Periscope is an app by Twitter that, much like Twitter, you might wonder what it’s for and why you would want it. Simply put it allows you to see what friends who are broadcasting are seeing, and as far as I can tell from somewhat limited use, tell them to get to work and stop playing with Periscope.
Imagine Periscope as a webcam with a Twitter interface that allows people to interact with you sending love (hearts) by tapping, and telling you to drop your pants or show your bewbs. You can block those people.
What it’s extremely good at is just showing your friends what’s going on, or for those who can’t be at the music event of the year (Bonnaroo for us), you can watch people walking around the place and ask them to look at something if you want.
It starts seeming like it will be used as the ultimate slacker tool: “Hey you, go climb this beautiful path and sit and watch the sunset over the waterfall… yeah, I’ll paypal you some money to live stream it.”
I can think of uses for it though – while you’re broadcasting you’re also recording. You’ve got witnesses to any event you broadcast, and for me unfortunately a rather loud burp when I didn’t know it came with audio.
Encounters with law enforcement can be streamed live – which benefits both sides. We’ve seen that cameras work to lower incidents, the next level is live broadcasting. Or not – we’ll see I’m sure.
Periscope users can choose whether to make video live to the world, or keep it to only friends and family, which theoretically should be slightly fewer “show us yer bewbs” requests unless you’re in <insert state name with connotations of incestious familial relations here>.
The first misuses of Periscope (according to Wikipedia) were to live stream the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight and to stream Game of Thrones, but offending accounts can be terminated or sued for infringement, I’m sure the lawyers are all over that now.
Why you watch is up to you, and whether you feel like a donkey carrying all these viewers through your broadcast life being issued requests, that’s also up to you.
It’s an interesting app, it has incredible potential, I predict Periscope will be the source of most on the spot source footage for major events if anyone plays with it. Everyone is now a camera crew broadcasting live to the world.
The app on Android does have some issues as I discovered with my first couple of periscope runs – if you lose a WiFi connection and swap to another, the app tends to lose everyone, still claim it’s broadcasting, but it’s not.
I am currently watching someone at a Justin Bieber concert in Hong Kong broadcasting via Periscope as he attempted, and failed miserably, to rip off a t-shirt.
I chose the stream because it was the highest rated and then watched as fifteen seconds into viewing the Biebs unsuccessfully fought a shirt for twenty seconds. It was amazing.
There are other streams I’ve found of talk show hosts, some guy mumbling incoherently, and a wide variety of just interesting things that it feels like were made to be filmed by something like Google Glass.
Maybe the killer app for the Glass heads was just not there yet, because I think this is the app for it.
Anyway, it’s free, it’s neat, and you can follow me at nopking. I’ll probably have something interesting tomorrow as oddly, I’ve got a universal car mount that allows your cameras to remain free while window mounted in a car, or you can watch previous video of me walking around an office building or looking obscenely fat with an EVO 4G LTE’s front facing camera (man that thing is not forgiving).
It’s available for iOS and Android, and it’s bizarre how interesting it actually is.
Download: Google Play