Real-Time Apps Are Having Their Moment(s)

In March, Twitter introduced the live streaming video app Periscope and like Miley Cyrus, it came in like a wrecking ball. The app promises to broadcast live video from your mobile phone to your friends and the curious masses. Its debut has been a major success, breaking into the top 30 of iPhone app downloads—an exceptional accomplishment in the social media category. Its launch, however, may be the proverbial demolition notice for another. Meerkat, which launched only a few weeks before with enthusiastic reviews and a cascade of positive media, is most certainly going to have trouble competing with Periscope. Twitter has leveraged its extensive network to persuade celebrities and media companies alike to switch to Periscope, “almost to the point of stalking” as a recent TechCrunch article reported.[1] The dust has hardly settled and although Periscope has the spotlight right now, it could easily be the case that both apps fail to become a staple social media app on par with Vine or Snapchat. If one or both do succeed, it could create incredible opportunities for marketers to connect with audiences in real time. Imagine running a booth at a convention where you can start streaming live to crowds at the perfect moment, or instantly alert near-by customers of a flash sale, or expand the audience of a publicity stunt or public event. Whatever big idea you have, you can connect to a whole new audience in the moment. There’s no doubt that Twitter saw this potential and it’s probably why they were willing to shell out $100 million to acquire Periscope.[2] If they are able to get the critical mass they need, that price will look like a drop in the bucket of what Periscope is worth. Still, that’s a big if.   [1] http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/12/this-stream-aint-big-enough-for-the-both-of-us/#.pakfys:AjrE [2] http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/technology/tech-titans-bet-that-the-world-is-ready-for-the-streaming-selfie.html?_r=0

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