Twitter’s Periscope App Makes You An Amateur Photo Journalist

The Periscope app was developed for smart phones, like IPhone and Android 4.4.

Periscope is a live streaming video app, available for most cell phones which allows you to video LIVE coverage of any activity where it can be viewed anywhere in the world by hundreds of viewers.  Just let others know of your live video time and they can tune in to watch the live broadcast.  You will need a Twitter account so sign up to get one now.  If you care about ending Mind Control, then you need to step up and do it.  Brave TI’s will be stepping up to make these videos so we need to support them by watching and commenting on them.  You know that the Internet trolls will be there, so we need to fight back. Also, live video will be a convenient way to have meetings or other get together events.

Periscope allows you to be your own LIVE broadcast journalist to video the police, activism, demonstrations or even how you make chocolate chip cookies.  You can see live comments from viewers in real time which you can talk about during the video.  Periscope can even be used to video conference meetings or any event with other Targeted Individuals.  The video will be LIVE AS IT HAPPENS and after that it will be on Twitters servers for 24 hours so you can download it during that time. After the live event, you can upload the video to YouTube or wherever.  There are no restrictions on who can watch the video which may be a concern to some.  But if activism is your goal, this is exactly what you need.  I predict this app will revolutionize the speed of activism making every demonstration a LIVE global event.  It just requires that you go out and make it happen.  Remember that your demonstration can be seen anywhere in the world and it’s LIVE as it is happening.  You can save a copy to your computer or set “AUTOSAVE” on.  You can be notified of a new live video from selected Twitter followers.  Make sure to download the video to your computer anytime within 24 hours or just auto save it to your cell phone  because after that it’s gone.  This is a very slick app and very easy to use so anyone can do it (REALLY).   Just give the video a title and a description, then press the button to make your event GO LIVE, so it’s as simple as that.  Your most difficult task will be finding a way to prop the phone up unless you hold it:)  I liked the following Wired Magazine article on Periscope so I reprinted it here.   Your can read more about Periscope or just download the app for your particular cell phone and get started making LIVE STREAMING VIDEOS!

 

Twitter’s Periscope App Lets You Livestream Your World

reprint of original wired magazine article by Date of original Publication: 03.26.15. Link to original article – http://www.wired.com/2015/03/periscope/
Periscopes Kayvon Beykpour, CEO & Co-Founder and Joe Bernstein, Co-Founder, photographed at their headquarters in San Francisco, CA, on March 25th, 2015. Christie Hemm Klok/WIRED

On Monday morning, I watched the Today Show. Not on TV, though, and not standing and screaming alongside middle-aged Texans in the vicious cold outside the show’s Rockefeller Center digs. My view was from the middle of the set, between two hulking broadcast cameras, as the three anchors wrapped up a segment. I don’t remember what they were talking about, only that as soon as they threw to commercial, I was suddenly walking up to Al Roker, the show’s anchor and weatherman and all-around hilariously weird dude. Just as he bent over to grab something from underneath the set’s table, a voice I couldn’t see said, “hey Al, say hi to Periscope.”

Roker looked directly at me, and smiled. “Heyyy, Periscope. How ya doing, Periscope?”

n a week of beta-testing Periscope, the live-streaming app that Twitter bought for a reported $100 millionearly this year and is officially launching today, I’ve seen a lot of crazy things. I’ve watched astronaut Chris Hadfield’s feet as he lay on the beach in Playa del Carmen. (He has a weird big toe.) I’ve gotten a tour of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s operating room. I’ve watched venture capitalist Megan Quinn wander around Croatia and attempt to pronounce the name of its capital, Zagreb. I’ve seen Tim Ferriss, he of the four-hour workweek and various other crazy self-hacks, show off his screwed-up shoulder, then go through the long regimen he’s using to help it heal. I’ve lounged inside the pit of an orchestra as a french horn tooted away. And I’ve absorbed hours of mundanity—the walking down the street, the dogs, the out-the-window shots of bridges and buildings—from the odd mix of Twitter employees, journalists, and celebrities (Tyra Banks!) allowed into the beta.

Like any good citizen of an app designed to stream quick and simple moments in our lives, I’ve also turned my phone’s rear camera into a window to my world. I walked upstream through the throngs of people heading to work in downtown New York City. I asked for commiseration as I walked the two blocks and six flights of stairs that I trekked back and forth, from my apartment to the car, as my girlfriend and I prepared to move out of New York City. I watched a delightfully gruff old man fix a pair of shoes, and a couple of strangers watched with me.

Periscope is consensual voyeurism. That’s not a new idea—millions use Twitch to watch other people play videogames, while YouTube, UStream, and a dozen others have tried to make businesses out of live-streaming video—but it feels like the right platform and the right time. We all have smartphones now, with good cameras and fast LTE connections. And we’re desperate for more unmediated access to the people we care about.

