Periscope update adds functionality; illuminates shortcoming

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: The new global map of live streams inside the Periscope app shows more activity in Italy and Turkey than in the US.

The recent update of the Pericope app includes a map view which “lets users browse streams from specific locations around the world, selecting live broadcasts from different areas by zooming in on countries, cities, and towns,” according to the verge.com, explaining that: “Streamers will see their broadcasts appear automatically on the map view if they enable location data sharing in the app.”

But “beware streaming from home,” warns CNET, reporting that the app pinpoints your exact location.

The update “also makes replays available instantly, instead of requiring you to upload them after broadcasting, and will allow you to share the link to broadcast replays to Twitter, according to thenextweb.com, remembering that previously “it was incredibly difficult to find a stream you’d missed if you didn’t have the initial broadcast tweet.”

Other elements of the update “include an option for sharing a link to someone else’s broadcast, and localization in more languages, now up to a total of 29, reports appleinsider. That list includes English, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, French, Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese, according to pcmag.com.

This update is only available for iOS users, but should be available to Android users later this year, techcrunch reported.

Perhaps more importantly, Slate suggests that “the update offers a critical insight into Periscope’s bigger problem: There just aren’t that many people using it.”

Seen at the top of this post, a random sampling of screen grabs I saved late this morning (EDT) showed very little activity along the heavily populated northeast corridor of the US, but more action in places like Italy and Turkey, which is consistent with regional search interest recently indicated by Google Trends, illustrated below.

turkey

Twitter search results show dozens of links attached to streams which came from Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference in San Francisco Monday morning, while only a handful were ever visible on the map.

Alternatively, it is also possible broadcast without tweeting; so, we can’t really be sure of stream count through any means. But we also have no reason to expect that behavior would very across the map.

Upcoming posts will focus on recent upgrades to the Meerkat and Stre.am apps, and will also catch up with another alternative.

What have you been streaming?

Note: Your editor has been posting less while leading recent streaming video workshops for journalists in Philadelphia; last week with the reporting staff at WHYY and then during the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference, which brought 1,800 journalists to the city over the weekend. Check in for more activity over the coming days and weeks.

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Weekend reading: Latest reports on streaming video

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: I covered the Ride of Silence with Periscope earlier this week in Philadelphia.

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In concert: Periscope takes you to the show

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: I dropped in on live performances by The Who in Philadelphia, The Pixies in Cleveland and Hanson in Oklahoma, all within a few minutes Sunday night — thanks to Periscope users.

Not so long ago, you might have been escorted from the arena, or at least had your wrist slapped, had you raised a camera during a concert. But the popularity of smartphones changed everything.

And thanks now to the popularity of live-streaming mobile video applications, many of those smartphone users are streaming those concerts live.

A recent article from myfoxny.com asks “Is mobile streaming theft?” But one expert they cited concedes that trying to shut it down is “like playing Whack-a-Mole.”

And Periscope founder Kayvon Beykpour told local10.com that attention to the pirated streams was overblown, adding that: “Generally, there’s way more media attention than there is a problem”

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond even welcomed everyone watching on Periscope during a recent show, according to utsandiego.com.

And as I reported in an earlier post, Katy Perry says that when she sees phones: “that is the new applause.”

Want to learn more? The Wall Street Journal just published “Snapchat and Periscope: A Grown-Up’s Guide,” and Fortune has post on “How early adopters are using Meerkat and Periscope.”

How are you using them?

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Simple test shows Twitter activity related to live mobile video apps

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Above: I set up several search columns for the test video below.

Does anybody else remember when Twitter was so new that it felt as if you could read almost every tweet?

Well, now you can sometimes catch just about every tweet related to Periscope, which appears to be the most active live streaming mobile video platform on Twitter, based on my casual observations and a little crude testing.

But volume isn’t everything, as many Periscope-related tweets are posted in other languages and thus not equally valuable to English speakers. While I have no simple method to quantify them, it appears as if a lot of the messages are appearing in Arabic and Turkish, perhaps followed by Italian, French and Spanish.

