Twitter's flawless live-streaming app is the new Meerkat. Ahoy, Periscope!
We’ve been talking about Meerkat quite a bit lately. And no, not the animal, though we generally talk a lot about those too (SO CUTE)—the free live-streaming video app that has been taking over the Internet since its debut several weeks ago.
The reason for Meerkat’s popularity is that it enables you to stream live video through Twitter and share the link to your live-streaming with your followers: a simple, yet ingenious idea that is totally changing the way we tweet. From travel ventures to awesome concerts, you can share your experience with your followers as it’s happening. We can totally get behind that.
Once you authorize the app to access your Twitter account, and select who you want to follow, you’re pretty much all set to live-stream video from your Twitter account directly. You can watch and chat with your live-streaming friends, you can be notified when someone you’re following live-streams, and you can also see older archived videos of your followers. That, right there, is the game-changer.
“Unlike Meerkat, Periscope can save streams so that you can replay them later,” writes The Verge’s Casey Newtown. “It turns out to be Periscope’s killer feature — and the main reason that it’s likely to become my live-streaming platform of choice.”
So basically, Periscope has the same premise of Meerkat, but with an added advantage of archiving your old live-streams. Other things that people are raving about: Unlike Meerkat, there’s no 30-second delay. Also, Periscope provides data performance stats so you can get some live-streaming bragging rights.
Plus, there’s the fact that Twitter owns it. Much like the Twitter-owned Vine, Periscope is a separate app, but is funded by Twitter and has access to its technical support. Pretty big leg-up there, if you ask us.
An even bigger problem for Meerkat? It MAJORLY depends on Twitter. You log-in using Twitter, and all notifications have to do with your Twitter following. Now, Twitter has totally taken advantage of that dependency: it cut off Meerkat’s access to its social graph, meaning that when you download Meerkat, you can no longer automatically follow the people you’re following on Twitter, and you have to manually do it. Yeesh.
Twitter had been planning this live-streaming app since before Meerkat’s debut, but Meerkat’s popularity was impressive: in fact, according to the New York Times, just days after it was introduced, it “soared to become the 177th most downloaded app in the United States and the 22nd most popular social networking app.” That forced Twitter to make a big move—and it certainly has made it.
A Twitter spokesperson told Buzzfeed that the move is “consistent with our internal policy”—but we totally see what you’re doing, guys.
Right now, it looks like Periscope will only be available on iPhone and iPads—sorry, Droid users. But hopefully, it will be available for Androids soon. In the meantime, prepare for a totally new landscape on Twitter where “characters” are real live people doing real live things, all day, everyday. Oh Internet, you’re too much.