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Can Periscope Dethrone Snapchat?

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Since being acquired by Twitter in a $100 million deal earlier this year, Periscope has become the most prominent live-streaming video app on the market, easily edging out its most direct competitor, Meerkat (with some help from their new benefactors). With that battle decisively won, who else will fall in the wake of this new social media progression? It could well be Snapchat.

Snapchat doesn't offer the same service as Periscope, you can host videos on there as well as pictures but rather than a live broadcast, all the content can only be used once before it vanishes forever. The popularity of Snapchat was the first demonstrable proof that social media is moving away from lasting content. Nobody is particularly interested in keeping content for longer than it is relevant.

It stretches even further than that, cloud technology has all but eliminated the need for 'storage' as we used to know it. Many people would now rather pay a fee for streaming access to music they don't technically own than just purchase individual albums for download. Live-streaming is a logical progression, and one that essentially invalidates Snapchat.

Appeal to young people is a huge factor in this, new trends quickly tire out if they continue to exist within the same app (and thus the same basic set of rules), they become too similar and end up gelling together into one amorphous lump of 'who cares'. Unlike Snapchat, Periscope has no limit on how long a video can be, so a 6 second clip of someone pouring milk over their knee (or whatever the kids are doing these days) is just as welcome as a lengthy feed of some live show.

Periscope also has an advantage in the ways it doesn't appeal to youth culture though. That might sound odd, but Snapchat's draw kind of begins and ends with light-hearted content, it's very difficult (though not impossible) to make any kind of serious point on the platform, whereas Periscope has huge journalistic and analytical appeal. It was particularly prominent during the Baltimore protests and riots following the police shooting of Freddie Gray.

Advertisers are equally drawn to the freedom offered by Periscope. Social media and app-based advertising can be, and often is, extremely limited and whilst that has created scope for some amazing outside-the-box thinking, it's made advertisers crave more open playgrounds all the more. Crossing the boundaries between what is appealing as a pass-time and what has a practical application is fast becoming paramount in the social media game and Periscope has far more longevity in that respect.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Can Periscope Dethrone Snapchat? Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, June 25, 2015 Rating: 5

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