Techcrunch is reporting that Periscope now has 10 million registered users, just four months after launching. Whilst not all those with registered accounts are regular users, the staggering statistic that Periscope wants us to focus on is the amount of video (no less than 350,000 hours of it) that gets streamed everyday through the app.
As Periscope unveils it’s impressive metrics however, a new competitor steps into the live streaming ring, as Facebook announces that it will be opening up it’s own live broadcasting app, Facebook Live, to it’s Verified Profile users.
We’re excited to introduce a new way for you to connect and interact with your favorite public figures on Facebook — through live video. Starting today, public figures can share live video from Facebook Mentions, the app that makes it easy for athletes, musicians, politicians and other influencers to talk with their fans and each other. You can discover these live videos from public figures you follow in your News Feed. You can comment on, like or share the video while watching a live broadcast. You can also see when your friends or other public figures start watching. Live is an immersive and authentic way to connect with the public figures you care about, in real-time. If you don’t catch the live broadcast, you can also watch the video later on the public figure’s Page.
Whilst the broadcast facility was initially only available to celebrities, journalists are included in the newly expanded category of eligible users, opening up Live Streaming to use for news broadcasting and discussion. Live’s ‘watch it later if you don’t catch it now’ facility, makes this new app a little different from it’s existing competitors. Meerkat broadcasts can only be watched live before they disappear. Periscope streaming can only be watched for twenty four hours after broadcast. Facebook Live streams however are permanently saved, as Techcrunch reports;
At the end of the broadcast, Facebook Live streams are permanently saved as a video that people can watch, unlike Meerkat streams that disappear instantly and Periscopes that can only be replayed for 24 hours. That means Live not only drives real-time engagement, but also adds to Facebook’s exclusive video content trove that it can show in the feed to make lucrative video ads seem more natural there.
Also of interest to news platforms is The Guardian’s report that Facebook are building a new ‘standalone news application for mobile phones’;
The product, which is reportedly in “alpha” stage testing as part of the company’s Facebook for Business initiative, would allow users to follow specific topics and receive instant alerts of up to 100 characters of text when a breaking news event occurs. According to Business Insider, which first reported on the app’s existence, the new app will be a specifically broadcast-only experience, limiting the ability to create alerts to specific partnered companies. Nonetheless, the move shows Facebook squaring up to the competition from Twitter, which is generally perceived to have a strong lead in handling live events.