The Light at the End of the Live Stream: Periscope, Meerkat, and the Opportunity Within
Some might say that the events leading up the meteoric rise of live streaming video platform Periscope paint a pretty picture for the future of live video streaming. Consider the following timeline:
March 9, 2015: Twitter announces that it has purchased live-video streaming mobile app company, Periscope, at a figure just south of $100 million — among the social media giant’s most expensive purchases.
March 13 - 17, 2015: Rival video-conferencing app Meerkat steals the show at the annual SXSW Interactive festival, with scores of tech early adopters using the app to stream live panels and talks from the conference in Austin.
April 30, 2015: Within just 10 days of the app's launch, Periscope hits one million downloads.
May 3, 2015: Periscope becomes the breakout star of the highly anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, raising its profile and alarm from the entertainment, sports, and media community.
June 2, 2015: In the latest move to dominate the live streaming space and capture additional fans, Periscope releases new geolocation and replay features for its iOS app.
June 13, 2015: Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton broadcasts her campaign kick-off over Periscope, cementing social media as a cornerstone of her bid.
In just several months' time, Periscope has gone from being merely a darling among tech’s early adopters, to taking a role in the hot seat for allegedly skirting cable authorities, to most recently becoming a mainstay for the 2016 Presidential race. And Twitter isn’t the only one making moves to stay ahead of the video revolution. Facebook acquired Oculus VR with a vision to create an immersive, video-centric platform. Instagram, once a photo-only app, added video posting capabilities, and Vine has been embraced by consumers and corporate brands alike despite its six second viewing limitation. The commotion is clearly indicative of one thing: Video is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication and is here to stay. A Cisco report predicted that by 2017, video will account for 30 percent of internet traffic and 70 percent of traffic on mobile devices.