Five months after its launch, Periscope has amassed 10 million accounts and almost 2 million active users who are collectively viewing 40 years’ worth of video every day.
When live video streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope debuted, tech journalists were roundly criticised for over-reporting their relevance.
In particular, the hype surrounding Meerkat didn’t tally with the consumer reality and in the days that followed its launch, it failed to break into Apple’s App Store top 10 charts. In fact, by March 20, it was languishing in 140th place in the US App Store. Periscope, by contrast, did manage to trouble the top 30 in the days after its launch.
In May, a study of US consumers commissioned by Horizon Media’s WHY Group found that 79% of adults had no interest in live streaming apps and only 50% of Millennials were interested in live streaming, even if only 11% were aware of Meerkat and 13% of Periscope.
However, fast-forward to today and it looks as if live streaming is about to really take off.
On August 6 Facebook launched its own take on the phenomenon – Facebook Mentions Live – but only rolled it out to celebrities and VIPs on the network such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Serena Williams, who have used it for everything from conducting on-the-fly Q&A sessions to making public announcements.
Yet a week after this initial launch, according to Techcrunch, Facebook will be expanding access to the service, starting with journalists and those with verified profiles on the social network. However, don’t expect this extended roll out to have happened before Thanksgiving.
This change of tune arrives at the same time that Periscope (owned by Twitter) has published its first solid figures regarding active use, and they’re impressive.
As of August 2 there are 10 million Periscope accounts and the app can boast 2 million active users. The app launched exclusively on iOS on March 26 and has only been available for Android devices since the end of May. Yet as user numbers have grown steadily, so has the amount of time spent on average watching video. The company says that the equivalent of 40 years of video is being watched every single day.
Periscope also points out that its figures don’t incorporate time spent watching video via its website; it is just on mobile devices running the app.