Meerkat and Periscope are both tools trying to revolutionize the world of video broadcasting via streaming on social networks. While the first appeared a few weeks ago on Android, it’s only now that the second, owned by Twitter, has come on the scene. Periscope is now available on Android devices, with a new, more refined interface compared to Meerkat and with a couple of useful exclusive features. Exhibitionists and narcissists around the world: Congratulations!
Periscope turns out to be much easier to set up than Meerkat as it lets you login instantly with your Twitter account, which will also import the Periscope accounts of people you follow. In fact, your Twitter and Periscope profiles will have a lot in common, including your profile pic, description, contacts, and followers.
The app is divided into three sections. The main one is for broadcasts, whether from friends or strangers, which will appear in a list where you see the number of people viewing and the status of the broadcast. You can filter the list so it only shows your contacts, search for a particular user, or see the app’s most-viewed streams.
Once you’re in the video, the system is ‘cleaner’ than Meerkat’s, with a timeline showing comments on your stream (these are not redirected tweets), meaning if you write to someone during a stream you won’t muddle up your Twitter timeline. To let the broadcaster know you like the stream, you can tap the screen to send them an animation with a floating heart, a system that might be simple but gives the streamer an idea of how well the broadcast is going down.
In terms of doing your own broadcast, it will start instantly when you tap the button over the list of active channels, and the way it works is clear enough. You can pause the broadcast and resume it whenever you want or alternate between the front and back camera on your device by double-tapping the screen, while your follower stats and broadcast time will be logged to your account.
The broadcast quality is good enough to work with sound without noticeable cuts and with a delay of no more than five seconds. The system is currently saturated due to the flood of users trying it out, so you can only insert messages on videos with a lot of viewers. Otherwise, all indications point to the fact that its late arrival behind its main competitor does not spell failure. People just need to get used to this new mode of communication, or at least not get bored of it within a few months.