Online video has been around almost as long as the internet itself. However, in the early days, slow connections and huge video files just made online video impossible to watch. Many would have laughed at the mention of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Fast forward a few decades and we can see a strong rise in the online video, but more specifically the vlogging space – Youtube, Vine and Facebook.
In March 2015, Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage and announced Facebook is betting big on Video – how exactly, we have yet to find out. Currently, you cannot scroll your news feed without seeing a video that has been uploaded or shared, and most annoyingly, auto played – a feature that Facebook have added to video, as you scroll.
If you did not read my latest Newsletter, then you can read it here: Digital Newsletter. It gives you a quick overview of Meerkat and Periscope.
Meerkat was first to market with its innovative live streaming to Twitter at the SXSW (South by South West) event, one of the largest technology events around the World. People could live stream as they walked around and interacted at the event. It was not long before it had a large following.
Meerkat allows you as a user to stream your life, live. This allows people to watch what you are doing in real-time. Something that has been attempted before but had yet to meet the markets demand. Meerkat connects to your Twitter account and adds a link for your Twitter followers to watch you as you shop, eat, watch football, anything!
Yet, Meerkat decided to use dark tactics in acquiring new members, posting on peoples Twitter feeds and contacting friends, which broke the rules set by Twitter. Twitter was swiftly on the case and banned Meerkat’s access to the Twitter API.
No more than a few days later, Periscope emerged. Brought to the market by, non-other than Twitter. Reports say that Twitter did not actually build Periscope, but bought it back in January. Clearly seeing a marketing for live vlogging.
Periscope, similar to Meerkat, allows you to live video your life. With an overlaying chat interface and love hearts representing your popularity, it has a nice look and feel. I found myself in Cafe Nero watching a football match that was being shown through Periscope.
Periscope is growing as it is promoted vastly on Twitter and easy sign up using your Twitter account means you can find all your followers from Twitter on Periscope. It is yet to emerge how Periscope and Meerkat will monetise these apps, and if these apps will stand the test of time. One useful idea would be similar to Reddit’s ‘Ask me Anything’, in which celebrities could answer questions that are asked directly through the app.
I for one, see a big potential, not in Meerkat or Periscope, but in live vlogging itself. Video is on the comeback and is set to grow even bigger in 2015 – 2016. My personal tip would be to focus on video as a key resource for branding, messaging and communicating in the future.
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