Any doubts about the demand for something like Periscope can be answered by looking at Meerkat, a live-streaming app that has, in the weeks since it launched, shown its users how cool it can be when people invite you into brief, almost always totally unstaged and unmediated moments in their lives. That’s what Periscope promises, too, plus the ability to put the viewer in the director’s chair and actually participate in the stream. It’s more immediate than Twitter, Instagram, even Snapchat. It’s life, right now, through anyone’s eyes I choose. It’s intoxicating.

Watch this

The idea for Periscope began in the summer of 2013, as Kayvon Beykpour was planning a trip to Istanbul. He’d quit his job at the education-tech giant Blackboard, which had acquired his startup more than four years earlier, and decided to travel the world.

Just before Beykpour left, however, protests broke out in Taksim Square—near the hotel he was scheduled to check into—and quickly turned from peaceful to violent. He dove into TV news and Twitter, trying to figure out if it was safe for him to go to Istanbul. But all he got were the craziest images, the most dramatic stories, not the answer to his real question: what’s actually going on outside my hotel? Is it safe? There are probably thousands of people with smartphones and high-speed connections in Taksim Square right now, he figured. Why couldn’t he see what they were seeing in real time?

He eventually made it to Istanbul, and came back with an idea. He and co-founder Joe Bernstein began to build the app that would become Periscope. After experimenting with a prototype that involved dropping a pin on a map and hoping someone replied with photos, the pair settled on creating a live-streaming app that would let you broadcast what you were seeing to anyone in the world, in real time.

Cooking lessons, live on PeriscopeClick to Open Overlay Gallery

The mechanics of Periscope are really simple: tap a button, and start streaming whatever your camera lens sees. Anyone who follows you gets a notification to tune in (you can also host a private broadcast for a few selected people), and they can watch in the app or any web browser. Some streamers are silent, others prefer to narrate the action. Some streams are selfies, which makes onlookers feel like they’re in a Baby Bjorn attached to the broadcaster’s chest, watching them talk down into the camera.

If that sounds a lot like Meerkat, that’s because it is, with a few key differences. Meerkat becomes useless as soon as a broadcast ends; there are no profiles, no timeline, no nothing outside of what’s live at this moment. Periscope is a much more complete experience. It’s better-looking, for one, with a super-clean interface, the Facebook to Meerkat’s flashing-neon MySpace. When you open up Periscope, you immediately see a grid of live broadcasts from people you’re following, and people Periscope thinks you might like to follow. Below the grid is a timeline of past broadcasts; one big advantage for Periscope over Meerkat is that it lets you save a stream for up to 24 hours when you’re finished, just like Snapchat Stories, so people won’t miss anything. User profiles don’t really exist right now, but Beykpour says Periscope is building them out. He keeps using Beyonce as an example, like: how cool will it be to go catch up on Beyonce’s spontaneous streams and behind-the-scenes footage?

If that sounds a lot like Meerkat, that’s because it is, with a few key differences. Meerkat becomes useless as soon as a broadcast ends; there are no profiles, no timeline, no nothing outside of what’s live at this moment. Periscope is a much more complete experience. It’s better-looking, for one, with a super-clean interface, the Facebook to Meerkat’s flashing-neon MySpace. When you open up Periscope, you immediately see a grid of live broadcasts from people you’re following, and people Periscope thinks you might like to follow. Below the grid is a timeline of past broadcasts; one big advantage for Periscope over Meerkat is that it lets you save a stream for up to 24 hours when you’re finished, just like Snapchat Stories, so people won’t miss anything. User profiles don’t really exist right now, but Beykpour says Periscope is building them out. He keeps using Beyonce as an example, like: how cool will it be to go catch up on Beyonce’s spontaneous streams and behind-the-scenes footage?

As you’re watching someone stream, you can leave comments, which the Broadcaster (in Periscope parlance) can see and respond to. This, Beykpour says, is the app’s real secret sauce. “The magic moment of Periscope is not when you see video for the first time,” he says. “Because you’ve experienced that before, whether it’s YouTube or another live broadcasting tool. The magic moment for Periscope is when you as viewer say something and you end up influencing the broadcast.” With most streaming apps, from Meerkat to Livestream, there’s a long gap between when something is captured and when it actually appears on your screen. It makes for awkward, asynchronous interactions, because one of you is way behind. Meerkat’s commenting feature is crushed by that latency, which never goes below about ten seconds and often goes much higher; Periscope worked to get streaming latency down to as little as two seconds, which means you really can converse with the broadcaster in real time.

