. There are also privacy controls, which restrict the audience.
Viewers can comment on the livestream and send “hearts” if they enjoy the video. The hearts act as a ranking mechanism. If the video is public, the more hearts the stream gets, the higher it will be displayed in the “Most Loved,” list.
Periscope announced the launch in a blog post:
What excites us most about Periscope is the power of seeing something for yourself. We watched someone rise above the Sonoma valley in a hot air balloon; we witnessed “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” directly from Ferguson, Missouri, a terrifying fire that erupted in San Francisco’s Mission district and a live performance from a pianist who played any song requested from the audience.
We’ve always imagined Periscope as a visual pulse of what’s happening right now. Our friends at Twitter felt the same way, and in January we decided to work towards this vision together. We’ll continue building Periscope as a separate product, with a small team based in San Francisco. Twitter brings you closer to people, places, interests, and events in an experience that’s immediate, unfettered, and conversational. We think Periscope can help further that mission by giving people a way to share and experience the world around them, both near and far.
Readers: What do you think of Periscope?
Periscope is available today on iOS.