Three for Thursday: Trending Now – Livestreaming Apps

All the early adopters are talking about one thing these days. Livestreaming mobile apps. Meerkat launched first and was the talk of South by Southwest, the annual music, tech, and culture festival held in Austin. Just weeks later, Twitter launched its own livestreaming app, Periscope. As this article points out, “livestreaming isn’t new, but broadcasting video from smartphone to your Twitter feed is…” Are these apps useful for your business or just the latest social media darlings? Let’s find out in today’s Three for Thursday.

  • Periscope
    Twitter’s iOS app Periscope launched March 26. The app streams live audio and video from your iPhone. The stream can be viewed and commented on, and a link to the livestream can be shared on Twitter. Periscope broadcasts can be watched for up to 24 hours and all engagement stays within the app. You also have the option to create private streams.

    According to AdWeek, Periscope is “more developed and further along in terms of available features.” Also, the app could have “bigger implications for marketers given Twitter’s interest in video advertising.” How one company is using livestreaming: AOL’s CEO used Periscope to broadcast an internal company meeting.

  • Meerkat
    Meerkat is another free iOS app that lets you stream live audio and video from your iPhone. The stream can be viewed by anyone that follows you on Twitter and the video disappears once it’s over. With Meerkat, you can schedule a stream for a later time and anyone following you through Meerkat will get a notification. One issue reported by most observers is that Meerkat is almost “completely reliant on Twitter integration to operate.” And Twitter has shut off Meerkat’s ability to show new users “which of their Twitter followers also use the video sharing service.” For a full comparison, take a look at this overview from Tom’s Guide.
  • Google Hangouts on Air
    Forbes’ Gene Miller offers this perspective that Meerkat and Periscope are not business tools. And they “are certainly not in the same league as Google Hangouts on Air.” With Google Hangouts, you can do the same thing as you would on Periscope or Meerkat but with much more sophistication. Because Google owns YouTube, you can stream your broadcast live to YouTube, save it, and then promote the video for later viewing. The Hangout can be scheduled, promoted, and can host up to 10 people in a conversation.

So what does all this mean for your business? If you want to try one of the new livestreaming apps, Periscope appears to be the better supported option. So far it has been used mostly by journalists to preview their broadcasts, but it could be used to broadcast a live view of new office space to your team. The stream can be private and used to gather other viewer’s comments on the property. Google Hangouts on Air would be better used to demo a product, conduct a webinar, or broadcast a meeting.

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