Everyone is a “journalist”nowadays, or so they say. Nowadays, anyone can blog, anyone can post anything that the public can see, anyone can record a video and upload it to YouTube. It can be good for information, but it can be bad if it’s used to defame someone.
Periscope, an app released by Twitter, lets you broadcast an event in front of you live with just your phone (iOS only at the moment, but coming to Android). This concept is not new, obviously, but seeing how it integrates seamlessly with Twitter is good news on itself. You also don’t have to speak or be in front of the camera, but you can “report” what’s happening in front of you live, just by pointing your phone’s camera around.
You can also follow the people you are following on Twitter and see their live broadcast. And when they do, you can choose to be notified, which is a nice feature. Just make sure you follow the right people, or you’ll be bugged with silly, boring broadcasts about their cats.
The good thing about Periscope
With Twitter’s popularity, we normally get up-to-date news even before the official media crew arrives at the scene. Simply by following a hashtag, you’ll constantly get updated info and all the related conversations as quick as seconds. With Periscope, anyone with the app installed can now even broadcast the event live in front of your eyes. Previously broadcasted videos can be archived and viewed later, in case you missed it.
Bloggers and tech journalists can also use Periscope to cover live events such as a product launch – which I may use some time in the future (make sure to follow my Twitter account). You can also comment on a live broadcast or ask questions – which the broadcaster can then reply or adjust the broadcast to give you an answer. This can be handy if the broadcaster is the sole person who get access to a newly-launched device, say. Or if an accident happens.
Was watching this earlier today. As it’s happening live, it did feel different compared to watching the news.
The bad thing about Periscope
The most obvious one would be privacy. As anyone can broadcast everything live, they may record things that are not supposed to be shared to public. Or if someone is not supposed to be at a certain place (i.e calling in sick and then the boss catches you on a live broadcast?), or you know, when someone makes a mistake and then people are raving about it.
It may also create emotional distress or other issues. Imagine if Periscope was released back in the day during September 11 attacks? I probably wouldn’t want to watch some of the things happening during that day… you get my point. There are reasons why the media censored photos and all that.
Or the tweet when Osama Bin Laden’s compound was about to be attacked. If the citizen had the Periscope, they would happily be telling intel about how many choppers were coming, etc.
Then, there are just lots of people seeking attentions, or broadcasting stupid things like what’s inside their fridge and stuff. Oh well.
Periscope will be a powerful tool, but in a sense, it can also be a double-edge sword. What do you think?