Earlier today, to much fanfare and excitement, Periscope launched their long-awaited live streaming app for iOS. For those of you who are not familiar with Periscope, they were purchased in January by Twitter for an undisclosed amount (some have speculated the final price tag was between $75 and $120 million), and have joined what will undoubtedly become a crowded space as they compete with the recently-launched Meerkat.
As Periscope gained traction throughout the day, I sat down to watch a few streams, ranging from friends drinking their morning coffee to live streaming today’s Lufthansa press conference. I began to think about the role live streaming can play in journalism.
What we’re seeing is the latest salvo in the war for your device and your attention. Clear winners have emerged in the arena for short-form visual content (see Vine and Snapchat) and messaging (see WhatsApp). Even Facebook has jumped into this battle, first by separating their Messenger offering from the Facebook app, and by now giving businesses the ability to use the Messenger platform for customer service.
Live streaming has become part of our everyday experience, similar to how Facebook and Twitter became the defacto standard for sharing pictures or news about plane crashes, protests and politics. But where does it fit into journalism?