It was March 2015 when Periscope came onto the scene with a bang. Over 1 million downloads in the first 10 days on IPhone. It was a craze like never seen before on Social Media. People were mesmerized with the fact that we could talk live and watch things from all around the world. From walking the streets in Paris and London, to seeing sunsets in Florida and Hawaii. From learning about chocolate in Australia to watching an archaeological dig in Italy.
People were entranced with their phones, and friendships were being made. I too spent countless hours watching and broadcasting on the app, to meet new people and teach my knowledge of social media. It became a three headed horse. One, to learn about new areas and cultures, two to market your business, and three, to use as a media outlet for news stories as they happened around the world. Periscope opened the door to many people about the world being really small. However, Periscope did not stay the only one in this space. Soon other apps came out, with different functions. (And yes, I do Know that Meerkat started this all at South by Southwest in the beginning of March.)
Periscope for me was amazing. I met so many people that I had not known before. I was able to speak to them and I was able to see them. We spent hours and hours on this app. I made some amazing friends and then the unthinkable happened. A Summit for Periscope. September of 2015 came and over 400 Periscopers arrived in NYC learn from each other. It was like we were all friends for ages. It wasn’t a handshake, it was a hug. I got to be on a panel about building community on Periscope. Periscope changed so many lives.
Blab came into the picture as a new way to have conversations. Yes, it worked on your phone, but it was better on the desktop. As Periscope was a way to take everyone on a journey, Blab was a destination to have conversations. Before we knew it, there were Blabs talking about Periscopes and Periscopes talking about Blabs. They worked hand in hand. Blab did the same thing as Periscope did. It made a whole new community of people. Some were Periscopers, but many were not. As much as Periscope opened up our eyes to a whole new world, so did Blab. Blab made it easy to have conversations with so many people. With up to 4 people showing on screen at a time, and sometimes 100’s in the chat area waiting their turn to join or just listen, Blab turned into a way to meet people and start collaborating with them. Weekly and daily shows started. People of all kinds were showing up. Marketers, Brands and people who just wanted to hangout. This was the opportunity to either listen or talk. You had the choice. Podcasts were started and a few I knew started companies together. I had the pleasure of doing a show weekly, daily tips and motivation, and making friends that are amazing. Unfortunately Blab did not make the cut due to many reasons. One was that the management team saw another use for it then the users did. The great thing was that the connections I made I was able to keep. Luckily I connected with them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People like Coach Jennie (The Audacity Coach), Tim Gillette ( Rock and Roll Blogger), and David Vaughan (Branding and Technology) and so many others.
Others joined in Mevee, Busker, and Stre.am. All with their own twist. But Periscope was by far the leader in all this. That is until April of 2016 It was all Periscope.
We all knew it was coming. If you didn’t, then you were living under a rock. Facebook joined the revolution of Live Steaming with a bang. They started with the Verified Users first. This gave them time to stabilize it and also get the big names out there first. Smart marketing on their part.
Then they started rolling it out to everyone else. Live Streams were popping out all over. Business, fun, travel, and of course some that had no meaning at all. But Facebook didn’t stop there. They added it to the Facebook Pages, Groups and Events pages. Thus, putting them in a whole new category of Live Streaming.
Periscope bounced back with having their feeds now embedded in Twitter and saved permanently. The war began. But is it really a war?
They really are 2 different kind of Apps. Periscope has their community and Facebook has theirs. If you talk to either one, they will say their own is better. I agree with having more than one option, competition breeds better technology. It is better for the Live Streaming community over all.
So this brings us to now: August 2016 Facebook brings out a 2-person Live Stream on Facebook Live. It started on Monday, August 22, 2016 and is only available for the verified users first. People I know that are verified, (I am not, so if Facebook is reading I would love to be), were looking for it all day. Many did not see it. Then I ran across Rebecca Jarvis, ABC Tech reporter, and she was Live Streaming. Her title caught my Eye It lead me to believe she had it. And there in behold at the 11-minute mark Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank chimes in. I was excited to see it. FINALLY!!!! Someone that got it was using it. And then it appeared. My huge smile slowly got smaller. I looked at it carefully as I was listening. And said “wait a minute are they Face-timing?” Nope, that is what it looks like. The person who is added after it starts, was on a small box on the upper right hand side of the screen. Yes, I was upset, I like so many others were hoping for side by side.
Then I started to think, this is the first time they are doing this. Facebook always tries to get t out quickly and then tweaks it along the way. Maybe they are looking at it differently, like to hold down the bandwidth, or maybe they are looking bigger in the long run, like a Blab to get more than two in at a time.
Then the discussions started in all the groups on Facebook. In one group I am in Joel Comm and Mari Smith were talking about the stream I shared in it with the Rebecca Jarvis. We all agreed, we were hoping for more. At the same time, we all wanted to try it and see what it was like.
So as much as I might have been disappointed, I am also excited. This opens up new doors and eras for all of us. Periscope and Facebook Live will continue to test their technology to the limits. And with the two of them anything is possible.
Oh wait, YouTube is joining in very soon, who knows where that will lead. We are about to go where no man has gone before.
What is your take on the whole Live Stream Revolution? Let me know in the comments below….
Robert C. Stern is the CEO and Founder of The Social Leader. Helping companies and individuals harness the power of Social Media for Business. Please Like us on our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter.