There’s rarely something that comes along which you have a great feeling about from the moment it launches. Especially when it comes to apps. I’ve been lucky enough to have a very close experience with the growth of the app generation, having worked at Apple for 3 years during the birth of the App Store, and of course remaining in close connection through my own personal interests.
Unfortunately, I was about a year late to Twitter (almost 7 years ago to the date!), but I vividly remember having a conversation about Instagram on the day it was publicly released. I remember saying “this is gonna be something big one day. Especially considering how simple the design is.” Lo and behold, Instagram rocketed and Facebook ended up buying it. The rest is history.
Another great app that I’ve been watching closely from the very beginning is Vine. Interestingly, Vine uses a design pattern very similar to that of Instagram’s; proving how successful that style of app has become. Vine was actually acquired by Twitter in 2012 before it was publicly released, therefore formally telling the world “yes, this shit’s good and it’s here to stay.”
A little over a week ago, Twitter made another bold move and released another app they’d acquired, Periscope. For those who don’t know, Periscope is an app that allows people to broadcast live video from their mobile device to an audience of followers (read more about it on Medium). We all know how wildly popular Twitter has become with realtime updates. Well now we kind of have an equivalent in video form. In their own words, Periscope says “a picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around”.
I’ve had a Periscope account for a little while now and I’ve been watching what people are broadcasting and generally trying to get an idea of how this can best be used. Much the same with apps like Instagram when people first started using it, they posted terrible photos of anything just to say they were using it; people on Periscope seem to be doing similar things. “What’s in my fridge” seems to be a pretty popular starting point for a lot of broadcasters…
It’s only a matter of time until someone starts creating some original content that is perfect for the Periscope audience. One area that I feel will benefit hugely from Periscope, is the news and journalism. The way we consume news is so much faster than ever thanks to Twitter, but just imagine how much faster it will be if we can watch live events unfold unedited in video form from anyone in the world? This… is big news. Just imagine how much faster content could have been seen during something like the London Riots.
There is one area of periscope that is quite important. Each broadcast can be watched live or in catch-up mode for only 24 hours. The video is saved to the device of the original broadcaster, but for the audience, once it’s gone, it’s gone. I do wonder whether this might change in future releases of Periscope to enable a history of broadcasts, but then maybe that’s part of the beauty of the app itself? Similar to how Snapchat became so popular. I can’t decide on this yet.
I guess we’ll all have to just pay attention to Periscope and see what happens with it. For now, I’m extremely interested in it! You can find me on Periscope as @joeallam, maybe I’ll start broadcasting some things very soon!
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