Back to my test: At around 9 a.m. EDT Friday, I created Tweetdeck search columns for “periscope live,” “meerkat live” and “stre.am live,” and captured the activity. The time-lapse video below shows 10 minutes of tweets compressed into 30 seconds.

This crude experiment is consistent with my past observations over time as well, but it may be most important to note that even the busiest stream is not so busy.

Of course, users can also broadcast without tweeting — at lease on Periscope — but I haven’t discovered a method to search or coherently monitor those streams.

You can set up the Periscope app to send push alerts to your phone when a stream appears from someone you follow, but that practice has had limited value for me because I have found that even the most active newsies still stream other activity.

I should note that some tweets with the necessary keywords but no accompanying video link can also creep into these searches, but the volume appears to be quantitatively insignificant.

Finally, here is one place to start searching, albeit crude: This search widget, checks for all tweets including “periscope,” “meerkat” and “stream.am,” but in safe mode, excluding sensitive content and profanity:


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Weekend reading: Issues taking shape around live streaming video

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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Thursday night Periscopes, left to right above: I watched a parade in New Zealand marking the the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, checked out the view from the Philadelphia Police helicopter and watched as some guy chased wild turkeys around his yard.

The recent explosion in live streaming video emerged so quickly that you can still read almost every news media report, and I have organized many according to issue below.

Advertising and Marketing:
• Periscope Has More Repeat Users Than Meerkat – adweek.com
• Twitter Inc (TWTR) Periscope Service To Be A Major Ad Revenue Catalyst – bidnessetc.com
• Live-Stream Video Shows Big Potential For Content Marketers – mediapost.com
• Live Video Is The New Clickbait – TechCrunch

Business:
• 3 easy, enjoyable experiments CIOs could do with Meerkat or Periscope – itworldcanada.com
• Weekend Read: Do the Latest Live-Streaming Apps Make Sense for Business? – WSJ

Competition:
• Meerkat Beats Twitter’s Periscope To Android Launch – ubergizmo.com
• Twitter Is Winning The Live Streaming Battle – techcrunch.com
• Periscope Trumps Arch-Rival Meerkat In Tweets – mediapost.com

Critical concerns:
• All the Ways That Your Livefeed Is a Lie – gizmodo.com
• Up Periscope! Twitter’s live-streaming app is exciting us, but here’s how it could be better – The Guardian
• Periscope is ALREADY on its way to becoming a parent’s worst nightmare – Daily Mail
• Students voice concerns about live video streaming apps – usatoday.com

Education:
• Periscope vs. Meerkat for Education – Work in Progress – Education Week

Journalism:
• How social media livestreams will impact political journalism – Columbia Journalism Review
• Periscoping Nano News: Fairfax County, Va., Live Streams Press Conference on Escapee – emergencymgmt.com

Legal:
• Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope pose legal risks – computerworld.com
•What Does Periscope’s Live Mobile Streaming Mean to Media? – huffingtonpost.com
• Periscope’s piracy problems: HBO issues takedown notices after Twitter’s app used to broadcast Game of Thrones – dailymail.co.uk
• NFL Broadcast Copyrights Threatened By Periscope, Meerkat – CBS New York

Politics:
• New Periscope, Meerkat Apps Changing How You See Politics – abc6onyourside

Popularity:
• The 10 types of people you will see on Twitter’s Periscope – The Guardian
• 3 ways people are using Periscope app live-streaming – digitaljournal.com
• Meerkat, Periscope making live streaming ‘interesting again’ – cbc.ca
• What Periscope and Meerkat mean to our lives – livemint.com

Privacy:
• Periscope live streaming app raises new questions about privacy, citizen journalism – CBC News

Search:
• Up Periscope? Get ready for a new data overload – channel4.com
• How will we index and search live video streams? – ITProPortal.com

What will you be streaming this weekend? Please consider looping in @Streamalism when you tweet.

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