Twitter Debuts Periscope to Rival Meerkat

Twitter is delving deep into the mobile video space with the launch of Periscope, a livestreaming audio and video tool that seeks to compete with the newly introduced Meerkat. How can marketers take advantage of the social platform’s newest release?

Periscope, which Twitter purchased in beta back in January, allows users to watch, broadcast, and comment on a video within the app, and further share the livestream on Twitter. For now, the free app is only available on iOS devices.


Periscope moves Twitter beyond its inherent and solitary constraints of 140 characters, text or image, to a platform that can be used more broadly, capturing moments of our real lives and transposing them across our digital lives,” says Anthony Risicato, chief strategy officer of Eyeview Digital.

The feature poses a direct threat to streaming app Meerkat, which was released two weeks prior to South by Southwest this year. Meerkat heavily depends on Twitter: It requires a Twitter login and works with the platform to help users find followers. Also, any engagement on Meerkat will be reflected in a user’s Twitter profile.

But compared to Meerkat, Periscope seems less dependent on Twitter, as the app is a standalone product for now, just like Twitter-owned Vine.

Twitter hasn’t disclosed how it plans to monetize Periscope, but Risicato predicts the app could help marketers push traditional video advertising strategy beyond pre-roll video ads.

“I would hope that we could move beyond the standard, ‘oh, it’s video, let’s just show some pre-roll’ type of thinking,” he says. “Periscope is a great opportunity for a return to a sponsored model, perhaps even a personalized sponsor model because of its connection to the individual and their tastes, likes, and wants. This fits perfectly with the personalization revolution we are now experiencing in marketing.”

The launch of Periscope came hot on the heels of a slew of Facebook’s new features released at the company’s F8 developer conference yesterday, one of which will allow users to embed Facebook video elsewhere online.

Why are these powerful social networks making such big moves in the video space? Risicato believes platforms like Twitter and Facebook are competing to set a foothold in the video space because technology has removed the historical limits of online sales attribution and enabled marketers to measure the impact of their video advertising.

“Real post-impression activity and purchase intent activity is now easily understood with video advertising,” he explains. “With that, you capture both ends of the value funnel: branding and sales; emotion and action.”

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