That interaction isn’t just limited to text. If you like a Periscope broadcast, you don’t drop a solitary fav or thumbs-up. You mete out your approval with hearts, and you can do it over and over and over. And over. In one five-minute broadcast, I got 34 hearts from one person. (I love you too, whoever you are.) A performance from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus at Twitter’s offices received a constant stream of different-colored hearts on the bottom-right side of the screen throughout the whole performance. It’s a clever way to approximate cheering someone on, saying “you’re doing great!” while they perform.

“The hearts were born out of an observation that being on stage is just really hard,” Beykpour says. “It’s anxiety-inducing.” There’s a dopamine hit that comes from seeing the hearts on the screen as you broadcast, enticing you to keep going or do it again.

Periscope is all about the love: hearts are the service’s most visible number, measuring not just how many people like your broadcasts but how violently they like them. There’s even a list of the “Most Loved” users. #1 in the beta-tester group? Ryan Goodman, a design exec at Twitter. Mark Cuban, Tony Hawk, and Felicia Day are all in the top ten.

Coming to you live

Beykpour says he had no interest in selling Periscope when it started, or even as talks began with Twitter. But the union actually makes perfect sense. Twitter’s always been about immediacy, and Periscope removes even the tiny frictions found in character limits and empty text boxes. You don’t need to explain it, or capture it—just let people see what you’re seeing.

Starting a broadcast takes no time at allClick to Open Overlay Gallery

Beykpour assures me that Periscope is an independent entity within Twitter. It has its own team, its own app, even its own offices. The app does have some connection to its new parent, suggesting people for you to follow and (once it’s officially live) automatically tweeting to your followers whenever you start a stream. Then, whenever someone you follow starts broadcasting, you get a notification that they’re live. When you’re watching a broadcast, you can also quickly invite a few or all of your followers to watch with you; it’s the digital version of “get over here, you gotta see this!” There will be nice-looking Twitter cards for live broadcasts, too—being part of the Flock does have its perks.

Oddly, though, Periscope has fewer ties to Twitter than its main competitor. Before Twitter shut down its API access, Meerkat snagged huge growth by aping your entire network, following everyone in Meerkat you’ve followed on Twitter. Beykpour says Periscope intentionally doesn’t do that. “The visibility that you get is significant, but at the risk of being downright spammy,” he says. Push notifications are the whole reason an app like Periscope or Meerkat can work—they solve the synchronicity problem that killed apps like Justin.tv, because now I know immediately when you’re broadcasting—but if they’re not “a good push notification citizen,” Beykpour says, people will just turn them off. He’s not wrong: a lot of Meerkat users have already complained about its incredible notification spam. Periscope does have a bit of the same problem right now, though. I only follow a couple dozen people, and my phone’s already dinging constantly with that weird Periscope-y chirp.

Meerkat’s growth is hard to ignore: it was the darling of this year’s SXSW conference, and has raised $12 million to do exactly what Beykpour wants. Hell, their names even evoke the same thing: something sticking its funny-looking head up, looking around to see what’s going on. Periscope is in most ways a better app, but it does feel a bit a bit like déjà vu.

Late last week, for instance, I watched Jimmy Fallon rehearse his Tonight Show monologue. I was a little late to the party: by the time I got a Meerkat notification on my phone and started watching, Fallon was already in full swing. He was talking about Kevin Pillar, the Toronto Blue Jays outfielder who apparently sneezed so hard he strained a muscle and couldn’t play. “When asked about the injury,” Fallon said, “he hiccuped and passed away.” I laughed, the audience laughed. The joke worked. And he’d say it again later, this time in a suit and in front of a big blue curtain, on the show.

I get a heads up from Meerkat about Fallon’s monologue rehearsal almost every day now, because that’s what he uses. And I tap it, because I want to watch it regardless of Fallon’s chosen app. Meerkat’s already caught on with some important people, and Periscope isn’t so obviously better that it will destroy the competition on impact. Especially not when the the competition has a slight head start. For now, having both Periscope and Meerkat on your phone is easy enough, and as people continue to learn about live-streaming in general, each probably benefits from the other. But eventually, as the apps try to build larger and more exclusive social networks, it’s hard to imagine two live-streaming apps both winning out. Beykpour wasn’t first, but he thinks Periscope can be the last one standing.

He’s got time to figure it out. There’s a lot left to be perfected with the Periscope experience. The app has some basic content controls—you can block users, or report broadcasts for abuse—but it’s going to be an uphill battle to police live broadcasts that evaporate. And, at some point, it’s going to have to figure out how to make money. Beykpour says that’s the furthest thing from his mind right now, but it can’t be long before we’re watching sponsored stream of someone eating Taco Bell, right?

Well, at least—oh, hang on, sorry. This guy is singing in the subway station—he’s amazing, you gotta see this. I’ll be live in two seconds.

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