Twitter Launches Live Streaming App Periscope

Interest has been building in new live streaming app, Periscope, ever since news broke weeks ago that it was acquired by Twitter.

When competitive live streaming app, Meerkat, stole everyone’s attention at SXSW, eyes were once again on Twitter and Periscope to see what they would bring to the table to compete with the latest social media darling.

Well, one thing Twitter has already done in response to Meerkat’s growing popularity is shut off access to Twitter’s social graph. That means users can no longer join Meerkat and immediately follow all of their Twitter connections, which was once possible in the very early days of Meerkat.

However, a move like that only serves to delay the inevitable. If Meerkat is going to catch on, it will grow with or without Twitter’s help. In order to truly halt the growth of Meerkat, Twitter has to create a better, and more compelling experience with Periscope.

Now that the app is finally available in the iOS App Store (sorry Android users, no app yet) we can see if Twitter has succeeded in delivering a superior live streaming experience.

Having used both, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned about each of them. Essentially they both offer the same service, they ability to broadcast live video to Twitter from your iPhone, but Periscope comes with a few more bells and whistles, so to speak.

Features Unique to Periscope

While videos broadcast on Meerkat are ephemeral (they aren’t stored online), videos broadcast on Periscope can be watched over and over again. Recorded videos also come with a recording of the live chat feed.

What happens on Periscope is confined to Periscope. This is the opposite of Meerkat’s motto, which is everything that happens on Meerkat happens on Twitter. When you make a comment on someone’s live video, it’s only shown in Periscope, not broadcast to your whole Twitter feed.

It’s much easier to find popular streams on Periscope compared to Meerkat. With Meerkat you’re limited to seeing videos from people you follow, on Periscope you get suggestions of popular videos to watch from people you don’t follow.

It’s pretty! There’s no question about it, Periscope is a whole lot nicer to look at. Although that may be a personal preference, and opinions may vary on this one.

Those are a few of the major differences I’ve found so far. I couldn’t think of a whole lot of things Meerkat has over Periscope, other than the fact it was first out of the gate and has more users at the moment. But history has shown that first to the market doesn’t always end up being the market leader.