Periscope App Signals End Of Journalism

Periscope, if you haven't already heard, is Twitter's new livestreaming video app that shoots live video and audio from a user's smartphone and broadcasts it to the world from Twitter's cloud.


(Periscope screen shots)

Fire up the app, launch the camera, and the app tweets out a message (if you want it to) that you have gone live. Simultaneously, a notification fires off — with that little look-at-me whistle — to everyone following you on Periscope. As they join in, they can comment on what you’re doing. And because it has super-low lag time — or latency, to use the term of art — people watching can comment on your actions more or less as they happen. It means that people watching the video can change the course of what’s happening. They can chime in with questions or comments, and all the while tap-tap-tap on the screen to send a stream of hearts to the broadcaster. Don’t want comments? Fine, you can turn them off. If you choose, you can let the video live on Persicope’s servers afterwards, where it will stay for 24 hours before disappearing forever. Or you can choose to let your video be purely ephemeral, living only in the moment and then gone forever. It is delightfully fun.

Science fiction fans have seen this all before, one way or the other.

The earliest reference for this kind of idea that I can think of (at the moment) is the newstaper gear from Larry Niven's 1972 story Flash Crowd (and yes, that is the origin of the term).

David Brin's fans (BrinFans?), I haven't forgotten about the True-Vu lens equipped journalists from his 1990 novel Earth. So, start your coverage! All of the news will be viewed live on your smartphone by the participants. No more journalism needed.

Update: No, I haven't forgotten about you, Star Trek: Generations fans. End Update.

Via Buzzfeed and Periscope.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/20/2015)

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