Heard of the app Periscope? It’s pretty ridiculous. Periscope let’s you watch (and make) live streams and interact with people from all over the world. For some reason, I’ve found it’s especially popular with Russian, Turkish and Arabic speakers.. they poppin’ up everywhere on the map.
Periscope says they came up with the idea for their app by asking questions like, “What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?” Once you open the app, you can go to the world map and click to watch any live streams being broadcast from all over the world. It’s pretty cool.
Although it’s a cool idea, a majority of streams aren’t as riveting as that sunrise in a hot air balloon might be. Lots of people just stream videos saying “I’m bored, talk to me.” That’s fine, but I guess they won’t be getting lots of followers. Other periscopers have a large following because they’re fun or interesting to watch. One periscoper called Syria View, run by a news network based in Damscus, has over 2 million followers. It’s always in Arabic, so I don’t understand what’s going on when I watch their streams, but obviously people are interested in what they have to say, because of the civil war in Syria. I have to wonder about this news network though, because there are no other periscopers from Syria. My guess is that that news station has special permission from the government to use the app, because the video viewing and streaming is currently blocked for civilians. Probably some of what that network is saying is at least a little bit biased anyway.
Anyway, that to say, with this cool idea there are pros and cons.
Pro – the possibility of being able to hear what is going on all around the world straight from the people who are there
Con – doesn’t always live up to the ideal, not to mention it might be a little uncanny if you’re the one broadcasting your location and activity to the world.