Meerkat who? Introducing Periscope

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  • Meerkat who? Introducing Periscope

    Periscope, acquired by Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) in January, lets users live broadcast from theirmobile devices. Sound familiar? It's comparable to Meerkat, which was a breakout hit at this year'sSXSW.

    Similar to Meerkat, users can live broadcast on Periscope by downloading the iOS app andconnecting through Twitter. Your followers get a push notification and can watch your livestream.

    Co-founder Kayvon Beykpour told CNNMoney he envisioned the app being used in a number ofscenarios: from live events and protests (think Ferguson) to more personal moments -- a baby's firststeps or a pet's burial.

    Related: The great tech debate: Are we in a bubble or not?

    Beykpour and his co-founder came up with the idea when contemplating whether to go forward witha planned trip to Istanbul during the 2013 protests.

    "I wanted to see a picture or a feed of what's happening on the street that my hotel is on," Beykpoursaid. "Joe [Bernstein, his co-founder] and I kept talking about how there's probably thousands ofpeople who walk by that street everyday with smartphones and high-speed network connections.Why isn't there a way for us to see what's happening right now, right there?"

    Their solution has more options than the current version of Meerkat.

    Periscope users can opt to share a stream publicly or only share with a select group of users. Theyalso have the option to live broadcast within the app or on Twitter. The app prompts users to sendhearts if they like what they're seeing and provides better options for discovering new streams.

    Related: 7 big changes coming to Facebook

    Since launching at the end of February, Meerkat has made a big splash with early tech adopters,attracting users like Jimmy Fallon and Snoop Dogg. Periscope, which launches out of beta Thursday,already has an assortment of beta users: from the Department of the Interior to celebrity chef MarioBatali.

    And while Meerkat may currently have the buzz, Periscope has one big advantage: full access toTwitter's social graph.

    This makes it easier for people to connect with their friends using the service. Meerkat initially had

  • access but it was quickly curtailed. Founder Ben Rubin told CNNMoney the move was "a speedbump," but says the company has plans to release a new discovery tool.

    While livestreaming is nothing new, better technology combined with the wide adoption of socialnetworks has created a new way for apps to take advantage.

    "Software and hardware is at a place where developers can do fantastic things," Beykpour said.

    CNNMoney (San Francisco) March 26, 2015: 11:14 AM ET

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/26/technology/periscope-livestream-twitter/index.html?section=money_smbusiness