Last week, Twitter’s Live streaming application, Periscope became available on the Android Operating system, the App was previously a reserve of iOS users. Periscope was acquired and launched by Twitter in March with aim of competing with rival app Meerkat. Meerkat, was launched at the SXSW festival , which was the launching pad for other popular apps including Twitter and Foursquare and immediately went viral at the event with event goers sharing livestreams with their Twitter followers – a practice dubbed as ‘Meerkating’.
In a bid to improve the offering to the audience, a new update available on the iOS version of the application allows users to search broadcasters from an newly added Maps feature. The new view will allow the users to browse streams from specific locations around the world by selecting live broadcasts from different areas by zooming in on countries, cities and towns. Streams within the given location will automatically appear on the map view if the broadcaster has their location data sharing enabled.
An Android update of the same feature is set to roll-out in the coming weeks. This update is set to help the users find streams they want to watch and that are relevant to them. It however, presents an interesting problem for Periscope with regards to the privacy of the users as they will expose the current location of users. The new update also added 29 new languages besides adding a feature that makes video replays instantly available after a stream is finished.
Since launch, Periscope has been keen to cut Meerkat’s popularity, a move propagated by the addition of new features as well as Twitter’s action of cutting off Meerkat’s access to ts social graph, which allows users to “auto-follow”. Periscope has also been keen to cut latencies which are the delays between the broadcaster and the audience besides allowing users to save videos for later viewing a problem that has bogged Meerkat. Meerkat has since taken to Facebook for its integration besides launching its API, in a move aimed at attracting developers on to the service.