After acquiring live-streaming video service Periscope back in January, Twitter today officially launched the Periscope app, which aims to compete with newly popular apps like Meerkat in allowing users to instantly live-stream right from an iPhone (via The Verge).
In development for over a year, once a user syncs their Twitter account with Periscope, they can view a list of curated live feeds on the app's homepage and even replay streams that have since ended. Streams can be replayed up to 24 hours after ending, and broadcasters can opt-out of allowing users to view their stream after it's over.
That replay feature could be Periscope's killer feature over Meerkat, as The Verge points out, with the ability to browse old feeds and dig through current live streams resulting in "an app that can actually be browsed." Though working in tandem with one another after being installed, the Twitter and Periscope experiences will stay separate from one another, according to Periscope co-founder Kayvon Beykpour.
You won’t be able to launch Periscope directly from the Twitter app, at least not for a while. "We don’t think we need to start there," Beykpour says. "We think this deserves to be a separate experience indefinitely." Still, there’s a reason Twitter scooped up Periscope: Twitter is a mostly live experience, and so is its new broadcasting app. "We always thought that what we were building, if successful, could be a real-time visual pulse of what’s happening around the world," Beykpour says. The vision for Twitter is much the same.
Periscope also includes a few unique social aspects to live-streaming, including the ability for viewers to tap on the stream to send hearts to the broadcaster, showing up as tiny floating emoticons on the stream's lower-right corner for everyone watching the broadcast to see.
The more hearts on a video, the higher the stream climbs on the app's "Most Loved" list found on the front-end menu. This becomes a good measure for the crowd opinion on a current stream, according to Beykpour, who hopes the accessibility of the service propels it to be used by a vast audience and not just as "a tool for very few people."
Although largely in favor of Periscope, The Verge mentions that the push notifications become "out of control" for the live-streaming service, comparing the experience to "getting a push notification each time every single person you follow on Twitter tweeted."