Live streaming isn’t new, but it’s time in mainstream adoption might have arrived.
Periscope, which was bought by Twitter, is one of the live stream video apps that have popped up on the social media network scene this year. The other is Meerkat, which gained widespread awareness with early adopters at the South by Southwest Interactive festival in early March.
Rumors have it that Meerkat might be acquired by Facebook, which would certainly change the game again, though no one knows for sure.
In the meanwhile both apps, which were at first only available on the iPhone, are now available on both iOs and Android platforms. However, Periscope was first to market with its Andoid App.
Live Streaming Alternatives
As far back as 2007, there were a rash of live stream start ups, including UStream, LiveStream, Justin.tv (now Twitch.tv and owned by Amazon), and Bambuser. I can remember live streaming from my Blackberry on UStream in circa 2008.
Other alternatives include Skype, which allows private communication and group calls in the premium version, and Google+ Hangouts, which allows group broadcasts and automatically saves to YouTube if you set it up that way (On Air).
All of these live stream companies are still alive and well and can be considered great alternatives to both Periscope and Meerkat for certain uses. They certainly have a lot more features, including the ability to embed a broadcast in a webpage, save a broadcast and host of other things the new startups are many development cycles away from getting done.
The one thing the two new darlings DO have is community. Periscope and Meerkat are positioning themselves more as social networks than as live streaming services for video production. This will make them important to watch (and learn about) over the next year as more people adopt, or don't adopt them.
With more asynchronous video in social networks like Facebook and YouTube, along with the more trendy Snapchat, Vine and Instagram gaining popularity, it makes sense that live video would make a resurgence.
Which social network do you think will win out?
Next week we will look at tips for using Periscope and Meerkat.