JOE’s TechXplanation: Periscope App
Welcome to JOE’s weekly TechXplanation, where we take the most about talked about pieces of tech and y'know, give you the knowledge.
This week we’re taking a look at the latest card up Twitter’s very large sleeve - ‘Periscope’.
So what is it?
Periscope is a live-video streaming app that was created by developers Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein in 2014 and it was bought over by Twitter in early 2015 for a whopping $100 million. How’s that for a chunk of change?
The idea is that you can live-stream whatever it is your doing – whether you’re away on holidays, checking out a new museum or simply taking a sh*t. Probably best if you don’t live stream that last one.
Why is it in the news?
Periscope has been in the news for a number of reasons over the past week. Firstly, Twitter is really pushing the new app on celebrities and Twitter personalities to help boost the apps presence ahead of video-streaming rival, Meerkat.
It also got some great coverage during the Masters golf tournament recently, as both players and spectators were live-streaming the event, and The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that pirates were using Periscope to live-stream the leaked episodes from season five of Game of Thrones.
So it could potentially be used for the wrong reasons, as with any social medium.
Why should I be using it?
'CAUSE WE SAID SO… In all seriousness, Periscope explains it best over on their official website: “What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?
“It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video.”
Zero, zip, zilch, nada. Periscope is currently free over in the App Store. Unfortunately, it’s not available on Android just yet, but we can’t imagine that will stay that way for very long.
What’s the alternative?
There are two main competitors for Periscope. YouNow and Meerkat.
Meerkat, developed by a team of independent app developers, appears to be Periscope’s biggest rival at the moment. The app is free in the App Store, but like Periscope, it’s not available on Android just yet.
YouNow is probably the less known of the three apps, but to be fair, it’s currently the only one available on Android (as of April ’15). Like Periscope and Meerkat, the idea of YouNow is to stream live video of yourself or what you’re up to to the wider public.